FINN OLAFSSON • The CD "Acoustic Guitar"

Acoustic Guitar

Olafssongs OCD 043 • 1980/2004

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Click on a title to hear a short sound clip
of the track ...

  #1 - Courtesy

  #2 - On the Run

  #3 - Travellers Joy

  #4 - At the Festival

  #5 - The Compromise

  #6 - A New Tomorrow

  #7 - Seaweed

  #8 - An Evening in December

  #9 - The Eternal Journey

#10 - Rondo

#11 - The Waddling Duckling

#12 - Tracery

#13 - The Rag

#14 - The Eternal Journey

Acoustic Guitar - Cover notes

"Acoustic Guitar" was first released on vinyl in 1980. In more ways than one, this album was a milestone for me: It was the first time I decided to do an all-acoustic recording, and it was my first entirely instrumental solo album. Expressing myself in this simple fashion, without vocals or electric instruments, made me shift most of my energy from electric to acoustic guitar. The first ten tracks are all from the "old" LP, and they came with the following introduction:

"A few words about me!
I started my life as a guitar player at eleven and grew up alongside the rock music of the sixties in different groups, such as "Voces". Since 1968, I’ve been playing guitar in the band "Ache" – which is where I still play rock guitar. I did not really become interested in acoustic music until 1970, so you could say that this record is standing on a foundation of honest-to-God rock! This may sound odd, but I’ve always found similarities between playing English renaissance "dance" music and straight rock, based on swing and simplicity.

In 1972, my brother Torsten and I even formed an acoustic version of Ache, and from then on I started working seriously on the acoustic guitar. For two years, I concentrated solely on classical guitar technique, teaching almost every day and becoming aware of my own errors by watching others make them! But in the long run, I couldn’t stand the rigidity of classical music, and I decided to go on the road with Ache again.

In 1976, I recorded my first solo album, "Savannah", mixing acoustic ideas with electric music. In later years, I’ve often had the opportunity to play that kind of music whenever I’ve produced other artists’ records and playing guitar on them. Lately, I’ve worked a lot with Pia Raug, to whom I am very grateful. We’ve toured extensively and recorded two albums. Working so intensely on the acoustic guitar gave me the courage to do an all-acoustic guitar album.

The music on this record was written in my home and on tours over the last few years, but the final arrangements were done in the studio while recording. I’ve added two guitars on "On the Run" and "At the Festival", and on "The Eternal Journey", a third one has been added. Torsten is very much in evidence with his fine tablas. Guitar afficionados will be interested to know that I used two C. F. Martin’s – a D-28 and a D-45. I often use steel picks on my right hand, or a pick and two nails.

Hope you enjoy listening to this record!
Love, Finn - January 21st, 1980"

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then, but the introduction gives some idea about the background of the record.


Apart from the ten original tracks, I’ve recorded four extra ones for this re-release. Three of them, "The Waddling Duckling", "Tracery", and "The Rag", are from my third solo album, "Elements", from 1981. I re-recorded them because I’ve always liked playing them and because they are closely related to the tunes on "Acoustic Guitar". The fourth re-recorded tune, "The Eternal Journey’, I used to do live for years with my guitar duo partner, Anders Roland, who plays a Greek bouzouki here. My brother, Torsten Olafsson, plays tablas like on the original version.


As described in the original introduction, I recorded "Acoustic Guitar" using two C. F. Martin’s, a D-28 and a D-45. On the new tracks, I use three different handmade Danish Kehlet guitars: On "The Waddling Duckling" and "The Eternal Journey" I used a Kehlet Folk Rio, on "Tracery" I play the very first Kehlet Millenium ever built, and on "The Rag" I play a Kehlet Folk De Luxe.


The tunes on this CD are from a period when I still mainly used the standard guitar tuning, EADGBE, capo’ed on the second fret. Exceptions are "At the Festival" (DADF#AD) and "The Waddling Duckling" (DADGBD).


For those who would like to play the tunes, they are all published by Olafssongs Music Publishers in a new book including sheet music, tablature and illustrations.


One reason for re-releasing this record is that the successor to "Acoustic Guitar" – twenty four years later – has been recorded and released by Olafssongs.
Not surprisingly, it is titled "Acoustic Guitar 2" (OCD 044).

Finn Olafsson, 1980

Photo: Jan Persson

CD review in the German magazine
Akustik Gitarre 4/06 - June 2006

"Olafssons neues Album "Acoustic Guitar 2" is, wie der Titel schon andeutet, ein Nachfolgewerk seines hoch gelobten Vorgängers von 1980, den er, wie jedes seiner Alben auf seinem eigenen Label Olafssongs ( in Kopenhagen vertreibt. Eine kleine Kuriosität dazu: Sein Debüt "Acoustic Guitar" wurde 1980 bereits in Deutschland vom Label Happy Bird vertrieben. Schließlich erscheinen darüber hinaus auch einige dieser Songs auf der Time Wind Collection "Acoustic Guitar". Damit dürfte manchem Leser der eine oder andere Song des nun wieder veröffenlichten Erstlings vielleicht bekannt sein.

Wer den sympatischer Dänen bisher noch nicht kannte, wird auf "Acoustic Guitar 2" einiges zu entdecken haben: Zu hören sind feine Fingerstyle-Songs in bester europäischer Folk-Tradition mit einem gelegentlichen Ausblick über den Atlantik. Vergleiche zu Künstlern wie Adrian Legg, Bert Jansch oder John Renbourn liehe nahe angesichts des verträumten, stimmungsvollen Melodiespiels, kontrastierend zum eleganten Wechselbass.

Aber auch zur europäischer Renaissance-Music, mit der Olafsson früh in Berührung kam und die er zwei Jahre konsequent studiert hat. Rund und warm, brillant und obertonreich klingt Olafssons Spiel, eingespielt auf seinem neuen Signature-Modell des renommierten skandinavischen Edelgitarrenherstellers Kehlet (

Geboren 1953, griff Olafsson im Alter von elf Jahren zur Gitarre, wurde Mittbegründer der dänischen Psychedelic-Rock-Formation "ACHE", bevor er 1972 mit seinem Bruder Torsten eine akustische Variante seiner Band ins Leben rief. Längst hat er sein eigenes Label gegründet und sich einen Namen als Produzent und Akustikgitarrist in eigener Sache gemacht. Inzwischen hat Olafsson mit allen Größen der Akustikszene gespielt und ist ein gern gesehener Gast auf allen großen Festivals."

By Stefan Woldach

Link to Akustik Gitarre:

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Music by Finn Olafsson
Published by
Olafssongs Music Publishers
Recorded and mixed January 7-11 1980
at Metronome Studio B, Denmark
Engineered by Tom Andersen
Additional tracks 11-14 recorded and mixed in August 2004 at Olafssongs Studio, Denmark
Engineered by Finn Olafsson
Mastered by Henrik Ammitsbøl
Booklet translation by Lars Kjædegaard
Original photo by Jan Persson
LP cover design by John Ovesen
CD layout by Torsten Olafsson

Finn Olafsson: Acoustic Guitar
Torsten Olafsson: Tablas
Anders Roland: Bouzouki

Finn Olafsson, 2004

Photo: Torsten Olafsson