Posts Tagged ‘Jacob Holm-Lupo’

With SOLSTEIN’s self-titled debut full-length album due out on the 7th July, Is it Jazz? Records have today released a single that  gives fans a taste of what they can  expect from multi-instrumentalist Jacob Holm-Lupo’s new project.

Titled “Hamada”, the track features SOLSTEIN’s core lineup of  Stian Larsen (MARTE EBERSON, SMITH KOMMA JOHN) on lead guitar, Keith Carlock (STEELY DAN, TOTO) on drums and Jacob Holm-Lupo (WHITE WILLOW, THE OPIUM CARTEL) on bass, rhythm guitars and keyboards. Joining them on “Hamada” are American synth wizard Bill Bressler on lead synth and Fender Rhodes, Martin Windstad (KURT NILSEN, BIGBANG, ANE BRUN) on percussion, and INA A who provides some wordless vocal harmonies.

The name “Hamada” is partly  inspired by plane trips over the breathtaking landscape  of the Eilat Desert. On the Eastern side you can see the red rocks of Jordan, whilst the high plains desert landscape of the Hamada of the Eilat Desert are directly beneath you, and the endless deserts of the Sinai are to your West.

“Hamada” can be downloaded or streamed from a number of services at

SOLSTEIN was formed after Holm-Lupo and Carlock had collaborated with legendary guitarist Georg Wadenius on a track for Holm-Lupo’s DONNER project. Finding that together they jelled, the duo decided to expand the lineup with the addition of Larsen and keyboardist Brynjar Dambo (WHITE WILLOW). 

Inspired by jazz-rock, funk, prog rock and chill-out, SOLSTEIN’s  is an  instrumental form of rock, where jazz harmony combines with proggy arrangements and soul/funk grooves. The end result is laid back and  elegant, oscillating between funky fusion and rock, where all the musicians involved are given free rein to do whatever they feel the music needs and feels right to everyone

The album itself is accessible yet adventurous, colourful, groovy and engaging. It melds  the groovier side of fusion with elements of prog and funk, but which, rather than having the standard 2020s fusion sound, tends more towards the funkier, more melodic spectrum that brings artists like THE CRUSADERS, IDRIS MUHAMMED, early BOB JAMES and 70s HERBIE HANCOCK to mind.

“Solstein” will be available in CD, Digital and LPC formats and can now be pre-ordered from:

Is it Jazz Records: Webshop:
Karisma Records Webshop:

“Solstein”  was mixed and given pristine analogue mastering at Holm-Lupo’s Dude Ranch Studio, and with artwork by Martina Wilek, track listing is as follows:

  1. Intersection
  2. Oriental Folk Song
  3. Southwester
  4. The Night Owl
  5. Siriusly
  6. February 9th
  7. The Creeper
  8. Hamada

For those curious as to where the name  SOLSTEIN comes from, the word actually means Sunstone, and it refers to  a relatively rare rock containing copper-red crystals, which, when seen from different angles refracts the light in a very beautiful way. The most significant deposits of the rock are found along the southern coast of Norway where Holm-Lupo lives and runs his studio.

More  information about SOLSTEIN can be found on the band’s Facebook page at

Additional Information
Band Contact:
Is it Jazz? Records

White Willow 2011

Karisma Records have inked a deal with WHITE WILLOW founder Jacob Holm-Lupo for the release of six out of the seven studio albums from the Norwegian Prog legends whose long history started around 1992 when  guitarist Jacob Holm-Lupo, who at that time was a member of the POLICE/BRUCE HORNSBY-inspired pop band THE ORCHID GARDEN, and keyboard player Jan Tariq Rahman from a local jazz-rock/prog rock band DUGGVÅTE DVERGER, got together to assess if they had any songwriting chemistry.  The result was the song “Snowfall”, written whilst sitting on the floor playing acoustic guitar and clavinet, and the rest, as they say, is history.

White Willow 1994

WHITE WILLOW’s debut full-length “Ignis Fatuus” was released in 1995 to glowing revues and became a runaway hit on the burgeoning prog revival scene.  Just how much of a hit it was came as a complete surprise to the band, who, unaware of the album’s success,  showed up later that year at the Los Angeles’ Progfest ’95 for their second ever live performance, only to find themselves in front of an audience that numbered in the thousands who had come specifically to see them.

From thereon, the band formed part of the spearhead of what was to subsequently become known as the Third Wave of progressive rock, along with other Scandinavian bands like ÄNGLAGÅRD (whose drummer would later join WHITE WILLOW), LANDBERK and ANEKDOTEN.  The band went on to earn the accolade as “one of the most significant progressive groups of the current era” in Billboard’s “Guide to Progressive Music”.

White Willow 2004

The history of WHITE WILLOW’s lineup is somewhat complicated by the comings and goings of its various members over the years, so suffice it to say that only Holm-Lupo has been with the band since its inception, whilst WOBBLERS Lars Fredrik Frøislie has been a mainstay since 2001. 

Whilst inevitably changing over time, WHITE WILLOW’s sound  is frequently centered around female vocals  and an expanded instrumentation that usually includes a host of analogue synthesizers, mellotron, woodwinds and strings, in addition, of course to traditional rock instrumentation.

White Willow 2006

Citing influences that range from the likes of prog stalwarts GENESIS and KING CRIMSON to pop legends ABBA, WHITE WILLOW has, in turn, been quoted as an inspiration by bands ranging from doom Metallers CATHEDRAl and Norway’s ENSLAVED to German neo-proggers FREQUENCY DRIFT whose name is actually taken from a White Willow lyric.

White Willow 2017

WHITE WILLOW has now become a studio project exclusively, helmed by Holm-Lupo and often featuring guest appearances from prominent musicians such as  Norway’s guitar hero Hedvig Mollestad, or internationally renowned klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer. The band’s latest album to date is 2017’s “Future Hopes” (which is not scheduled for re-release), and which featured a specially commissioned album cover by Roger Dean.

The prospect of seeing WHITE WILLOW’s past hard work being once again brought to the attention of its old fans, and the idea that new fans will be able to discover for themselves the significant contribution the band has made to the Prog scene over the years is something that Holm-Lupo is relishing:

White Willow are extremely proud to be working with the talented people at Karisma, and looking forward to bring these albums out to the fans.

One of the challenges we’ve had with White Willow is that a lot of material has been lost in the mists of time. Our recording sessions in the early days were not particularly organized, and we worked in various studios over extended, and often interrupted, periods of time.

Hence the previous attempts at remastering have used secondary and tertiary source material, to varying results. This time we have done the deep forensic work and have recovered original, pristine master tapes for most of the material. It’s been time-consuming, but it will definitely be worth it.

Well versed in the difficulties, and joys, that can come when bringing back to life back catalogues and long-unavailable releases from  legendary Prog names, Karisma Records were more than up for the challenge. Having worked extensively with Holm-Lupo in his capacity as mastering engineer the label  knows what he is capable of, and had this to say :

Jacob Holm-Lupo, who is these days a renowned mastering engineer with his Dude Ranch Studio, is doing the restoring and remastering with audiophile, analog equipment to ensure the most faithful and detailed restoration possible. We are also aiming to restore the original artwork of the albums wherever possible.

No date has yet been set for the release of the WHITE WILLOW back catalogue, but Karisma Records have confirmed that the following six albums will be included:

Ignis Fatuus – 1995

Ex Tenebris – 1998

Sacrament – 2000

Storm Season – 2004

Signal to Noise – 2006

Terminal Twilight – 2011

More information about WHITE WILLOW can be found at

A video for the track “Kansas Regrets” from WHITE WILLOW’s 2011 album “Terminal Twilight” can be seen below and at

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