Daniel Norgren, ‘Desperate Hour’ (Live At Pickathon)


By Benjamin Naddaff-Hafrey

In August 2016, Swedish singer-songwriter Daniel Norgren made his first U.S. appearance. His music, however, is indigenous to this soil: His rock-steady ragtime piano playing has a chooglin’ ease, and his voice would be right at home echoing off the walls of Levon Helm’s barn.

For Pickathon’s Luna Sessions, he premiered “Desperate Hour” — an unreleased track from the sessions that yielded 2013’s Buck — accompanied by Anders Grahn on bass and Erik Berndtsson on percussion. The keys on Norgren’s piano look like coffee-stained teeth, and Berndtsson drums with abandon on top of it. Everything feels makeshift; for this kind of music, that’s a good fit.