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All Music Guide:
Norwegian country-rockers the Hellbillies, comprised of Aslag Haugen, Arne Sandum, Lars Havard Haugen, Björn Gunnar Sando, and Arne Moslatten, began their journey toward folk hero status in 1990. Early releases such as Sylvspente Boots (1992) and Pela Stein (1993) featured the group's unique approach toward cover music. Drawing most of their repertoire from popular American country acts, the Hellbillies would rewrite existing hits like John Prine's "Grandpa Was a Carpenter," translating the lyrics into the band's native dialect of Hallingdal, recording the tune under the name "Goffa Min va Handelskar." After their debut record, which was entirely comprised of translated classics like "Ho Birgjit Lien" ("Sweet Rosie Jones") and "Ikkje Grav Med Ned" ("Please Don't Bury Me"), the Hellbillies tapered off the cover material and focused instead on music that incorporated elements of traditional Norwegian folk music and themes. Released in 1993, Pela Stein won the group the prestigious Spellemannsprisen Award, and represented an even mix of traditional and original repertoire. By their fourth record, Drag (1996), the Hellbillies were recording solely original compositions. Though popular, the Hellbillies had not broken through to genuine stardom before Urban Twang, which was released in 2001 and sold over 30,000 units in its first month, earning the band a gold record. Subsequent releases such as CoolTur (2002) and Niende (2004) have turned this onetime musical novelty into one of Norway's most popular groups.
Wikipedia:For the USA psychobilly band, see Hellbillys.
The Hellbillies are a Norwegian country rock group formed in 1990. As of 2010, they have released thirteen albums—including a compilation and two live albums—as well as one live concert DVD. They are among Norway's most popular recording artists.
Their lyrics are written and sung in the dialect of the Hallingdal area of Norway and there is evidence of influence from traditional (folk) Norwegian music, giving a distinctive "Norwegian" flavor to their country music.
Their early albums often included songs originally recorded by country music artists from the USA with The Hellbillies writing new lyrics in Norwegian. Later efforts have included much more original material that reflect contemporary Norwegian people and Norwegian life and issues.
They have also collaborated with musicians from the US. For example, Rob Hajacos from Nashville, who plays fiddle on most Garth Brooks albums, plays on three of The Hellbillies’ albums.
Members Aslag Haugen - Lead vocals, guitar, writing the music on most of the tracks.Arne Henry Sandum - Electric bass-guitarLars Haavard Haugen - Lead guitar, resonator guitar, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, pedal steel etc.Bjørn Gunnar Sando - DrumsArne Moslåtten - Acoustic guitar, flute, lyricist, percussion
Keyboards/Piano/Organ at concerts:Lasse Hafreager (1993-2001)Trond Nagell Dahl (2001-2004)Lars Christian Narum (2004- )