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Bernhoft Headlines Mercury Lounge with a Full Band Tomorrow Night

June 23rd, 2015

When the group he was in disbanded, Norwegian multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Jarle Bernhoft decided to leave behind fronting a rock band to go solo as a soul man. (“This friend of mine gave me a Sly and the Family Stone album, and I couldn’t really come down off that wall; I was nailed to it,” he told NPR.) Rolling Stone says he sounds like “Ray Lamontagne with access to running water, Robin Thicke after marriage counseling, Daryl Hall in Warby Parkers.” His first album, the funk- and soul-influenced Ceramik City Chronicles (stream it below), came out in 2008. Bernhoft’s follow-up, Solidarity Breaks (stream it below), was released in 2011. And a third LP, Islander (stream it below), arrived last year. AllMusic says it “offers more of his slick ’80s-style R&B tossed with ’70s soul, lots of funky bass and a feel-good song selection…. In the big picture, Islander has the variety and texture to make for an engaging listen, though what it really aims to do is distract and lift spirits.” And while the current New Yorker’s high-energy one-man shows filled with a deft usage of the looping pedal and some impressive beat-boxing have won over fans across the globe, in a rare treat, Bernhoft (above, performing the remarkable “Dont Let Me Go” for Audiotree Live) fronts a full band, the Shudderbugs, when he plays Mercury Lounge tomorrow night.