Category Archives: Uncategorized

Scott Nygaard and Crow Molly in Portland, ME, May 22

We’ll be doing an East Coast album release concert May 22, 8 pm, at One Longfellow Square in Portland, ME, with special guest, the great Celtic band Annalivia. onelongfellow

Roger Tallroth and Scott Nygaard album released

The Roger Tallroth and Scott Nygaard album, Rosco, is out and available in the US at CDBaby.

Roger Tallroth & Scott Nygaard: Rosco


Many years ago, in the early ‘90s, I began discovering some of the great music being produced by the contemporary Nordic music scene. The tunes that stuck in my head usually seemed to emanate from the amazing Swedish group Vasen. Years later, after somehow acquiring a very basic understanding of the polska, I finally met Vasen’s guitarist, Roger Tallroth, who by that time had become one of my favorite guitarists. We were enlisted to play a short guitar duet to begin a festival-closing version of Roger’s iconic “Josefin’s Waltz,” and after running through “Josefin’s” and a few other tunes to get musically acquainted, we knew we’d have no trouble making music together. In fact, we both returned from that festival to our separate homes (San Francisco, California, and Uppsala, Sweden) with the same idea: we should do that again, maybe with a recording device running. We got together on Vasen’s next tour of the US, and while discovering that we shared a love of strong coffee and buttery pastries as well as strong melody, forward-moving polyrhythms, and buttery harmonies, we became fast friends.

This album is not an attempt to see how well a Swedish folk guitarist can play American bluegrass tunes or whether an American bluegrass/jazz guitarist can play internalize the nuances of the polska, but an attempt to create music that is unique to the two of us, music that combines all that we love in a way that allows us to “just play.” This is expressed not only in some unclassifiable original tunes (Roger’s Swedish/Appalachian “Roger’s Rough” and my bluegrass/polska “Exit Polska” for example), but also on a few traditional Irish and American fiddle tunes. We began with our usual roles, Roger playing some of the most inventive rhythmic beds ever created in any kind of music, and me playing melodies and occasional improvised solos. But we did manage to switch roles here and there. I provided the straighter American-sounding rhythm guitar on “Anders Eriksson” and “Morsans Vals” and Roger played lots of melody (and second melody) throughout, even pulling out a long improvised solo on the end of “True North.”

Neither Roger nor I have been particularly interested in “guitar music,” preferring to spend most of our musical lives in bands and the company of other stringed instruments and vocalists, so we enlisted the help of Swedish/English fiddler Emma Reid on a number of tunes. As you will hear, she took to this guitary multi-continental music with panache and aplomb.

—Scott Nygaard, San Francisco, California, February 2010

The Websters at Crow Molly Album Release Gig

I’ll be celebrating the release of my new CD with my band, Scott Nygaard and Crow Molly, at shows next week in Berkeley and Santa Cruz. And I’m excited that the Freight and Salvage show will feature guest appearances by Chris and Cassie Webster, as well as the profoundly grooving Sam Bevan on bass. This will be both the debut Freight and Salvage gig for Crow Molly–Joe Walsh on mandolin and Lauren Rioux on five-string violin–and the first time the Websters (with me) have performed in two years.

If you can’t make the shows, the CD is available, in both the old-fashioned spinning disc and as direct-to-your-computer downloads at And you can hear a sample on Derk Richardson’s Thursday-night KPFA radio show, the Hear and Now, where Joe, Lauren, and I will be performing on Oct. 15 at 10 pm.

Scott Nygaard & Crow Molly: Scott Nygaard and Crow Molly

Scott Nygaard and Crow Molly Album Release Gigs

Wednesday Oct. 14, 8 pm. Freight and Salvage, 2020 Addison, Berkeley, CA,

Thursday Oct. 15, 10 pm, KPFA, 94.1 FM, The Hear and Now,

Sunday Oct. 18, 4 pm, House Concert, 220 Spring Street, Santa Cruz, CA. Email Steve Palazzo  for ticket information.

Crow Molly Album Available on CDBaby

The new Scott Nygaard and Crow Molly album is out and available, in both physical CDs and downloads, from CDBaby. Check it out.

The Tunes

Maurice McCusker (Scott Nygaard)
I stole a couple of short musical ideas from John McCusker and Maurice Ravel. Thus “Maurice McCusker.” Thanks to Tristan Clarridge for the harmony fiddle line.

Waltz from Munkedal (Trad, arr. Scott Nygaard)
Learned from the great Swedish trio Bask.

The Idlers of Belltown (Scott Nygaard)
Originally recorded in 1992 on Sally Van Meter’s album All In Good Time, reclaimed for the Crows, Lulu and Giuseppe.

An Easier Way to Fly (Scott Nygaard)
For Jimmy Thompson and Loraine Tedder. Can’t believe I was lucky enough to get the wondrous Aoife O’Donovan to sing it here.

Too Hungry (Scott Nygaard)
An example of the new Northern California polska tradition. Or something. Recorded on Inauguration Day 2009.

Great Grimpen Mire/Cumberland Gap (Lauren Rioux and Brittany Haas/Trad)
Lauren and Brittany’s addition to the new North American polska tradition, followed by an odd version of a traditional tune.

Man of Constant Sorrow (Trad, arr. Scott Nygaard)
A solo guitar tune inspired by the version recorded by Kentucky fiddler Ed Haley.

Metaren (The Lazy Fisherman) (Ale Moller)
A waltz from the Swedish multi-instrumentalist Ale Moller that allows Lauren’s five-string to sing.

Waterbound (Dirk Powell)
I started singing this around the time of Katrina, dedicating it to its victims. Now it seems appropriate for the entire planet. With help from Aoife.

Haapavesi Nights (Scott Nygaard)
I once spent a week in Haapavesi, Finland, teaching guitar to Finnish bluegrass musicians during the day and lying awake in my dorm room from midnight to 6 am every night. On the last day, as I was leaving, I discovered that there was a sauna on the top floor of the building I was staying in. But I heard some great music, and, as they say, got a tune out of it.

Little Did He Know (Scott Nygaard)
The second part of this suite is a jig that can’t decide whether it’s in 6/8 or 9/8—the pattern is three bars of 6/8, one of 9/8. Seemed logical when I was writing it.

Wildwood Flower/Happy Holler (Traditional)
A couple of traditional tunes that are, well, just fun to play.

Crow Molly Album Release Gigs

We’ll be doing a few album release gigs in October to celebrate this soon-to-be-foisted-on-an-unsuspecting-public audio document.


Wednesday Oct. 14 at the shiny new Freight and Salvage in Berkeley. Sam Bevan will join us, as he did on the recording, and there may be other guests, too.

Saturday Oct. 17 at the Goldwell Open Air Museum, near Rhyolite, Nevada (about an hour from Las Vegas)

Sunday Oct. 18 at Steve Palazzo and Amy Haberman’s house in Santa Cruz. Probably a backyard, outdoor extravaganza. More info to come.


I’m really looking forward to this one

Shasta 2009 poster

Peaceful Bend Americana Fest

I’m going to be shooting a live performance DVD with Jack Lawrence and Robert Bowlin at this cool festival


Crow Molly/Anna Livia Gig


New Crow Molly Photo

A new photo by the amazing Anne Hamersky.scottnygaardcrowmolly_photobyannehamersky_112

Crow Molly Gigs in January

While Lauren and Joe are in town to start recording the new Scott Nygaard and Crow Molly album, we’ll also be doing a couple of gigs, with Marsha Genensky of the Anonymous 4. These will be the debut California gigs for Scott Nygaard and Crow Molly and I’m very excited about them. We’ve decided to start relatively low-key with gigs at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church in Menlo Park and the San Francisco Waldorf School (a fundraiser for my son’s class). Crow Molly will play a set and then we’ll back up Marsha for a set. And at the Waldorf School there will be a couple of special student performances.

Saturday Jan. 17, 7: 30 pm, St. Bede’s Episcopal Church, Menlo Park, CA, Tickets $25/$18.

Sunday Jan. 18, 4 pm, San Francisco Waldorf School, San Francisco, CA, Tickets $20, $10 for children under 18.