Maverick Magazine, UK
August 06, 2013
It never ceases to amaze me the way that music and artists... I’ve never heard about before inexplicably cross my radar. This Norwegian duo of Rune Hauge and Kjersti Misje have been creating their own blend of laid-back country, folk and Americana music for a number of years … they even appeared at Glastonbury in 2004… yet this album from late last year is my first introduction to them. Superb is not powerful enough to praise this. Their songwriting captures the pure essence of Americana; Kjersti’s voice is to die for and blends perfectly with Rune’s slightly gravelly tones creating a unique sound that is totally their very own.
Seek out and you’ll not be disappointed!
Lonesome Highway, Ireland
April 24, 2015
A debut release from Norwegian guitar duo Rune Hauge and Kjersti Misje, that arrives with plenty of goodies and treats. Ably backed by brothers Rickie and Ronnie Simpkins on fiddle and double bass, this talented combination serve up music of the highest quality, with strong melodies and perfect vocal harmonies, all combining to deliver a compelling set. Of the twelve tracks here, two are instrumentals that highlight the fine talents of these musicians and there are three cover versions included among the surprises on offer.
A rewarding trip down Acoustic Avenue.
Le Cri du Coyote, France
June 15, 2014
Rune Hauge and Kjersti Misje sing and play the guitar on “Broke in Brooklyn”. They come from Norway, and delivers an airy and moving acoustic Americana.
Self-penned songs are in the spotlight and form the core of the CD, which contains only three cover-songs (by Artie Traum, Peter Rowan and Bob Dylan - with a slow and original version of Blowing In The Wind).
They share lead-vocals and harmonies - the clear and vibrant voice of Kjersti and the warm and powerful voice of Rune.
The arrangements are filled with guitar solos (Rune), but also with violin and mandolin (Rickie Simpkins and Oeystein Fosshagen), effectively supported by various bassists.
In all cases, it is virtuosic and tasteful with fluid and inventive phrasing.
“Lost In The Rain” approaches “Dawg Music”, and “Broke In Brooklyn” is based on playful guitar picking. High Mountain is a beautiful ballad that tells us that the highest mountain is yet to be climbed, and that the problems we try to run away from always reappear, like buried leaves under the snow - returning in the spring.
“Let It Grow” sets you on fire, and you wish to hear more as a powerful and hypnotic groove develops.
“Haywire” is an opportunity to hear Rune play the dobro , while “Tikopia”, the only instrumental song, leaves us weightless vocals by Kjersti.
A very beautiful album to discover.
Real Roots Cafe, Netherlands
April 12, 2014
Millpond Moon is the partnership of Rune Hauge ( guitar, dobro , vocals) and Kjersti Misje ( guitar , piano , vocals) from Norway . Their CD " Broke in Brooklyn ", that dates from 2012, was recorded in their own studio in Norway, and mixed and mastered by Bill Wolf in Arlington , Virginia . As far as I can ascertain, this CD is the debut of Millpond Moon. The first two songs , covers of ' Barbed Wire ' Arti Traum, and " You were there for me " shows the roots of MM's music : a blend of folk and bluegrass .
Beside their own instruments , including a dobro that plays an important role , we hear contributions on fiddle , upright bass , mandolin , and - though on one track only - percussion .
Out of 12 songs on the CD , there are nine of their own songs ( 8 by Rune , including the instrumental ' Tikopia ' , and one by Kjersti ) .
Expect beautiful , balanced acoustic music , real Americana and from Norway .
Most beautiful songs are catchy ; "Broke in Brooklyn " (" The Manhattan view is great from here , though we don't have money for the subway fare" ), the soft ' Life is a riddle "(" Life is a riddle, rough like a storm and soft like a fiddle . But we do what we do , like the tide under the moon the fiddler plays his tune " ) and the almost sacred " High mountain "(" high mountain , high mountain , this mountain might get tough to climb we will make it, one step at the time" ) .
"Broke in Brooklyn" is a superb sounding, and impeccably produced acoustic CD from an excellent pair of musicians . Wonderful , almost heavenly music !
Roots Highway, Italy
March 23, 2014
Gentle mannered and rugged folk roots by Millpond Moon, a Norwegian duo, with an international curriculum that has brought them even to the Glastonbury festival, which holds twelve songs inside the rails of beautiful writing and the sound of the purest American tradition.
Voices and guitars are performed by Rune Hauge and Kjersti Misje: she studied jazz and graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Agder University, he is a popular guitarist on the national scene, which features several musical collaborations and conducting a successful TV-program in the 90's that has set him alongside the likes of Garth Hudson, Townes Van Zandt and Emmylou Harris.
Broke in Brooklyn, recorded in Norway and Virginia in collaboration with Rickie Simpkins (fiddle, mandolin) and his brother Ronnie (bass), both bluegrass musicians with a history of playing in the Tony Rice Unit and with the earlier mentioned Emmylou Harris.
Broke in Brooklyn is an album of original material that darts between soft invoice folk in landscapes with embellishments that enrich versions like "Barbed Wire" (Artie Traum), "You Were There For Me" (Peter Rowan) and a singular "Blowin 'in the Wind" (Bob Dylan, made with elegant taste irish folk).
The mellow voice of Kjersti Misje find the right overlaps with that deeper voice of Rune Hauge, offering a rigorous repertoire, and with the ability to open up to great instrumentals ( Haywire , Tikopia ).
Nya Skivor, Sweden
February 28, 2014
When I once again return to the river of discs, and the rapids of music, I fish for new acquaintances. I never go fishing in "the mainstream" because it's just too narrow, shallow and predictable. This time I was happy to get a nibble.
I've had time to listen to a lot of music over the years, but I'm always curious about what musicians can do with the different genres, and here is a duo who managed to take country music on to something so interesting that it feels like a whole new country-genre.
If there is anything similar to compare with, it would be Buddy & Julie Miller when they are at their best. The vocals are great, and the arrangements sound exellent.
Shall I mention any specific songs, I think "Life Is A Riddle" and "Haywire" is worthy of some extra highlighting.
One thing that pulls down this album from a top rating, is the instrumental "Tikopia" and the inadequate version of "Blowin 'In The Wind" - on an otherwise very good album.
Keys and Chords, Belgium
Cis Van Looy
February 11, 2014
The cover picture of the snow-covered contours of Brooklyn Bridge stands out . Millpond Moon's music comes from the High North - more specifically - from Norway . Bergen is Rune Hauge and Kjersti Misje's hometown, and Rune Hauge is in Norway regarded as one of the most important guitarists in the roots scene .
In the early nineties he invited likeminded artists from across the Atlantic to appear in his television program. Townes Van Zandt , Emmylou Harris , Garth Hudson and Tony Joe White came to visit alongside British troubadours such as Richard Thompson and Paul Brady.
Kjersti has jazz training , and Rune is addicted to bluegrass and country folk. It is therefore not surprising that Peter Rowan appears, and Hauge/Misje brings an exquisite interpretation of Rowans "You Were The One For Me". The Artie Traum song "Barbed Wire" (which previously was on the repertoire of "U.S. Rails") opens the album, and Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind", which gets a personal interpretation, provides the ending of an otherwise disc filled with their own songmaterial.
The duo substantiates beautiful harmonies with sophisticated acoustic stringed instruments that is beautifully complemented by the fiddle and mandolin of Rickie Simpkins. On some tracks we also hear the acoustic bass of his brother Ronnie.
Hauge provides seven own songs in addition to the instrumental "Tikopia", which was concluded solely with Norwegian musicians, and that demonstrates the great class of Hauge as a guitarist. Supplied by Kjersti's "Lost In The Rain" proves a similar structure with a jazzy and atmospheric dobro in the background.
In other songs, the subtle fingerpicking is entirely at the service of the stories that are being told. "Life Is A Riddle", the title song "Broke In Brooklyn" and especially the heavenly "High Mountain" takes you effortlessly away.
Well crafted from Norway!
Country Jukebox, Germany
Max W. Achatz
February 10, 2014
Kjersti Misje and Rune Hauge - as Millpond Moon - create incredibly beautiful music. Poetic music. Music that touches. The singer/songwriter couple from the Norwegian mountains write lyrics that are intelligent and authentic at the same time, lyrics that stimulate the imagination and makes the listener produce great pictures inside their mind. "Broke in Brooklyn" is full of irresistible folk-pop anthems, wonderfully relaxed country/bluegrass tunes and a very emotional Roots/Americana brew full of soul. In addition to nine original songs, the CD has three cover versions, including Bob Dylan's classic "Blowin 'In The Wind" and "You Were There For Me" by Peter Rowan, one of the sources of inspiration of the duo.
The Long Journey Home, Italy
January 26, 2014
Scandinavia have an important place in the revival of the roots of American music in Europe. Norway, Sweden and to a lesser extent Finland, have in recent years produced musicians of great value, in both acoustic and electric rock.
The duo that call themselves Millpond Moon come from Norway and includes the expert singer and songwriter Rune Hauge, deeply in love with folk and bluegrass sounds and the talented Kjersti Misje, whose voice enchants with crystalline beauty.
They have been compared first and foremost to Buddy & Julie Miller and then also to the McGarrigle Sisters and Alison Krauss for their approach to bluegrass, folk and country music.
But beyond uncomfotable comparisons we need to appreciate them in "Broke In Brooklyn" for their rare talent as composers, and their great taste in the arrangements. Part of this must also be attributed to Bill Wolf, a famous sound engineer who has worked with the best artists in bluegrass and country.
Rickie and Ronnie Simpkins, on respectively fiddle and mandolin and bass, give an extra touch of class to a relaxed and intimate sound. The songs are mainly written by Rune Hauge, enriched with some successful covers.
Among the originals that deserve to be mentioned is "Broke In Brooklyn" who justly gives the title to the album, a notable act of respect towards the folk scene in New York. The heartfelt "High Mountain". "Let It Grow" - refreshing and convincing."Haywire" - another impeccable folk ballad. Among the covers the opening tracks "Barbed Wire" Artie Traum and "You Were There For Me" by Peter Rowan stand out.
January 18, 2014
Kjersti Misje and Rune Hauge are two Norwegian musicians who lost their hearts to American folk, country and bluegrass music. They decided to compile their own songs in these styles on their album "Broke In Brooklyn" that was released under their band name "Millpond Moon".
"Broke In Brooklyn" is a collection of nine new songs and three carefully selected covers. " Barbed Wire" by Artie Traum (has also been covered by '4 Way Street ' and ' U.S. Rails " ) , in addition to the sublime " You Were There For Me "by the American bluegrass singer Peter Rowan, and Bob Dylan's all-time classic " Blowin 'In The Wind " .
The first original song on this album, " A Second Act In Me ", is written by Rune Hauge, followed by Kjersti Misje's song " Lost In The Rain ".
Rune Hauge has written some excellent songs on this album like " Life Is A Riddle ," the title track " Broke In Brooklyn " , the acoustic " High Mountain " and " Let It Grow ". Songs where the highly complementary harmonies of the duo are best expressed. Furthermore, we are quite impressed with the jazzy " Tikopia ", the only completely instrumental track on the album where Rune Hauge shows his great talent as a guitarist and dobro player.
Supported by the American fiddler Rickie Simpkins and his brother Ronnie on upright bass, the songs are soberly accompanied by acoustic guitar playing from Rune and Kjersti. On a few other tracks Norwegian instrumentalists Øystein Fosshagen plays the fiddle and mandolin, and Ole Marius Sandberg plays the bass.
You need to take your time to listen to this record. Settle down with a glass of wine in your hand, quietly enjoying the beautiful music and lyrics that this duo delivers. This record is a true labour of love and that can really be heard in each and every track.
June 01, 2013
This Norwegian duo, representing Norway’s (perhaps even Europe’s) answer to Julie & Buddy Miller, is far too often moving below the music critics’ radar, although they deserve a very different level of attention. We hope to help rectify the situation!
Consisting of Bergen-born Rune Hauge, well known singer-song writer in the folk and bluegrass tradition with a couple of soulful and critically acclaimed solo albums to his name, and the incredibly sensitive and intuitive singer Kjersti Misje, who has a background as a vocal instructor specialising in the jazz tradition, Millpond Moon is an acoustically based singer-song writer duo and I would describe their music as sensuous and beautiful Americana. This is music defined by the bluegrass (think Alison Krauss with her most ballad-like themes in her early career) and folk traditions (think sisters Kate & Anna McCarrigle) in equal measure: acoustically arranged, with finesse and soul. You’ll pretty soon get caught in Millpond Moon’s net if you have a decent hi fi and an ability to listen.
It is also thanks to Bill Wolf, one of the world’s leading sound engineers, known from his work with Doc Watson, Tony Rice and Seldom Scene – some of the most tuneful exponents of bluegrass today – that the atmosphere, clarity, calm and acoustic tunefulness of “Broke in Brooklyn” is an unusually soulful album. Rune Hauge has written most of the songs himself, Kjersti Misje one, and then they’ve borrowed “You were there for me” from Peter Rowan, “Barbed Wire” from Artie Traum and “Blowin’ in the wind” from Bob Dylan himself.
We do hope that many will discover Millpond Moon’s acoustic stress-free Americana, laden with feeling. It needs to be said that experiencing this album is like letting go of the hustle and bustle of daily life. This is music with a lot of feeling, a lot of soul and a lot of good arrangements on which some of the best musicians in the US, who normally play with the Tony Rice Unit and Emmylou Harris, have laid down double bass and fiddle on a number of tracks. This is enjoyment and relaxation in one go. Pure medicine. Millpond Moon should be made available on free prescription!
Northern Sky Music Magazine, UK
February 24, 2013
Considering that their nearest branch of Dunkin' Donuts is 4000 miles west of their home in Norway, it's astonishing just how authentically American Kjersti Misje and Rune Hauge sound on their latest release. Assuming the name Millpond Moon, Kjersti and Rune have managed to capture the essence of Americana on BROKE IN BROOKLYN with songs that tip their hat to Alison Krauss, Peter Rowan, Tony Rice and Shawn Colvin to name just a few distinct influences.
Whilst both Misje and Hauge are proficient, occasionally dazzling acoustic guitarists, the true allure of this album lies within the melding of two soaring vocals. This is especially apparent on their reading of Peter Rowan's You Were There For Me and Hauge's stirring High Mountain. It is a union that, at times, recalls the fine blend of Christine Collister and Clive Gregson and, with the delightful addition of fiddle, double bass and the occasional mandolin, it's one that makes for a very satisfying album indeed.
February 01, 2013
«...The new album from the Norwegian duo Millpond Moon is called "Broke in Brooklyn." Not that the music sounds urban, but the songs from Rune and Kjersti is very American influenced, so that "Broke in Bergen" (which is the town they both come from) would have been very misleading...»
«...There is a lot of "Skandi-American" music, but Millpond Moon orient themselves closely with the North American style. Rune and Kjersti have a folky and acoustic approach, that can be compared with the sound James Taylor and Carly Simon once had. And when it comes to the instrumental, text and performance, Millpond Moon can be compared with the above ideals...»
Avisa Hordaland, Norway
October 27, 2012
Superb album from veteran Bergen duo.
It has now been eight years since Hauge and Misje played the Glastonbury Festival in England. Since then they’ve been busy touring the UK as well as the US. In the borderland between roots, bluegrass and country the two of them have explored vocal harmonies that few will be able to repeat, and with good old-fashioned accompaniment featuring acoustic guitars, violin, mandolin, dobro, piano and double bass they have developed a dynamic and highly agreeable sound which is custom-made for the format.
Rune Hauge is a bit of an old fox in the world of Norwegian roots. He’s a singer, guitarist and a classic singer/songwriter of a calibre far beyond Norwegian expectations. Those who have been around for a while will perhaps remember him from the programme series on NRK TV round 20 years ago, "Roots 92" and "Roots 93". As the programme’s presenter he pulled in some big fish indeed, eg. Emmylou Harris, Townes Van Zandt, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and many more.
Kjersti Misje on the other hand, has been studying jazz vocals and rhythmic music; and she is now putting her skills to expert use with her wonderfully clear and warm voice.
A number of factors work together to make Hauge/Misje a listening treat. Their voices complement each other perfectly, so much so that their combination far surpasses the quality of the components. The guitar playing is something else all-together. The two have split the jobs between them in a rational and laid-back way which excellently matches their style of music.
Broke in Brooklyn is 12 tracks of pure listening joy, beautifully arranged and produced. There are no over-elaborate arrangements, yet neither are there any track that have been stripped back to the extent that they loose the music’s inherent dynamic elements.
If it has been a while since you listened to the Bob Dylan classic Blowing in the Wind, then treat yourself to the final track. If the old folk singer Dylan fails to enjoy this version, he has lost his grip.
The album has a light swing feel with varied tempo and intensity; it is sophisticated and laid back but consistently sincere and with insistent soul. The two musicians love what they are doing and want to touch the listener with their songs. They do.
October 17, 2012
This is the second album since their debut in 2001, but Kjersti Misje and Rune Hauge’s output is far from patchy.
They have been on tour round the world with their acoustic folk music, including the Glastonbury Festival in England. Rune Hauge in particular draws on long experience gained from a number of different connections. The Bergen-based duo’s proficiency is easy to detect; they sound tight, secure and experienced, yet genuine and inspired.
They are assisted by a group of eminent string players, especially Rickie Simpkins’ fiddle playing is highly impressive. Hauge has penned most of the tunes, but very daringly their final track is Dylan’s classic «Blowin’ in the Wind».The result is pretty convincing.