Guitarist and singer Nikko Forsberg has lived in Nelson since 2000. A spur-of-the-moment move to the Kootenays changed his life forever and a deep love of his new home is explored in this new solo record entitled “The Elves of Riondel.”
He will launch the album at a performance at the Capitol Theatre on Sept. 8.
The idea for the album came about in 2022 while Forsberg was reflecting on what the Kootenays have meant to him over the last 20-plus years.
“The Kootenays saved my life! I moved here from Ontario and was in a dark place and the people and places around Nelson turned my life around,” he says.
Forsberg has been a regular on the Nelson music scene performing as a solo jazz act and singer of heavy metal band Savage Blade, with more than 1,000 gigs under his belt since arriving in town.
The album, which he describes as “from and for the Kootenays,” features eight songs written and performed by Forsberg and each tune is inspired by a particular place in the Kootenays including Sandon, Riondel, Wilson Falls, Lemon Creek, Rosebery, and of course, Nelson.
The title track, “The Elves of Riondel,” evolved during a trip to Kootenay Lake’s East Shore. “I was seeing people coming out of the forest around Riondel and started imagining them as these cool elves. I combined this with the story of the murder at the Bluebell Mine which is a wild part of the history of the area,” Forsberg says.
For the tune “Sandon,” Forsberg explores the haunted history of Sandon from the perspective of the mountain on which the town is situated.
“There are so many natural disasters in Sandon that had a tragic result for the people that lived there, but there is also the history of how the mining industry affected nature. The mountain has its own voice, too.”
The album, which Forsberg describes as “both dark and beautiful,” was funded in part by a grant from the West Kootenay Arts Council. It was recorded in Fruitvale by engineer and producer Joe Gilmour. Forsberg’s daughter, Olive Kotyk-Forsberg makes a guest appearance singing on two of the tracks.
Forsberg’s album launch concert will take place at the Capitol Theatre in Nelson on September 8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available online at www.capitoltheatre.ca or at the box office. The album will be available on all major streaming services and bandcamp.com on September 8 and hard copies can be purchased at Eddy Music on Baker Street.