The Fluffy Jackets session at Sun Studio, Memphis TN, 2011
Helge Rognstad: guitars, vocals, songwriting, production
Helge Rognstad is a singer-songwriter and guitarist. A self-taught musician, he formed The Fluffy Jackets along with drummer Ian Robinson in 2006, and the new band gained some favourable live reviews, performing an eclectic mix of blues rock covers and originals in central London-venues over a 3 year period.
The first Fluffy Jackets EP was cut at the Cowshed Studio in North London with the assistance of renowned producer Teo Miller (Blur, Robert Plant). This recording features a special guest appearance by legendary bassist Neil Murray (Whitesnake, Black Sabbath) and received very positive press reviews at the time of the release in 2007.
A personal highlight for Helge came in 2014 with the recording of the first full-length Fluffy Jackets album “Fighting Demons”. The album was recorded in parts at the birthplace of rock-and-roll Sun Studio in Memphis TN, featuring his #1 guitar hero Manny Charlton (Nazareth), bassist Neil Murray (Whitesnake, Black Sabbath), drummer Robert Hall (Jerry Lee Lewis and his Killer band) and the UK blues-harmonica player West Weston. In addition, Helge recruited some of his musician friends to appear on the record, including Swedish vocalist with “Some Kind of Rubus”’ Emil Gammeltoft, Nick Rhodes (drums) and Jerry Bessent (bass). Not only that, but the Grammy award winning producer Matt Ross Spang (Memphis TN, USA) also joined to work on the Fighting Demons album, as did the renowned mastering engineer Tim Turan (Oxford, UK).
This dedicated effort was duly rewarded in by Classic Rock Magazine – Europe's largest music magazine - picked the first Fluffy Jackets single “Why don’t you smile” for a special compilation CD called “Sharp Shooters”, distributing it to their 60,000+ circulation (Classic Rock, issue 194). The single subsequently received considerable airplay both stateside and in Europe, even reaching far-flung places such as Russia and Israel. The Fighting Demons album was a critical success, winning the “Best Studio Album of The Year” award, voted by listeners of The Blues Hour radio show in the UK and France.
Another personal achievement came in 2019 with the combined CD and DVD release Something from Nothing. This album includes five original and four cover songs, showcasing a tribute to Glen Campbell’s “Better Place” (Feat. Alison Cooper) and the brand new single “Everything must change”. The accompanying documentary highlights The Fluffy Jackets history along with exclusive interviews, live performances and four new music videos.The two-hour film took three years to make and contains never-seen-before interviews with the original band, plus retrospective interviews with both Neil Murray (Whitesnake) and Manny Charlton (Nazareth). Additional bonus material includes up-close inspection of guitars and amplifiers used to record the album, including a Gibson Flying V guitar previously used to record the Nazareth albums “Play’N’the Game” (1976) and “Expect No Mercy” (1977).
Helge enjoys a wide variety of music genres and styles including rock, blues, country and world music. "I do love the early 70's rock bands such as Free, Nazareth, ZZ Top, Blackfoot and the 1st generation rock including Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Elvis Presley." says Rognstad.
"As I am a guitarist at heart, I am also a fan of the guitar-greats such as Ry Cooder, Eric Clapton and Lowell George from Little Feat. Those guys play the slide guitar too which is something that I really enjoy, drawing on influences from the blues artists such as Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, Elmore James and Leadbelly."