Crazy flatpicking acoustic with jazzy, in the pocket drums, and funky/melodic bass. The Band has been likened to Phish, and DMB, and Jeff Buckley. Now, cross pollenate that with Jill Scott Bob Dylan and Leo Kottke, and you almost have the picture.


What began as an adolescent dream has found its way into your hands and ears. He heard it clearly as he took the stage: the crowd surging, a young woman calling, “Whoa, Jistoray!” The young Carl awoke, the scene—and female voice—still vivid in his mind, and scrawled down the prophecy that would one day identify his band.
Today, Jistoray is a power-folk-rock-funk trio fronted by passionate and poetic singer/guitarist Carl Torgerson and flanked by John Stilinovich’s jazzy, in-the-pocket drumming and Donald Brummer’s groove-fueled, funky, melodic bass.
The songs of Jistoray—captured artfully and full of life on Hollywood, the band’s sophomore release—aren’t easy to classify, but they’re easy to sink into, explore, enjoy…and find yourself inspired. For need of comparison, try these, all at once: Jeff Buckley, Dave Matthews, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jill Scott, Phish. Each song is a hybrid, each melody a gift. Says Carl, “Most of the songs come from that infinite deep wellspring somewhere that I cannot take credit for.”
The Pulse Minneapolis recognizes in Jistoray’s songs “an unmistakable stamp of spirited originality.” Lyrically, the music on Hollywood offers a colorful and insightful hybrid of Bob Dylan and Tom Marshall; from train-hoppin’ grit to anthemic power, the album is pleasantly diverse. You’ll be drawn in by the laid-back maturity and depth of “Take My Heart,” the hook-filled “Let It Fall,” and the folk-funk “Swami,” while “Wisely” shows just how big a minimalist three-piece can be.
Of course, the studio only tells half the story, and Jistoray is no exception. Onstage, the three are electric, synergistic, blending John’s jazzy tinges of Dennis Chambers with Donny’s rhythmic Claypool-ness and Carl’s Kottke-meets-funk-grass approach.
As for what inspires his music and guides his life, Carl is humble. “I know truth, and am learning, and walking.” He’s also writing and singing and making us feel, taking the stage as appreciative fans call out his band’s name. Only this time the command has changed; there’s no slowing down. Gallop, Jistoray. The ride has begun.


"Footprints" LP 2005
"Hollywood" LP Coming September 2007

Set List

1-3 Hours
Over 30 Original songs
Tasteful and Dynamic Jams
A cover or two on occasion