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The best kept secret in music


Old Seed
Old Seed
(sisyphus records)

Fresh from the VaGiants, guitarist/singer Craig Bjerring is free to explore his neo-folkie self wilth his Old Seed persona - revealing himself to be a sorta twisted singer/songwriter with a knack for quirky lyrics ('The Dodge Ram logo looks like a Rorschach test') that highlight his worldly, knowledgable perspective. Tunes here range from sparse, bluesy acoustic country (Fish to Fry) to more fully realized yet slightly skewed alt-rock arrangements in the vein of, say, Cracker or even - if you can imagine it - acoustic Meat Puppets. Perhaps one of the laziest comparisons in the world is to say a Canadian with an acoustic guitar sounds like Neil Young but, damn it, there are places here when Bjerring's voice (he's not as tuneless as Neil can be) and the haunting framework of his arrangements do indeed recall the former Squire.

John Kendle - Uptown Magazine (Sept 30/04)

“Oldseed is a persona belonging to Craig Bjerring, a Bukowski-wise Winnipegger who makes gorgeous and weary alt-folk that reminds you of Jim White and Steve Earle. He knows things – lots of things. He knows if you don’t crack things open, you’ll never know what lies inside. He knows you should value your scars and bruises because failure is preferable than playing it safe down the middle. He knows Woebegone is a fine name for a wistful, pond-ish song, and also just a nice word to sing. He also knows that the thick, grungy Take it Easy breaks up a predominantly acoustic album up well, and that tough third-and-one calls are made by all or us, not just football-field warriors. What he may not know is that You’ve Got Nothing But Light, Let It Shine, with its hick-harmonies, lazy harmonica and eerie banjo plucking, is one of the most god-beautiful songs of the year. Maybe someone will tell him.” - Brad Wheeler – The Globe and Mail (National)

“Canada has an often unacknowledged talent for turning out strange, heartbreaking, wild-eyed poets. The recently deceased Irving Layton, the iconic Leonard Cohen, the come-latelies like Hayden and Buck 65 and Bob Wiseman. And now Craig Bjerring, better known as Oldseed. I’m serious. Holy crap, is this album good… Too bad I didn’t get to it in time to put it on my Top 10 of 2005 list. You’ll find banjos, guitars, distortion, yearning harmonies and busted-up, matter-of-fact notes of revelation and redemption on every track. Every line is so good it makes me crazy not to have written it. Here’s one: "You don’t just throw something away cause it’s banged up a little/Love your bruises, hold your scars cuz at least failure’s not the middle." Damn straight.”
5/5 - Shereen Tuomi – FFWD (Calgary)


1. s/t (sisyphus) 2004

2. "when you laugh the world laughs with you when you cry you cry alone" (sisyphus) 2005


Feeling a bit camera shy


when you laugh the world laughs with you when you cry you cry alone

craig bjerring believes that there are only two types of music; good and bad. which would explain his musical career thus far. From the funk/ambient instrumental the hummers to the raunchy garage of the vagiants to the improvised soundtrack of crumbs, bjerring has always been committed to making good music regardless of style. oldseed is bjerring’s most recent project. Wanting nothing more than to tour his music, bjerring recorded songs that stand firmly alone with voice and guitar enabling him to travel the old fashioned way. His first, self titled cd was self produced and thrown in his backpack in October of 2004. He left the comfort of winnipeg and commenced a perpetual tour that brought him, his backpack and his acoustic guitar from vancouver to istanbul, berlin to nashville. In that year, he managed to sell out his original 500 cds at performances and received very positive press from folks around the world (BR3 radio bavaria, B92 belgrad, CBC canada). His record was also picked up for distributon in germany by flight 13 records in freiburg.

bjerring returned to canada in June of 2005 and in between 2 cross canada tours and 2 u.s. jaunts, he recorded his second record “when you laugh the world laughs with you when you cry you cry alone” in winnipeg. Also self produced and performed, “when you laugh...” is a more focused effort than his first, mapping out the common human experience of love, loss, collapse and rebirth. From the opening battle cry of evil eye to the subdued woebegone to the resolution of when you laugh... at the end of the record, the album tells a poignant tale without being overly personal but rather relating to the general experience, in true folk-tale/songwriting tradition. The songs on “when you laugh...” focus on melody and employ strong imagery to create an all-encompassing visual landscape pulling the listener down to the very depth of the blues and back up to redemption. bjerring fully embraces the role of the bard traveling from court to court in an attempt to join communities through common experience. “when you laugh...” is the next step in his quest.

“when you laugh...” is being released in winnipeg to friends and family (who bjerring rarely gets to see anymore) on oct. 19, 2005 at the west end cultural centre. Immediately following that, bjerring will leave again to visit the various courts throughout the world and play for the royalty. He will tour winnipeg through chicago to toronto to leave for europe oct. 27. In europe he is scheduled to play cities in germany, austria, switzerland and the netherlands. Bjerring will return to toronto dec. 18 and hop a bus touring back through ontario to winnipeg. Home for the holidays. In the new year, bjerring plans to tour across canada and into the u.s. through January and February returning to europe for the spring. He will return again to canada to play folk festivals through the summer of 2006.

-“bjerring’s oldseed persona reveals him to be a sorta twisted singer/songwriter with a knack for quirky lyrics that highlight his worldly, knowledgeable persective.” john kendle-uptown magazine

-“stunned the crowd with his back road tales of misery and company” john lamb -fargo forum