Town Rill

Town Rill


Original Piedmont Folk


Town Rill is both a student and innovator of American roots music. With his mastery of traditional finger picking guitar styles he creates modern proto-blues, funky love songs, and spirituals for non-churchgoers. You can't help but grin and wiggle your shoulders a little when this musical freight train rolls through.

Town Rill, who's real name is Birger Olsen, was born near Seattle, WA. His first musical foray was refusing to play the piano at the age of eight. When he was good and ready he picked up guitar and studied classical for seven years before veering off into blues and other folk styles.

During a recent stint living in San Francisco, Birger formed a gypsy blues duo with guitarist Travis Magrane called the Rustics, and worked as a sideman to songwriter Anna Laube. Now a resident of Portland, Oregon, Birger is backing singers Alison Rice and Tyler Stenson, among others, in addition to performing his own music solo and with his band throughout the West Coast.

Birger has released three solo recordings. His 2004 debut album received airplay on radio stations in New York, Denmark, Germany, and Belgium. His latest effort, released in July of 2008 and already finding its way to the airwaves, is an EP simply titled “Town Rill”. This fall, he will be appearing on a compilation of Portland musicians being released by the Berlin label Sonic Pieces.

Town Rill has performed at such notable venues as the Fillmore and Biscuits and Blues in San Francisco with artists including Keller Williams and Alice Stuart.


TOWN RILL - EP - 2008


SIMPLE PLEASURES (The Rustics) - 2005
Duo with Travis Magrane


Set List

Three hours' worth of original stuff and a smattering of traditional blues and spirituals. Some Mississippi John Hurt, Taj Mahal, Muddy Waters, possibly the Band.