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Welcome to Blue Night Records

Updated: 4 days ago




It’s the middle of Fall, 1999.  I’ve just retrieved my e-mail from somewhere in cyberspace, I’ve just communicated electronically with our web developer in Great Bend, Kansas, and I’ve just sent and received electronic messages from Don Stiernberg in Chicago, from a music critic in New York, and from a friend in California.  All of this happened over the last hour in my Montreal hotel room!  And today I was given a tour of RSB Disque, the outfit that manufactured “About Time.”  Talk about high tech, wow!  What a world.  It’s even more daunting when one contemplates the turn of the century being right around the corner. What’s next?  Computer chips imbedded in our bodies?  Oops, that’s already happened.


Don’t get me wrong.  I love living in this high tech world.  It allows me to send this column from my laptop to yours, wherever you might be right now.  But to have meaning, technological change needs a historical frame of reference.  That brings me to “About Time,” Blue Night Records’ first release.  It truly is “about time.”  The tunes we selected are mostly from the 1940’s.  They evoke historical images, reminding us where we’ve been and helping chart our current position in a sea of change.  Take “Polka Dots and Moonbeams,” for example.  It’s about this guy who goes to an outdoor dance and sees the girl of his dreams for the first time.  She’s wearing a polka dot dress and dancing in the moonlight.  It’s such a simple scene.  Low tech.  I don’t know about you, but I need a dose of low tech now and then.


“About Time” began with the above notion in mind.  The tunes take us back to an earlier era --- when a guy had more time to dream about the gal in the polka dot dress.  As I drove home from the studio after each session, through an hour’s worth of gnarled Chicago traffic, I listened to the tape of the day’s work and somehow didn’t even notice the traffic.  Hope it has that effect on you too.


There’s another reason we decided to call our first release “About Time.”  As you may know from reading his bio elsewhere in this site, Don Stiernberg has been a professional musician for over two decades.  He has honed his craft playing various stringed instruments in every possible venue.  Bluegrass in beer joints.  Dixieland at ball parks.  Jazz in smoke-filled clubs.  Jingles in recording studios.  Yes, and even wedding music.  But he’s also played dynamite mandolin in sold-out concert halls and at music festivals attended by thousands.  I once saw David Grisman and Martin Taylor on a tour promoting the second “Tone Poems” release on Acoustic Disc.  At the close of one of the best sets of live music I’ve ever heard, they called Don to the stage.  These guys had been cookin’ for about two hours, and Don had been sitting in the audience with idle fingers (you musicians know what I’m talking about).  Well, he walked on stage, strapped on a mandolin, and kicked off “Sweet Georgia Brown.”  At that moment I knew it was “About Time” the world heard more of Don Stiernberg.


Finally, we’re new.  We’re very interested in your thoughts and suggestions.  Just e-mail them to me (


Until soon . . .


Steven Briggs

Montreal, October, 1999

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