born the 1st of august 1910 , f.w.smolls lived, worked, suffered and loved as a boy, student, blacksmith, soldier, war prisoner, husband, widower, father, grandfather, old man through five different political systems. his grandson is singing the songs and is telling the stories his grandfather never wrote or told. he is f.w.smolls.
– Matthias Arbo Klein
Who is Matthias Arbo Klein? F.W. Smolls? Colonel Taz?
One of the bright lights on the music scene appears to be a multiple-personality expression of the artist formerly known as Matthias Arbo Klein. Maybe you’ve seen and heard Colonel Taz behind his drum kit, decked out in a tight black retro-suit, laying down some wicked tom-tom boogie rhythms behind the awesome soap-box musical theatre act known as Reverend Shine Snake Oil Co., and maybe you have yet to enjoy that pleasure. Or maybe you’ve wondered, “Who is this F.W. Smolls, anyway, that bearded wildman in skinny jeans, stepping into the spotlight on stage at Mojo Blues Bar, telling stories of unrequited love and lust, and singing the lament that lingers at the heart of Monday night?” Or perhaps you’ve witnessed the seemingly shy Matthias Arbo Klein, literally evolving from crawling to flying, before your very own eyes, as a singer and guitarist on the singer/songwriter nights at various København venues? Whatever the case, and whichever of these personalities you may or may not have witnessed, you will notice that this man takes a special joy in entertaining with his prolific songwriting, unpredictable and innovative reinterpretations of the songs he covers, and with a stage presence that conjures up an image of a reincarnated vaudevillian. The only thing i’m still waiting for is the addition of dance to his repertoire… then we can call him by that honorable old title, which i suspect fits him best: a real song-and-dance man.
-Randalf Randallini, doctor of asian medical arts and science
There is no one more willing and steeped in the true tradition of the troubadour than Mr. Smolls. He embodies the true character of the “working musician” always willing to throw down a song at the drop of a hat. I have seen this character grow from its infancy to a mature and realized concept with thoughtfulness and fragile intimacy. F.W. Smolls has arrived and I welcome him
-Claudius Pratt, Reverend Shine Snake Oil co.
“Matthias Arbo Klein is a natural entertainer. His voice sounds familiar the first time you hear it, but is completely his own. With his solid guitar playing and storytelling delivery, Matthias is able to intrigue audiences of all ages and tastes.”
– Ned Ferm, jazz musician/singer/composer