There are not many blues festivals in the world where you have to check around the corner to make sure there are no polar bears around. Despite the darkness and cold and harsh conditions, the annual blues festival in Longyearbyen has grown to be one of the major blues festivals in Norway. Sold out concerts and a good artist line-up created a good atmosphere in the arctic town. With names like Lisa Lystam, Marie Kristin Dale and Magnus Berg younger artists were also well represented.
Jan Tore Lauritsen and his Buckshot Hunters (photo) came third in the fifth European Blues Challenge held in Brussels 13-14 March. As last year, a Spanish band won the challenge. The very entertaining Travellin' Brothers won well deserved in competition with bands from 19 European countries. (Photo: Roald Jungård).
December 13 is the opening of the brand new, majestic Blues House and Library at Notodden. The opening ceremony takes place at 17.00. From 22.00 the new stage will be opened by Notodden Roadshow, which contains several profiled artists and musicians from the blues scene at Notodden. (Photo: Harald Olsen).
Norwegian Christina Skjølberg recently signed a contract with the German record company RUF Records. The contract includes a record deal and a touring contract with RUF'S Blues Caravan. Former artists in the up and coming category that has toured with the 'caravan' is Ana Popovic, Oli Brown, Erja Lyytinen and Joanne Shaw Taylor.
The eleventh edition of the Svalbard blues festival kicked off on Thursday, October 24th. Once again the blues accompanies the polar night covering the islands located between Norway and the North Pole. With the number of visitors exceeding the previous editions, the festival sold all tickets before the first scale was played. The official opening took place in the cultural centre on Thursday night, where the audience were presented to some of the artists, among them, Southern Hospitality (photo).
From September 19 to 21 the bluesfest in Sørfjorden celebrated their 17th edition! The bill included artists and bands from the domestic and the international scene, from freshmen and debutants to experienced musicians. US band Sons of Bill made their Norwegian stage debut in Odda, and quickly won the hearts and minds of the audience. Amund Maarud’s highly energetic band (photo) did the same, just as an Odda-version of the radio show PILS.
This year’s Blues In Hell Festival turned into an experience it’s hard to describe in a few words. There’s so many impressions that we need time to digest them all. It’s a simple formula though: People + music + surroundings = magic. However, this formula doesn’t always work as well as it did at Hell Station in the weekend of 5 to 8 September. The photo shows the winner of the Hell Blues Award 2013; Sugar Pie DeSanto, on stage in the Magic Mirror Hall.
The final of the 16. edition of the competition for bands without a contract was held at the main stage during this year’s Notodden Blues Festival. The quintet, containing members from Oslo and Akershus won, but not without stiff competition from the two other bands in the final: Borny’s Live Delivery, from Moss and Skogmus, from Stavanger.
October means time for Color Line’s blues cruise from Oslo to Kiel, and this year the cruise had a great line-up. From US came Nick Moss Band, Mike Zito & the Wheel and Dave Fields, from Sweden KnockOut Greg & the Injectors and from Norway Greasy Gravy feat. Linda Kvam and JT Lauritsen & Buckshot Hunters.
This year’s Notodden Blues Festival was held from July 31 to August 3. Blues fans from all over Norway, Europe and the US appreciated the good lineup which included Delbert McClinton, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Hugh Laurie, Keb’ Mo’, Nick Moss Band, Rosanne Cash, Super Chikan and Rival Sons. Many musical highlights at the 27th festival at Notodden, but the organizers probably expected to sell more than 16.000 tickets during the weekend. Photo: Headliner Delbert McClinton invited the Norwegian singer Heidi Solheim as his guest on stage. (Photo: Roald Jungård).
For the first time there is a Norwegian musician in the German project, Ruf's Blues Caravan. Christina Skjolberg, the singer and guitar player from the Norwegian west coast, is together with British Laurence Jones and American Albert Castiglia fronting the caravan which had their first appearance in Norway in March.
Spoonful of Blues from Notodden, Norway participated in a musical project with Spanish musicians in Barcelona. Blues singer Montserrat ”Big Mama” Pradtseba celebrated 25 years as an artist and invited the Notodden-band to celebrate with her. During the week the Norwegian band spent in the Catalan capital there were rehearsals, jam sessions, interviews with local press, visits to the blues library, club performances and a huge concert at the Apollo Theatre.
From the church concert with Earl Thomas until the closing show with Nine Below Zero this year’s bluesfestival at Ørlandet went fabulously smooth. An excellent group of artists and no technical problems means that the promoters can be very pleased with Ørlandet 2013. Bass player Brian Bethell and guitarist Dennis Greaves in Nine Below Zero was among the ingredients in a wonderful festival program in the weekend between October 3rd to 5th.
They’ve always been popular in Norway, and this has lead to them visiting the country on numerous occasions. The Texas-band was important in the blues-boom hitting Norway at the end of the 1980’s, and their music has inspired several Norwegian musicians. During October 2013 they play several Norwegian venues around the south of Norway.
There were many musical highlights during the 26th edition of The Notodden Blues Festival. Van Morrison with his band delivered an outstanding show at Brygga on Friday afternoon. The supergroup Tedeschi Trucks Band did not disappoint when playing the same state on Saturday. However, the band that everyone talked about after the festival was The Royal Southern Brotherhood. Mike Zito, Cyril Neville and the rest of the American super band gained a lot of new fans during their stay at Notodden.
The 26th Notodden Blues Festival was opened, with a crowd of 3000, watching the main stage in Hovigs Hangar on Thursday, August 1st. Mayor Jørn Christensen and Gerd Kristiansen, leader of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) did the formal opening of the Festival, while the crowd were also treated to performances from Dana Fuchs, Charlie Musselwhite, Good Time Charlie and the new homegrown favourites; Norske Menn I Hus og Hytte!
Last night Billy T Band won the Spellemannspris-award in the blues category. The award for the 2012 Blues Award was given to the release Mo-Billy-T, released on the Big H Records label. We congratulate Bill Troiani, Håkon Høye, Ian Fredrick Johannessen and Alexander Pettersen with the award. The Spellemannspris is the Norwegian equivalent to the Grammy awards and was handed out in several musical categories in the coastal town of Stavanger last night. The 'Spellemann of the year award' was picked up by Kaizers Orchestra, while the honourary Spellemann award went to jazz singer Karin Krog.
More Articles ...
- Bitten still leading the union!
- Italian victory in EBC!
- Tedeschi Trucks Band @ Notodden
- New festival at Hønefoss
- Mayall jubilee at Notodden
- Norwegian Blues Grammy Award Nominations
- Bluesnews handed KBA Award!
- Norwegian Grammy to Amund Maarud
- Eddie and I - In memory of Eddie Kirkland
- Dana Fuchs played Mojo in Copenhagen