New blues bar opened in Oslo

crossr1.jpgA new blues bar was opened in Oslo March 5. The blues duo Morudes with the brothers Henrik and Amund Maarud played at the opening night at The Crossroad Club. The club is located at "the crossroads" Maridalsveien, Moellerveien and Fredensborgveien, where the club M3 used to be. The blues bistro will offer a combination of tasty food and blues music, with a special focus on the "new blues".
The club is run by the company Alter Ego, co-owners of the big rock festival in Oslo – Øyafestivalen – and also the clubs Last Train, Revolver and Bohemen.

Billy T, Slim Zahl and Little Andrew nominated for Norwegian Grammy

spellem10.jpg

The Spellemann is the Norwegian equivalent of the Grammy Award. Three well known names on the Norwegian blues scene are nominated in the category Blues for 2010. They are Billy T Band, Eric "Slim" Zahl & The South West Swingers and Little Andrew. Picture from left Eric Zahl, Andreas Stamnes and Bill Troiani. (Photo: Merete Eide)

The European Blues Challenge

The Norwegian Blues Union (NBU) and The European Blues Union (EBU) invite Norwegian blues artists to participate in the newly formed European competition for blues artists, The European Blues Challenge. The idea for the contest, held in Berlin in March 2011, is from the International Blues Challenge held every year by The Blues Foundation in Memphis, USA.

King Solomon ruled at Notodden

nbf10_sb.jpg

The 23rd Notodden Blues Festival opened Thursday 5 August. The opening was as always marked with a free concert on the main stage with musical samples from some of the festival artists. The prestigious blues prize was awarded Notodden's successful blues singer Rita Engedalen. On the main stage at night Solomon Burke was back after five years and showed once again who is the King of Soul in 2010 (photo). Photo: Roald Jungård.

Earl Thomas charmed Hagan Bluesfest

hagan_earl.jpg

The idea of a blues festival at the small town Hagan in Vestfold county was conceived one late night during Dark Season Blues at Svalbard. Four years later the wild nachspiel idea has grown into a well-run festival with a very good musical program. (Picture: Earl Thomas & The Coalminers).

Notodden Blues Festival 2010 line up

nbf_arno10b.jpg
On April 13th, the Notodden Blues Festival announced this years festival lineup during a release party at Notodden's Club Arno. This year's headliners will be Solomon Burke, Status Quo, Robert Randolph, Walter Trout, Dana Fuchs and Tommy Castro. One exciting event will be the new co-operation between Norwegian super guitarist Knut Reiersrud and American soul star Mighty Sam McClain. The festival also has great expectations for the singer Dana Fuchs, who was present at the party (picture). 

Full score for The Four Tops and The Temptations

fourtops1.jpg

A numerous audience of mostly grown up people filled the Sentrum Scene in Oslo on March 9 to experience the historic golden sound of Motown Records' soul factory. The Four Tops (picture) and The Temptations were the greatest male vocal groups to come out of Motown. In the U.S., The Temptations was the more successful of the two groups, while The Four Tops were very popular in both England and Norway.

Music awards to Reidar and Noora

spm10_reidar.jpg

The Spellemann is Norway's equivalent to the Grammys. Prizes were handed out in 26 different categories this year. In the blues genre, the Spellemann was awarded to blues veteran Reidar Larsen, and to Norway's new "Queen of Soul", Noora Noor. Reidar Larsen won for "Best Blues Album", and Noora Noor for "Best Female Artist".

T-Birds and David Lindley at Nidaros Blues Festival

davidlindley1.jpgThe line up for this year's Nidaros Blues Festival in Trondheim has been announced. It includes The Fabulous Thunderbirds, David Lindley (picture), Candi Staton and Anson Funderburgh.

Reunion for Bergen Blues Band 2010

johnm10l.jpg

It has been 30 years since the Bergen Blues Band released their critically acclaimed first recording. Hungry John (picture) is now busy planning the anniversary events. This month there will be a new CD released with highlights from the band's first three recordings, and some of the former members have gathered for an anniversary tour.

Producer legend Willie Mitchell has passed

williemitchell.jpg

In January came the sad news that musician, producer, studio- and label owner Willie Mitchell, had passed away at 81. Mitchell started his long career in the music business as trumpeter and band leader early as in the 50s. First of all he will get his place in the history books for his efforts as producer for the label Hi Records, and especially for being the man behind the soul success Al Green’s many classical recordings.

Magical Dark Season Blues

darkseason_sims.jpg

Apart from meeting polar bears, this year's blues festival at Svalbard - from 21 to 24 October - offered all kinds of experiences. The lineup included local, national and international artists and bands. Visitors could take sightseeing tours, check out the kennels, watch a curious polar fox listen to the music outside the main venue, or behold the spectacular northern lights. Longyearbyen was bathed in moonlight most of the time, and the always smiling organizers did everything in their power to satisfy their guests. The picture shows the festival artist Bill Sims Jr.

Magic moments in Hell

popa.jpg

Many highlights and magic moments were presented from the main stage "Magic Mirror" at this year's Blues in Hell. On Friday Roffe Wikström, Omar & The Howlers, Bernie Marsden and Dana Gillespie ruled. Saturday it was the New Yorkers Popa Chubby (picture) and Chris Bergson, and not to forget soul diva Bettye LaVette, who gave the audience great moments.

ZZ Top success at Skånevik Blues Festival

zztop2010.jpg

With ZZ Top as headliner Skånevik Blues Festival had the biggest crowd ever the first weekend of July. Not only the mega stars from Texas contributed to this year's success. The audience could enjoy memorable concerts from artists like Bergen Blues Band, Knut Reiersrud, Trampled Under Foot, Beth Hart and Aynsley Lister. Festival boss Alf Warloe Christophersen and his crew of volunteers worked hard the whole weekend and gave artists and visitors a great blues weekend. Some logistical problems around ZZ Top's concert Friday, otherwise everything went smoothly. Once again a successful festival! (Photo: Roald Jungård).

Nidaros Blues Festival overcomes difficulties

nidaros_varp.jpg
This year's Nidaros Blues Festival has had to face some major problems, all caused by the ash clouds from Iceland. The festival had a great lineup, and blues lovers all over Norway have been looking forward to this weekend for a long time. But some of the  headliners - Anson Funderburgh, Candi Staton, NineBelow Zero, the up and coming star, Joanne Shaw Taylor - had their flights cancelled because of the volcano ash. Fortunately the organizers, led by Jan Engen and booking manager Kjell Inge Brovoll, showed incredible determination, and, against all odds, they managed to put together a great show. 

Big anniversary celebration in Oslo

louisianared10.jpg

On Saturday, March 20, the Oslo Blues Club celebrated it's 15 year anniversary, at Buckleys in Oslo. The 12 hour blues party included blues concerts - both afternoon and night - two meals, speeches, "hobnobbing" and everything that comes with a successful birthday celebration. The Oslo Blues Club was founded in 1977, and after a ten year hiatus, came back to life in 1995. It is one of the oldest members of the Norwegian Blues Union, which has more than 60 members.

Nick Moss and Rick Estrin to Bragdøya Blues

nickmoss_l.jpgThere will be some top class American blues at this year's blues festival outside Kristiansand. Among the big names coming to the south of Norway, are Nick Moss, (pictured), and Rick Estrin & The Nightcats. This is the fourteenth time that the Christiansand Blues Club and the Bradgøya Kystlag join together to hold a blues fest on the idyllic island of Bragdøya.

ZZ Top at Skånevik Bluesfestival

zztop2.jpgZZ Top will headline the Skånevik Blues Festival this year. The negotiations have taken quite awhile, but a deal has finally been reached. ZZ Top will play on Friday, July 2nd, 2010.

Tad Robinson in Norway

tad1.jpgThe American singer and harmonica player, Tad Robinson, has recently completed a short Norwegian tour. The last time Norwegian blues fans got to see this soulful singer was in 2007. This time he was on the road with the BILLY T BAND and two of Norway’s finest harp players.

Norwegian nominations to Blues Music Awards

red07.jpg

Blues Music Awards is the Grammy of the Blues, and truly one of the big events in the Blues. This year the show takes place in Memphis May 6th. It is very good news for our blues scene to see that there are some Norwegian productions among the nominees this year.