Korona Blues in Sorlandet with guests from Australia and the USA: Photos, Video

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September originally set up a program with guests from Australia and the USA in Fiona Boyes and Heather Crosse respectively in addition to good Norwegian names like Steinar Albrigtsen and Monika Nordli, Nave & The Ghost Collectors and Jolly Jumper & Big Moe and The Jimbo Jambo Band. It was not supposed to go that way, but it was a concert.

The coronavirus led to cancellations, and it was unclear for a while if there would be any blues at Brekstad at all this weekend. But the gang behind the festival did not give up so easily. They put on a replacement concert, a so-called corona concert, at BarRock in Brekstad on Saturday 26 September. This was a double concert with Mats Nerli and Jolly Jumper & Big Moe and The Jimbo Jambo Band. Only 70 tickets were displayed at the door, and there was table service and full focus on arranging an infection-free event. The nightclub BarRock has for many years collaborated with Ørland Bluesklubb and stood out once again with fast and friendly service.

Koronablues på Ørlandet

Koronablues på Ørlandet

Jolly Jumper & Big Moe and The Jimbo Jambo Band at BarRock.

Mats Nerli

Mats Nerli from Istad outside Molde started the evening at 20. Mats was well described in the previous edition of Bluesnews after he played at Skjærgårdsblues on Veiholmen outside Smøla this summer. Mats delivered the same concept at Brekstad. On the repertoire were his own songs in Norwegian language costume, tied together with good stories. He was very well received on Veiholmen, but the concept suited Intimate BarRock even better than at the large community center on Veiholmen where the festival was forced to hold the concert due to infection control. Mats captivated the audience for 90 minutes with a small warning early on that talking during the concert was not so popular on stage. And from then on the audience listened.

Mats Nerli (pictured above) solo differs from his band Nerli There which is an americana / rock band that mostly sings in English. Solo, he appears more in the direction of a singer / songwriter. Both melancholy and humor are prominent in lyrics and performance. He should be ready for a larger audience, even though he himself says he is a little unsure whether, for example, easterners will understand the Romsdal dialect. There should be absolutely nothing in the way of that, and organizers across the country can be sure that guests will appreciate both lyrics, songs and performances.

Jolly Jumper & Co

At 10 pm, the trip had come to Jolly Jumper & Big Moe and The Jimbo Jambo Band. The band hardly needs any further presentation, and especially not at Ørland Blues Festival where the duo Kjell Inge Brovoll and Jan Erik Moe have been involved every year since the beginning. It will be 21 years in a row! Daniel Røssing on piano and Arne Skognes on drums complement the duo perfectly. The band delivers sky-high quality in several blues genres, and it was a playful set of 90 minutes where, among other things, Pengegaloppen by Vidar Sandbeck was also served in a light blues format. The boys were not allowed to leave the stage until an extra number was given.

It was probably not the big audience visit that the organizer hoped for, but the artists still delivered a fantastic concert. Primus engine and sound engineer Syver Srøbka said after the concert that it was a pity that people do not show up when you try to arrange something in the local environment that in terms of quality absolutely meets goals and should be to your liking. He still wanted to thank the attendees and the artists who really delivered this evening.

In the neighboring village Råkvåg there was the same evening a blues concert with local Blue Aspic, but since there was so limited capacity in both places (in Råkvåg there was room for 50), it was not expected that this would create major problems for any of the organizers.

We wish the festival good luck with the planning of next year’s festival. And then the blues jam, one of Norway’s best jam sessions, is back as well. See you at Brekstad in September 2021.

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Primus engine in Ørland Blues Club, Syver Srøbka.

Primus motor i Ørland Bluesklubb, Syver Srøbka.

Primus motor i Ørland Bluesklubb, Syver Srøbka.

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Tiger City Jukes invites to vinyl release at Gamla: Photos, Video

Tiger City Jukes was started in the big Norwegian blues boom in the mid-90s in the environment around the Oslo Blues Club. Singer and guitarist Knut Eide from Namsos met blues guitarist Harald Stokke in “Tiger City”, and after rehearsing for various bands ended up as a quartet with André Vrolijk on bass and Håkon Hansen on drums. The band has long been one of the leading blues bands in the country, and they toured frequently throughout the 90s and 2000s. Their first record came in 1997.

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The band took a musical turn after André Vrolijk’s departure in 2008, and in 2010 recorded the album Moonlight Crying. Here, the band presented itself in a slightly different style of dark, melancholy rock, in contrast to the swinging blues style the band was known for previously.

180-gram vinyl with fold-out cover

“Live in the Artillery Workshop” is Tiger City Jukes’ seventh record release. Now you can secure it on vinyl, a great production with foldout covers, by showing up at the concert at Gamla on Saturday. If you are lucky, you can also win free tickets to the concert in the quiz which can be found at the bottom of the case here.

Tiger City Jukes go on stage at. 20.30 and the doors open at 19.00. The band performs this evening with 5-man crew: Knut Eide (wok / git / msp), Harald Stokke (git), Helge Hovland (git), Atle Rakvåg (bass) and Espen Moen (drums).

– Helge has been in our soundscape since the Moonlight Crying recording, Knut Eide tells Bluesnews. – It’s extra wonderful when we can have him as a guitarist on stage. He has also been a bassist when Atle has not had the opportunity, but he is a “cosmic” guitarist who adds new dimensions to our soundscape. Besides, he is also a specialist in “brit-sound” rock guitar, so it’s a party to have him with.

“Live in the Artillery Workshop” has been on digital platforms since last year, but is only now available in physical format. Eide says that it is printed in a limited edition of 300 copies, so it must be first come, first served. The band consists of nine musicians, in addition to the five mentioned are Terje Johannesen and Frode Grøtting with the trumpet, saxophone and various percussion, and the singers Linda Kvam and Marianne Eide also participate.

– We also have our 25th anniversary this year, says Knut Eide – so this will be the first mark of dropping a album that in many ways sums up the path we have gone, with everything from a tribute to a blessed BBKing and up to the more swampy rock expression we had on our latest record.

First blues band on “advance booking.com”

Tiger City Jukes was the first blues band to use the pre-order.no service from NPS Music, where you can pre-finance record releases. In the campaign that has been going on for a few months, buyers could choose between buying LP, or LP including a guest list space for the concert at Gamla.

Knut Eide in Tiger City talks about the experience with the concept:

– The market is changing so fast, and it’s important to keep up. We thought it was interesting to try this out. The campaign was easy to set up, and the collaboration with advance-order.no went smoothly. Everything worked well. As an artist today, you have to do everything possible yourself. There are hardly any record shops anymore.

And with public financing platforms such as Kickstarter, the campaign is stopped if you fail to achieve the goal you have set for the campaign.

Quiz – win tickets!

Answer these two questions and you are involved in the draw of two concert tickets:

1) In which Norwegian city is the Artillery Workshop in which the live concert is recorded?

2) In which city did the Tiger City Jukes start?

All images & transcripts are of Fair Use and copyright to their respected & collective owners. Some images copyright AP, Clipart.com.

Folks at The Little Blues Festival 2020: Video, Photos

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On the weekend of February 14 and 15, 2020, Dag Bergesen hosted the sixth edition of The Little Blues Festival at Madam Felle in Bergen.

Helga was a great success with sold out houses both evenings and audience records on the afternoon blues on Saturday. The program at the festival consisted of a varied selection of bands from different places in Western Norway.

Folksomt på Den lille bluesfestivalen
Vetrhus Bluesband fra Odda sørget for en stemningsfull avslutning av festivalen.

Friday was opened by Olav Undeland’s new project, Blåstål from Voss. The crew consisted of, among other things, a bass pool, which is rarely experienced today. He also brought his son, Anders Bauthus, for nine and a half years as a guest, who performed two songs with soul and groove. Anders could tell Bluesnews before the concert that music was his only interest and that he sang classical, opera, pop and blues.

Further on Friday, Gray Blue Strings played with blues ladies Kristin Bergsvik, Annlise Ringsby and Tone-Lise Jonassen. It swung like just that and the crowd was very pleased. Friday night ended with the band Between The Lines. They were formerly called the Blues Brass Collective and come from Nordhordaland. The band has a full blown line and delivers concerts with proper traction and rich soundscape.

Olav Undeland and his new project, Blastal. The son Anders (9 years) impressed with his guest appearance. (Photo: Trond Johnsen).

Saturday started with afternoon blues from 14:00. It was Bluezifer from Bergen who played a short hour before a wonderful jam ended the day concerts.

Saturday night started with Anita Nordheim Blues n ‘Groove Company from Høyanger. She treats her saxophones with soul and swing and the songs that pay tribute to various blues ladies such as Etta James, Coco Taylor and many others are given a great expression. The Robert Taylor Band from Haugesund was the next band out, and they gave us an hour of proper tricks. Last Saturday night was Vetrhus Bluesband from Odda, a group we have known for many years. The atmosphere was electric and a couple of the band members played from table to table around the room. It was a crazy atmospheric ending to the festival with several extras.

Overall, the weekend was successful in every way. There were sold-out concerts on both Friday and Saturday nights, and “all time high” on Saturday afternoon with 150 guests. Bergesen can confirm that next year’s festival is already underway, and we look forward to it.

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Above: Vetrhus Bluesband from Odda. Below: Anita Nordheim Blues n ‘Groove from Høyanger. (Pictures: Trond Johnsen).

Festivalgeneral Dag Bergesen.
Festival General Day Bergesen.

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George Thorogood for the Notodden Blues Festival 2020: Video, Photos

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Rocker George Thorogood and his Destoyers are announced as one of the headliners for this year’s Notodden Festival. This will be his first visit to Norway after playing at the festival in 2015.

Other new names on the poster are Gumbo, Grits & Gravy with Guy Davis, Anne Harris and Marcella Simien as well as British duo Kyla Brox & Danny Blomeley.

George Thorogood til Notodden Blues Festival

George Thorogood & the Destroyers are set to top this year’s Rock Friday at Notodden on Friday, July 31st. Norwegian CC Cowboys were previously launched on the same day. The concert with George Thorogood & the Destroyers in 2015 in front of 6,000 people in a sold out Hovig’s Hangar still stands for many as a highlight of the Notodden festival.

After more than 8,000 concerts since its inception in 1975, 15 million records sold, of which 6 have sold to gold and 2 to platinum, George Thorogood & the Destroyers is still “Bad To The Bone”. George Thorogood & the Destroyer’s popularity did not disappear with the death of the physical record, but confirms its popularity with more than 72 million streams of “Bad To The Bone”, 20 million of “One Bourbone, One Scotch, One Beer” and 12 million of ” I Drink Alone ».

– George Thorogood’s popularity in our music segment is well illustrated by his nearly 1.6 million monthly listeners on Spotify, which is almost twice as much as Joe Bonamassa and Buddy Guy and more than twice as much as Beth Hart. All of these are great audience favorites with us at Notodden. George Thorogood is miles ahead of these. It is clear that we are happy with this booking, ”says festival director Jostein Forsberg in a press statement.

Gumbo, Grits & Gravy for the first time

With the musicians Guy Davis, Anne Harris and Marcella Simien, this band comes to Norway for the first time. Gumbo, Grits & Gravy are referred to as a party by a band and their music offers a plethora of styles that are mixed together. These are music from the American southern states with acoustic blues, zydeco, cajun and americana as the main ingredients.

Gumbo, Grits & Gravy  (Foto: Joseph A. Rosen).

Kyla Brox

Kyla Brox won the European Blues Challenge 2019 and did two very strong concerts with her band at Teledølen during the festival last year. Now she is back in duo format with her husband Danny Blomeley. From her stay in Manchester, England, Brox is in the process of building a great career touring across Europe. She has been nominated for the UK Blues Awards in the Artist Of The Year and Album Of The Year categories this year. As the daughter of British blues pioneer Victor Brox, she grew up with blues music to life. Kyla Brox & Danny Blomeley will be listening to Notodden’s Folk & Blues Stage this year.

Notodden Blues Festival 2020 will be held in the period July 30 – August 2.

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Kyla Brox.
Kyla Brox.

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Hagan Blues Festival, announces that the business will be closed down: Photos, Video

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A long-standing and too many welcome live offer at Klevjerhagan in Sande is now history. Hagan Music Festival, formerly known as the Hagan Blues Festival, announces that the business will be closed down.

For 15 years, the enthusiasts of Hagan Bluesklubb together with Nordre Sande Idrettslag have organized the festival which has presented everything from local elements to big international names in rock, blues and pop.

En festival-æra på Hagan er over

En festival-æra på Hagan er over

A festival era at Hagan is over
Hagan Blues Festival 2012 with Earl Thomas on stage.

– It is with sadness, but no tears, that we have decided not to organize the Hagan Music Festival in 2020, says the festival management. – Arranging a cultural festival for all the inhabitants of the village in collaboration with Nordre Sande Idrettslag has been an absolutely wonderful experience for all of us who have participated. Everything has its time, and of course it also applies to organizing the festival. After almost 15 years of operation, it is now time that an entire generation has grown older. Several of those who have been organizing have been with us all these years. It is as with collective governments, it is a form of wear and tear, and it is not always easy to get enough new costs to take over.

History says it all started when the first artist agreement was written on a napkin on Svalbard almost 15 years ago. From a somewhat cautious start, the festival grew into a large event on the outdoor scene or in a large festival tent with 100 percent professional execution in all stages. Both artists and visitors can sign that when they came to Hagen, they always received a first class reception and reception.
It started with one concert day in 2007 with five Norwegian bands on stage. Among those who have visited Hagan over the years are Earl Thomas, Gráinne Duffy, Knut Reiersrud, Sven Zetterberg, Jonas Fjeld, Sugar Ray Norcia, Never The Bride, Vamp and Trang Birth.

Above: From the first festival in 2007. Below: Atmosphere in the sunshine in 2008 with JT Lauritsen & Buckshot Hunters on stage. (Photo: Rune Endal).

For the past 3-4 years, the festival has experienced audience failure, although a more “mainstream” profile has also been attempted. A unified board agreed to “give up while the game is good”, as they did not find the motivation needed to continue. The festival emphasizes that they clearly have all financial obligations, so this is only a settlement.

– Hagan Music Festival has always been based on the blues genre. It should only be missing when there is a blues club behind, says the festival spokesman. – It has never been a theme to move so far beyond this. But it goes without saying that the next generation will have a cultural event according to the template we have arranged for. The blues is just one of several genres that are down in a wave valley when it comes to audience interest on larger stages. After all, you see the big key festivals in the country. There are more and more “mainstream” artists who are the mainstays, even at genre-based festivals.

The festival states that they “add a dock” with their heads raised and a great pride to have contributed to a cultural epoch in the village’s history with a solid dose of live music, partying and a scene for many local artists to joke about.

It is part of the story that Hagan Bluesklubb has in no way plans to close down the business, on the contrary, the goal is to do more club events locally and to travel on musical experiences at home and abroad.

– Maybe we can bring out the glow and interest in live music and create a party among the inhabitants of the village again? Now it is up to the rural population to prove that they want a place to meet and to bring live music with them, it says.

The organizers of the Hagan Music Festival wish to thank everyone who has helped make this “journey” possible: sponsors, volunteers, suppliers, media, artists and the public. Everyone helped set a proper footprint for cultural activity and partying in the village!

JBN thanks all the fiery souls for many years of good music offerings at Hagan.

Above: Earl Thomas at Hagan in 2010. (Photo: Nina Hanssen). Below: Vamp in 2012. (Photo: Mona Johansen).

The board of the anniversary festival in 2016, top from v. Bjørn Martin Bamrud, Runi Todok, Christian Grimsrud, Ben Johan Næs and Astrid Engen. Bottom from v. Ove Nørgaard, Terje Bakke and Ragnar Sørensen.

Styret for jubileumsfestivalen i 2016, øverst fra v. Bjørn Martin Bamrud, Runi Todok, Christian Grimsrud, Ben Johan Næss og Astrid Engen. Nederst fra v. Ove Nørgaard, Terje Bakke og Ragnar Sørensen.

Styret for jubileumsfestivalen i 2016, øverst fra v. Bjørn Martin Bamrud, Runi Todok, Christian Grimsrud, Ben Johan Næss og Astrid Engen. Nederst fra v. Ove Nørgaard, Terje Bakke og Ragnar Sørensen.

The board of the anniversary festival in 2016, top from v. Bjørn Martin Bamrud, Runi Todok, Christian Grimsrud, Ben Johan Næs and Astrid Engen. Bottom from v. Ove Nørgaard, Terje Bakke and Ragnar Sørensen.

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Blues Heaven in Frederikshavn 2019: Video, Photos

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Holy Week 1-3. November 2019 was the world-class blues in Frederikshavn. Arena Nord was the venue for Denmark’s biggest blues festival, Blues Heaven. The concerts took place on three stages:

The big stage, Arena Stage, a slightly smaller one named Stage 2 and the small café stage, Acoustic Stage. Among the headliners was Shemekia Copeland (pictured).

Blues Heaven in Frederikshavn
Shemekia Copeland at Blues Heaven in Frederikshavn.

The concerts on the two biggest stages took turns with about a 15 minute break so the audience could move from one to the other. If you also wanted to hear the music on Acoustic Stage, you had to make some choices, because here there was overlap in the program. Traditionally, the festival also had a detour to the local venue Freddy’s Bar, and also Frederikshavn Church got a musical visit this time.

The festival was the third of its kind under the name Blues Heaven, but it is a continuation of the Frederikshavn Blues Festival and – before that – Djurs Bluesland. Therefore, Blues Heaven 2019 could also mark the 30th anniversary of Peter Astrup Blues Productions, which was also celebrated from the stage with cake and “happy bluesday” song.

Curtis Salgado

Paul Benjamin – director of The Blues Foundation – welcomed the festival’s first name at Arena Stage, the American blues and soul singer Curtis Salgado. Salgado is known both as a vocalist and a harmonica, but we did not hear much of the harmonica in the concert which consisted of caressing, delicious southern soul and soul blues. Curtis Salgado is a formidable singer, and with a strong and well-played band in his back he opened the festival program in the best way. We also especially noticed guitarist Alan Hager, who with his icy, Albert Collins-like tone wrapped Salgado’s vocals in delicious and elegant licks. But also French Julien Brunetaud on electric piano and organ made a really good figure.

After the opening song “Low down dirty shame” from Curtis Salgado’s Blues Music Award-winning 2017 album, The Beautiful Lowdown, the blow section The Bender Brass came on stage. Baritone saxophonist Mark Earley, trumpet player Doug Woolverton and tenor saxophonist Jimmy Carpenter complemented Bobby Parker’s “Blues get off my shoulder”, which perfectly staged Salgado’s great voice.

Curtis Salgado. (Photo: Frank Nielsen).

Chris Cain (Photo: Frank Nielsen).

Chris Cain Band

On the first day of the festival, Stage 2 experienced American guitarist Chris Cain and his band. Paul Benjamin presented Chris Cain as “one of the best kept secrets in the United States”. Despite numerous Blues Music Award and other nominations, as well as twelve fine albums behind him, Chris Cain may not be the best known blues-with-more artist.

However, Chris Cain (guitar / vocals), Sky Garcia (drums), Greg Rahn (keyboards) and bassist Steve Evans played through a distinguished, compelling and varied set in front of a diverse audience, where the four musicians truly proved to be a well-functioning unit . The bandleader was also not afraid to praise his fellow musicians several times during their ten-song set, where everyone contributed fine games and good solos. “I love this band,” Chris Cain said, and the playing fun shone through the entire quartet.

Chris Cain is known as one of the world’s foremost B.B. King interpreters, and his skills are documented on the fine album Cain does King from 2001. Also this evening came B.B. The King spirit over Cain several times, for example in a bold edition of B.B. King’s “Sweet Sixteen”. Furthermore, Chris Cain was good at making B.B. King grimaces, so it almost seemed like B.B. King was present in Arna Nord.

Chris Cain also listened to Albert King heard in a rousing version of “Crosscut saw” with biting guitar tones. We also heard Chris Cain on Mississippi Keys Fred McDowell’s “What’s going to become of me?” We also got several Chris Cain tracks like “Drinking straight tequila,” which ironically presented as “a tender love song,” to in spite of the fact that this was in full force.

Chris Cain has also been involved in jazz, which could be heard several times.

Blues Heaven i Frederikshavn

Blues Heaven i Frederikshavn

Shemekia Copeland

Blues Queen Shemekia Copeland is the daughter of legend Johnny Copeland, and his spirit floated over the waters in much of her concert. She gladly acknowledged her musical heritage and sang several songs from her father’s repertoire, such as “Circumstances” and “Ghetto child”.

Shemekia Copeland has long since established her own name, and not least her latest album, the award-winning America’s child (2018), has cemented Shemekia Copeland’s status as one of her generation’s most important blues singer. From here we got several songs, and the strong and often political lyrics made Shemekia Copeland’s a different listening experience than most of the festival’s other concerts. “Ain’t Got Time for Hate” opened the set, quickly followed by “Would you take my blood?” Shemekia was charming and sang wonderfully, and she was backed by good people on stage. In particular, we noticed the two guitarists, Arthur Neilson and Willie Scandlyn, who both did really well.

Shemekia also used The Bender Brass, which came on the scene of John Prine’s swampy “Great Rain”, and also provided plenty of soul-sound to the Johnny Copeland songs. Not least, Doug Woolverton’s trumpet solo on “Circumstances” helped make this one of the highlights of the set. “Big brand new religion” got the mood of the southern state church before Shemekia Copeland ended with a rousing version of her hit, “2 a.m.” with lots of slide guitar from Willie Scandlyn.

Mike Sanchez (Photo: Frank Nielsen).

Mike Sanchez, Acoustic Stage

On the evening of the first day of the festival, you could enjoy the English keyboardist and singer Mike Sanchez, who was announced solo on the Acoustic Stage. Mike Sanchez appeared alone with a twinkle in his eye. One should be in a bad mood at all so as not to pull on the smile band several times during this eminent piano man’s performance.

Mike Sanchez is a bit of an institution on the English music scene. He has had his own bands like Big Town Playboys and was a member of Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings. Sanchez has the technique in order and he can really conjure up any assembly. He also did that night. We got rock & roll, rockabilly and boogie-woogie spiced with a splash of blues, so it was a real pleasure. Among other things, he performed “Blueberry Hill” and “ready ready”, and the large audience spontaneously clapped on several tracks. After a while, Mike Sanchez did not play solo anymore, for British harmonist Paul Lamb came on stage, and the duo played Slim Harpo’s “Shake your hips” to the great excitement of the audience. Another Brit – bassist Dave Stevens, who played several years more with Paul Lamb & the King Snakes – then joined. It was the first time this spontaneous trio played together, but everything went smoothly. A very positive experience

Curtis Salgado & Alan Hager, Acoustic Stage

Curtis Salgado is a masterful soul singer, but he is equally at home in the traditional blues. Salgado and Hager played an outstanding intimate concert featuring down-home blues with Chicago and Delta variants. Alan Hager sang “Somebody’s Been Using That Thing” – a hit for Big Bill Broonzy and his Hokom Boys in 1929 – but otherwise Curtis Salgado stood for the vocals. In contrast, in the duo format there was just as much focus on Alan Hager’s guitar playing, and it was exciting to observe the elegant style of the techniques.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Photo: Frank Nielsen).

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band

The last name on Arena Stage on the first day of the festival was American blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s great source of inspiration is Stevie Ray Vaughan. That’s why it’s fitting that Chris Layton of Stevie Ray’s Double Trouble is the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band drummer.

Besides Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Chris Layton, vocalists Noah Hunt, bassist Kevin McCormick and Joe Crown were heard on keyboards. The band was even reinforced with scissors and trumpet.
The band played a number of songs from different eras in the band’s career. Among other things, we got the blues song “Shame, shame, shame” from 1995. Here even a guest came on stage in the form of fourteen-year-old English “Wunderkind” Toby Lee, who contributed an ok guitar solo, while the vocals were taken care of by Noah Hunt.

Speaking of vocal work, we got Kenny Wayne Shepherd on vocals – and Noah Hunt on acoustic guitar – in “Blue on black” from the album Trouble is… (1997). However, Kenny Wayne Shepherd should stick to what he can, namely playing guitar, as in the Joe Walsh and Terry Trebandt composition “Turn to stone” from the 2019 album Traveler. Here, too, there was good cooperation between Shepherd and Hunt. The concert ended with the Jimi Hendrix classic “Voodoo Chile” as an extra number.

Toby Lee at Freddy’s bar. (Photo: Frank Nielsen).

Toby Lee Blues Band, Freddy’s bar

The second day of the festival began with dinner blues at Freddy’s Bar in downtown Frederikshavn. Here, the English Toby Lee Blues Band played, a young, sympathetic band with 14-year-old Toby Lee as band leader. The young talent Toby Lee has almost been a kind of mascot for Blues Heaven since he first performed at the festival in 2017, just twelve years old.

The Toby Lee Blues Band played through ten songs, which consisted primarily of heavy, instrumental blues rock, and that band should have adhered to, because vocally there wasn’t much to gain from Toby Lee, whose natural voice sounded like a fourteen-year-old voice. He has an indisputable talent, but he needs more time to mature.

The Toby Lee Band has an album ready for release in early 2020.

Joe Louis Walker

Rightfully the winning American guitar legend, singer and songwriter Joe Louis Walker is a bit of a blues institution and a great ambassador for the style. He has performed all over the world, has played with a myriad of other great blues names, such as John Lee Hooker, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, Taj Mahal and James Cotton.

The opening number was the rocking, swinging Joe Louis Walker composition “Not Not Messing Around” from the 1998 album Preacher & the President. Then the level was laid and it held with a few exceptions. One of these was a mysterious version of the classic “The train kept a-rollin”, which was delivered in a strangely jazzy version with lots of chorus, which didn’t work very well. The same must be said about the few times that pop-like elements crept into the music. Otherwise, it was a really impressive instrumental and vocal work that was put to the day by an engaged band that brought an enthusiastic audience along.

Above: Kenny Wayne and Joe Louis Walker. Under Tad Robinson and band. (Photos: Frank Nielsen).

Tad Robinson

American blues and soul singer Tad Robinson took the stage, Stage 2 in Arena Nord, with his band composed for the occasion. In addition to Tad Robinson, the band consisted of vocals and harmonica by a bassist, a drummer, a keyboardist and a guitarist. Tad Robinson had brought his old mate, super guitarist Alex Schultz from the US. Alex Schultz played bl. a. with Rod Piazza for several years and with the late drummer William Clarke. Interestingly, both the bassist and the drummer were Finns. Jaska Prepula plays daily in the Finnish Tomi Leino Trio. Kevin Anker was on loan from The Fabulous Thunderbirds. All the musicians made a good figure, both individually and collectively, and a well-attended audience welcomed the fat soul blues.

Thornetta Davis

There are many who believe that every blues festival should have its blues diva, and this year Blues Heaven had American Thornetta Davis from Detroit (pictured above). Not only is she a blues diva; she is also the blues and rhythm & blues diva. She has won more than 30 Detroit Music Awards.

Thornetta Davis has a wide-ranging voice, and together with the musicians she really “kicked” things off the stage. We got a nod to Muddy Waters with the classic “Got my mojo working” in a nice edition with good choral work. From Honest woman we got the rocking “I need a whole lot of lovin ‘” (to satisfy me), swinging soul-rock in the title song “Honest woman” and gospel-like notes in “Get up and dance away your blues”. We also received an enchanting version of “Pretty good love”, made famous by Big Maybelle in 1956. With great effort from all the musicians, Thornetta Davis delivered a versatile, high standard concert that will be remembered with the delight of an engaged audience.

Ian Siegal

English guitarist, singer and songwriter Ian Siegal played on the acoustic stage on Saturday. “I can also be hired for children’s birthdays,” he joked, for Ian Siegal was entertaining – absolutely – but he certainly wasn’t for kids. At least the kids had to be tuned into dark, political lyrics like “Eagle Vulture” (from his latest album, All the rage (2018)) and remarks like “I’m already sweating like a whore in church!”

Ian Siegal’s songs were intense. His airy, hoarse, almost half-whispering voice contrasted with the deep delta blues of the model Charley Patton’s “Pony blues” or his own “I am the train”.
His musical expression is versatile, and his set contained blues, folk and spirituals. From the latter category, it took off especially when he played “Mary Do You Weep”. Siegal had heard that the Danes knew the song with a different text, and so at his request it was screamed “Oh Marie, I want to go home to you” with full neck.

Another fun feature was his “Talkin ‘overseas pirate blues”, a talking blues in the Woody Guthrie tradition. (The picture below).

Top: Ian Siegal. Sub: The Fabulous Tbunderbirds. (Photos: Frank Nielsen).

The Fabulous Thunderbirds

The concert with The Fabulous Thunderbirds was met with excitement. There have been some changes in the cast since we last heard them, but as always, the central singer and lead singer Kim Wilson was in the front. The only other remaining was guitarist Johnny Moeller, and fortunately both seemed intent on delivering something better than what we heard in Horsens nine years ago.

The Fabulous Thunderbirds started with “My babe”, not Little Walter’s Chicago classic, but the 1959 hit with Ron Holden with the Thunderbirds (!). The band styled themselves around funky blues rock (“Wrap it up”) and boogie, slow blues with fine guitar playing by Johnny Moeller, and not least steamy hot Chicago blues. Here, Kim Wilson could really show why he is considered one of the very best living harmonists. His metallic, old-school harmonica style imitated the sound of Chicago’s heyday. Kim Wilson – the band’s only original member – was in good shape and danced almost throughout the concert while singing and playing harmonica. Guitarist Johnny Moeller was also in fantastic shape and behaved as if he were really at one with the music. He obviously could play anything, and he did it with body and soul so it was a real pleasure.

The Fabulous Thunderbirds was one of the top names on the Blues Heaven poster and one of the bands many had been looking forward to hearing.

Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, Acoustic Stage

Pianist Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne has stated that he “aims to bring the keyboard into the spotlight of blues music so it doesn’t disappear between all the guitars.”

It was an extremely well-mannered Wayne, who with small anecdotes and big smiles served dishes from the entire piano blues menu: Boogie-woogie, country ballads, New Orleans-R&B, swing, gospel, barrelhouse – we got to taste it all. Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne looked like someone who could stay up all night.

Along the way in Leiber & Stoller’s “Kansas City,” the ubiquitous Paul Lamb appeared; he was invited to the scene and promised to come back later. He did that seriously, and he signed in and started playing harmonica on Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia (on my mind)”. Paul Lamb stayed on stage for 6-7 songs. They played, among others, Johnnie Johnson’s “Tanqueray”, the spiritual “Down by the riverside”, the recently deceased New Orleans legend Dave Bartholomew’s “I hear you knocking” and a (well almost blasphemous) medley with “Got my mojo working” and ” Oh happy day ”!

Nick Moss Band

Chicago has nurtured a sea of ​​outstanding blues musicians, and guitarist, singer and songwriter Nick Moss comes in among the best of the last 30 years. Nick Moss and his various bands have been showered with awards. The band that Nick Moss put on at Blues Heaven this year besides himself consisted of the relatively recently arrived Dennis Gruenling on harmonica, Taylor Streiff on keyboards, Patrick Seals on drums and Rodrigo Mantovani on bass. An absolute super band.

Nick Moss & co. played through seven songs on Stage 2. Among other things, we got the almost Louis Jordan-like title track from the latest Nick Moss Band album Lucky Guy. We were also treated to a very, very long version of Billy Boy Arnold’s “I wish you would”.

Here Dutch Big Pete came on stage and together with Dennis Gruenling gave a long harmonica performance.

The last song was the Jimmy Rogers composition “Rock this house”. Big Pete, who had been there before, returned to the scene. Along with Big Pete, British guitarist Ian Siegal also came in as a guest. However, despite the many qualities of the musicians and the music, there were too many idle blues during the concert, which was unfortunately disappointing.

Above: Nick Moss. Subs: Dennis Gruenling. (Photos: Frank Nielsen).

Nick Moss Band, Freddy’s Bar

It was quite different when the Nick Moss Band played on Freddy’s Bar on Sunday, November 3rd. Here things were held in much tighter bridges than the night before on Stage 2. The songs were shorter and more concise than at the band’s first performance at the festival. However, Freddy’s Bar also had room for improvisations. On the other hand, they never got too long, and the band’s distinctive energy level did not in any way lose its momentum.

There were also guests at the scene this early afternoon. Curtis Salgado made his entrance, as did Paul Lamb, who joined the Americans on stage. The mood was high on the small stage at Freddy’s Bar, and the harmonica virtuoso Dennis Gruenling danced almost continuously with his white snakeskin-like boots on.

One of the festival’s most touching moments also occurred at this concert when Nick Moss, before the extras – sitting on the drummer’s chair – shared his memories of his friend and former band member Mike Ledbetter, who died as suddenly as just 33-year-old in January this year. It brought tears to many of those in attendance, including several who had experienced Ledbetter in Frederikshavn the previous two years with Kilborn Alley Blues Band and Welch Ledbetter Connection respectively.

The closing song “The comet”, which Nick Moss wrote about Ledbetter right after his friend’s death, was a nice and touching ending to a first-rate concert at Freddy’s Bar.

Gospel Heaven, Frederikshavn Church

Festival organizer Peter Astrup had included the Sunday event Gospel Heaven in the program. As Blues Heaven gathers a number of blues superstars, many of whom have roots in gospel music, it became a concert with mainly religious repertoire in Frederikshavn Church. Peter Astrup welcomed, before Joe Louis Walker on guitar and vocals performed a solo performance of “Not tired yet”. The next singer was Tad Robinson, who was backed by Bl. a. Alex Schultz and Nick Moss Band’s bassist, Rodrigo Mantovani.

Curtis Salgado started a cappella and without a microphone. He first praised the gospel music as “the mothership of blues, soul, jazz, funk …,” and then he sang the gospel song “He did it all by himself”. Eventually Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne and the rest of Joe Louis Walker’s band came in, and Walker himself joined in with funky guitar playing on “Let’s get down”.

Thornetta Davis received great acclaim after a festive “This little light of mine” with blown action by Jimmy Carpenter, Doug Woolverton and Mark Early. A subdued version of Percy Mayfield’s “Please Send Me Someone To Love” with keyboard accompaniment by Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne rounded out Thornetta’s Davis’ section in a nice way, before the IDMC Gospel Soul Choir ended with three songs.

Gospel Heaven was really a good idea on paper, and with so much talent present, the event had a huge potential. But the big, big problems with the sound made the church concert a disappointment. If Gospel Heaven is to be repeated next year – and there are many indications that it should – it must work with the sound, and perhaps it should be considered whether to adhere to acoustic instruments and to acoustic singing, – a set designed by the church to endure.

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Success for Norwegian Blues in London: Video, Photos

Post Views: 9,673

The weekend of November 8-10, the Norwegian blues community celebrated itself in a large-scale blues invasion of London.

The finale was in the very large parlor of concert venues in London, and perhaps in the world, namely the Royal Albert Hall. And what a brilliant weekend it was! Both artists, organizers and the audience beamed about the race after the final note died out on Sunday night. The Norwegian Blues Adventure delivered tremendously!

Success for Norwegian blues weekend in London

To achieve something like this, you need a man with big and crazy ideas, as well as a dedicated team that can put your dream to life. Long-time player in the Norwegian blues community, Eric Malling, had the idea, and the company Koment, Norwegian Blues Union and many volunteers provided the implementation.

Blues in church

Friday night there was a blues concert for the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in London. Eric Malling visited London on May 17 to promote the event for London-resident Norwegians. That trip led to a good relationship with the people at Seamen’s Church, so why not start right there?

Suksess for norsk blueshelg i London

Suksess for norsk blueshelg i London

The Seaman’s Church in London is located in the Bermondsey area, and is an important point of reference for Norwegians living in London. The small church turned out to house a nice lounge area, and further into is the church room itself. The atmosphere was very nice and the crowd was a mix of visiting blues fans and locals. The music this evening, the duo Jolly Jumper & Big Moe and Reidar Larsen, together with Arne Skage, stood for. They each did their own section before finishing with Mahalia Jackson’s Go Tell it on the Mountain.

And it is almost needless to mention that the evening ended with the venue being sold out for beer!

Jolly Jumper & Big Moe at the concert at the Seamen’s Church in London. (Photo: Per Ole Hagen).

Vorspiel on Subterania

Saturday was the day before the day, and as it should be heard and should be time for vorpiel. This evening it was the Norwegian Blues Union that was responsible for the program and the event, which was held at the Subterania rock club in the Portobello area. There were two concerts that day, both at 4pm and 8pm, with the same program.
In the first part of the concert, this year’s union band, Maldito, played before Pristine, Reidar Larsen with band and Eric “Slim” Zahl & The South West Swingers were in the fire. In the second part of the concert was Notodden Blues Festival Roadshow husband, while various artists guest on stage. In turn, J.T. Lauritsen, Daniel Eriksen, Hans Bollandsås and Helene Misund, Trond Ytterbø, Åste Sem, Spoonful of Blues and Joakim Tinderholt.

Chaplain Jostein Forsberg made sure to tie it all together effectively.

For us in the audience it was a fantastic concert, with a lot of varied music. The exchanges between the artists went fast, making sure people didn’t lose the mood and thread along the way. The room was good, with stands down in front of the stage as well as a gallery with both standing and seating upstairs.

On stage at Subterania: Arne Skage, Morten Omlid, Joakim Tuinderholt, Jostein Forsberg, Tony Caddle and Daniel Eriksen. Below: Jostein Forsberg tied together the many musical elements. (Photo: Per Ole Hagen).

Pristine delivered a sparkling performance. (Photo: Per Ole Hagen).

Well back at the hotel, no one would go to bed, and we are not surprised if turnover records were set at the bar in the early night. The delicious blues caramel we had all wanted to suck a little extra time on!

Norwegian show in London’s Great Hall

As Åge (Aleksandersen) sang in his big hit from 1975, it is far back to the Royal Albert Hall for Norwegian bands. Sunday night in London broke this myth as Norwegian musicians entered the prestigious stage and delivered a concert night that will not be overstated at first.

Royal Albert Hall was erected in memory of Queen Victoria’s husband, German Prince Albert. Victoria loved her husband dearly and was crushed when he died in 1861, just 42 years old. For the rest of her life, Victoria wore mourning clothes. The hall was inaugurated in 1871, and nothing should be saved during the construction. Even today, the concert arena is sensational. The stage is framed in deep red velvet, as well as seats at several heights. There was also seating on the floor in front of the stage.

Around the hall there are walkways all around, and on the walls you can see pictures from live performances in the hall. There is pomp and splendor for all the money, and a very beautiful hall. Most of the audience came early, and took the opportunity to look around and visit one of several bars.

Initiator of the big event in London, Eric Malling, thanks the audience and artists from the scene. (Photo: Per Ole Hagen).

Eric Malling had pulled in the fine station for the occasion, posing in sober tuxedo, which was just right. He welcomed Royal Albert Hall and The Norwegian Blues Adventure, and was probably influenced by the moment. He left the stage to Vidar Busk, who, wearing newly purchased white suit from Camden, started tonight’s show with his song I Came Here To Rock – and then the fun started.

Amund Maarud served as chaplain this evening and was also constantly watching and listening to the guitar. As a “narrator” between some elements, we could hear Bill Troiani’s voice.

Vidar Busk set the standard for the show with the opening song “I Came Here To Rock”. (Photo: Per Ole Hagen).

The different artists played one to four songs each. The musicians went on and off the stage, visiting each other’s performances. Besides Vidar, Amund Maarud, Kurt Slevigen, Bjørn Berge, Trudy & Dave, Ronnie Jacobsen, Terje Nordgarden, Magnus Berg, Kid Andersen, Tor E. Bekken, Richard Gjems, Tora Dahle Aagård and Knut Reiersrud played.

Drums and percussion took care of Henrik Maarud and Martin Windstad, and the bass job was shared between Bill Troiani and Rune Endal. A wonderful wind series with Bendik Brænne on saxophone, Petter Marius Gundersen on trumpet and Hans Foyn Friis on trombone color for many of the artists.

Like the night before, the music mix worked optimally. The scenes changed lightning fast, and the musical got the audience everything from americana to both old and more modern blues. The sound was very good and the sound in the beautiful hall was adventurous.

Best of all, perhaps the great soundscape came to light when Dr. Bekken and Richard Gjems played their song Midisjollin, based on folk tunes from Finnskogen. With just piano and harmonica they enthralled the audience with extraordinarily beautiful music, and were able to raise the evening’s most intense applause.

Guitar power in “The Hall”: From v. Amund Maarud, Knut Reiersrud, Kurt Slevigen, Vidar Busk, Ronnie Jacobsen, Kid Andersen and Tora Dahle Aagård. (Photo: Per Ole Hagen).

The technical was supported by Jan Olav Sandsmark (sound), Per Marius Larsen (light), Pål Emil Storm-Berg (backline) and Stig Kamonen (monitor and technical coordination), and everything worked very well.

The music lasted from 7pm to 10:30 pm, including a half hour break. At the end, the program cracked a bit, and the final song on the set program, Vidar Busks Stompin ‘Our Feet With Joy, had to be dropped, due to very stiff fines if the artists exceeded the agreed time. All in all, everyone was well pleased with what had been served from the stage, and broad smiles and the very large superlatives characterized the audience.

Chaplain Maarud thanked for the evening, and exclaimed that “I will never forget this”. And those words probably cover the feeling everyone else in the hall and on stage left with. A slightly devotional feeling of having been involved in something big and unique, right one night for the history books.

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Publikum i spektakulære Royal Albert Hall.

Publikum i spektakulære Royal Albert Hall.

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All images & transcripts are of Fair Use and copyright to their respected & collective owners. Some images copyright AP, Clipart.com.