Sometimes, not very often, a new artist releases an album that really catches me. I don’t remember the last time this happened, but I know I had that same sensation when Susanne Sundfør released her debut album, and also a few others. Last week I heard the album Infinity On My Mind by Kristian Torgalsen, and I was hooked.
The first time I saw Jonny Lang was at Antone’s in Austin during SXSW around 2000, and then at the big outdoor venue Stubb’s during the same event in 2002. By that time he had had one #1 Billboard album, one Grammy nomination and had released three albums before he turned twenty. This week he played at John Dee, fifteen years after I saw him the last time.
Ventana Abierta is an ideal art and culture organization in Nerja, Spain. They organize opera nights, wine tasting with flamenco, classical concerts and jazz concerts. I have attended a few of these, and I am struck by the high quality of the Spanish musicians I have seen. On Saturday night I saw Chapi Pineda Trio, with acoustic guitar, piano and percussion, and I got my eyes and ears opened to a musical mix of jazz, flamenco and South American bossa nova played by three virtuoso musicians.
Last weekend I had an exciting experience at the Norwegian town of Røros, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites with a history as a mining town from the 17th century. Here the Norwegian glass company Riis Glass held its 145 year anniversary party with a few of Norway’s best music artists. (Photo above: Åge Aleksandersen and Sambandet)
The Blues in Hell festival has been arranged for some twenty years and is still going strong. Situated in a congress hotell close to the Trondheim airport at the place that actually is called Hell, it is a festival that celebrated both the original blues and also newer variation of blue and blues rock. Here are my photos of the artists I saw at Hell this weekend. (Photo above: The Original Blues Brothers Band)
One of my favorite Norwegian festivals is Midgarsblot. This year is the third year for the festival, while my second visit. The festival is held at Borre in Vestfold, surrounded by tumuli, or grave mounds from the viking age. At the festival site there is a replica of a mead hall, where the vikings feasted, so you can’t get a more viking inspired venue for a festival that combines vikings and metal in many different shapes.
The last day of the Øyafestivalen 2017 had a more Nordic mix than the other days. Or it can be that I chose Nordic that day – six Norwegian acts, one Danish and one Swedish. With no other big international (“un-nordic”) names on the schedule, artists like Mø, Lars Vauler and Hellacopters showed that they can headline a festival just as well as many bigger acts from the US or the UK. (Photo above: Lars Vaular)
Friday at Øyafestivalen was a day many had been waiting for, with Pixies and The Shins as two of the bands. The EDM fans were waiting for Cashmere Cat, and there were also many who looked forward to see one of the most promising new country artists, Colter Wall. In between those there were many other bands, and I managed to see a total of seven acts this day. (Photo above: Kaja Gunnufsen doing her crowdsurf.)
This year the weather on the first day, Wednesday, at the Øyafestivalen was really bad, rain, rain and mud. Unfortunately I couldn’t go there that day, but I feel for those who did. As a consolidation they got some really good music with Lana Del Rey and many others. So, my first day this year was Thursday, when the weather was as it should be, sunny and just warm enough to wear light clothes. (Photo above: Gabrielle)
Saturday at Notodden was the day with the big headliners playing at Hovigs Hangar. But there were plenty of other highlights during the day and night, and also many good concerts I missed because they were playing parallel to the ones I saw. Here are the concerts I saw Saturday at the Notodden Blues Festival. (Photo above: Buddy Guy)