The weekend September 6-7 is the yearly blues weekend in Hell. In Norway, Hell isn’t a place with eternal fire and damnation, it is actually a place outside of Trondheim. And there is nothing hellish about the place. You can get there by train – round trip or one way ticket, but the easy way to get there is by plane, since Hell is located in spitting distance from the Trondheim airport. The festival is one of my favorites during the year, and here are some of the highlights from last year, while we are waiting. (Picture above: Carolyn Wonderland at the Notodden Blues Festival 2012)
Blues in Hell is not a big festival, but it is a good one. You don’t get the biggest names, but you get some interesting names you don’t get at the big festivals. Some of this year’s artists are well known, but there are a lot of artists I haven’t heard of, which makes me more curious and eager to see them. I do look forward to see the Fabulous Thunderbirds, but I have actually seen them a few times, and I know what I’ll get, which isn’t bad at all!
I definitely don’t know what I’ll get from the three Boogie Woogie Queens, Sue Palmer, Anke Angel and Caroline Dahl, but I am definitely looking forward to what three boogie woogie pianists together will sound like together and solo. I have seen Canye Kane before, but that was more than ten years ago, so I don’t remember much of her concert.
Two artists I never tire of, even if I have seen both of them numerous times, are Carolyn Wonderland with guest Guy Forsyth. Carolyn played at Notodden last year, and played Blues in Hell in 2008 and also at the Nidaros Blues Festival in 2009.
Guy Forsyth has played at Bergen Fest and some other Norwegian festivals before, but this will be his debut at Blues in Hell. Both artists live in Austin, and they have played together on different occasions. Together with Carolyn’s band, consisting of Rob Hooper on drums and Cole El Saleh on keyboards, you can look forward to an explosive and expressive concert.
Davina & The Vagabonds became instantly popular when she played the festival last year. She is coming back this year, and I am looking forward to seeing her again. Her concert last year was good, and she will get a warm welcome in Hell.
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats is another interesting band who has been in Norway before. One reason why we like the band, is that their guitarist is our own Kid Andersen. He is a guitarist who many of us have seen since he was a very talented young boy, and he has matured and become a well known guitarist in the Californian blues society.
Other artists I am looking forward to, is Bernard Allison – the son of Luther, Ronnie Le Tekrø, Tim “Ledfoot” Scott and Dr. Bekken, which should be an interesting combination. Rita Engedalen and Margit Bakken is another duo that I love to see, and I have never seen Reidar Larsen and his guitarist Arne R Skage Jr. without a band before. Jolly Jumper & Big Moe are local heroes, while I am also looking forward to Dennis Greaves and Mark Feltham, the two founding members of English Nine Below Zero.
Another thing I like about Blues in Hell is that the Norwegian blues “family” are coming there every year, as they do at some of the other blues festivals. It is also my last festival every year, so this weekend will close down the festival year of 2013 for me. Blues in Hell is the perfect place for this.
All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.