When Gregg Allman had to cancel his concert at the Notodden Blues Festival this year, Delbert McClinton stepped in on short notice. The concert was held together with Royal Southern Brotherhood, and the concert at Brygga on Saturday, the big outdoor venue at Notodden, was an artistic success. The 4000 people in the audience certainly had a good time. (Picture above: Delbert McClinton and Heidi Solheim)
Royal Southern Brotherhood played at Notodden last year, and was the big positive surprise at that festival. They were rebooked this year to do three concerts – one with their own repertoire, the one with Delbert McClinton, and one concert together with two Norwegian artits, Heidi Solheim and Reidar Larsen, called Exile On Royal Street. After having practiced for the Exile concert, they decided that they wanted to include Solheim and Larsen at Brygga, too.
The concert started with Royal Southern Brotherhood doing five of their own songs before Delbert McClinton and their new Norwegian friends entered the stage. Delbert himself had bypass surgery two months ago, but he seemed surprisingly well after such a short convalescence. He did songs together with Heidi Solheim, and alone. The band sounded great, and Reidar Larsen’s piano added to the sound.
Festivals like Notodden are quite hectic, with concerts all day and all night, so I had to run midway through the concert. But what I heard was very good, from a singer who is one of the best voices in the rhythm and blues and Texas blues style. has has a kind of timeless sound that is easily recognizable.
Delbert McClinton has released almost thirty albums plus compilations since his debut in 1972, including three live albums. One of them, Live! was recorded by NRK P1 at a concert in Bergen in 2002, and he says he likes it so much that he has released it as a limited high quality vinyl album. Check it out!
All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.