Thom Hell is one of my favorte Norwegian pop artists and songwriters. He is not in the front when we talk abut new styles, but leans heavily on the master songwriters from the 60’s and later. But he writes some really catching songs, and to me that is often enough. Now he has released his 8th album, Until This Blows Over.
Henning Kvitnes has been around the Norwegian music scene since the 80s. First with his band Little Eden, then as a solo artist, going from English lyrics to Norwegian and gradually building a big and steady audience. He has played live at literally every nook and cranny in Norway, and yesterday night he played at Rockefeller to celebrate his 19th and last(!) CD, “Jada, vi esker …”. (Henning Kvitnes and Poul Krebs posing for the photographer)
Claudia Scott is born in Newcastle, but moved to Norway with her family when she was a child. Her father, Clive Scott, started Norway’s first country band, The Skywegians in the late 60’s, and Claudia performed with the band from when she was 10 years old. Yesterday she played a release concert for her newest CD, Follow The Lines, and she has come a long way musically since her recording debut in 1970.
We have many very good songwriters and artists in Norway, but few as good as Thomas Helland, or Thom Hell as he calls himself. He has released four solo albums plus a best of album in his own name, the latest, Six, was released a few weeks ago. Yesterday I saw his release concert at John Dee for Six in Oslo.
In 2008 Shelby Lynne released the CD Just A Little Lovin’, her homage to Dusty Springfield, still one of the best British singers of all time. I saw Shelby Lynne do the songs from the CD at the Austin Music Hall during SXSW in 2008, and it is still one of my favourite albums.
Unni Wilhelmsen is one of my favorite Norwegian artists. She released her first CD, To Whom It May Concern, in 1996. The CD sold to gold and won two Norwegian Grammies for Unni, Album of the year and Female artist of the year. Now she hs released her eight CD, with the long title Unni WIlhelmsen – Live With Bodoe Rhythm Group Featuring Bodoe Sinfonietta.
Richard Thompson has been named one of the best guitarists in the music world, and also the one with the most characteristic sound. It is not that he plays everything very fast or loud, but more that his style is so personally unique and with influences from an eclectic range of sources.
It is the time for Christmas and the yearly lists of the best albums of the year. Different magazines and radio shows have their own lists, and the forums have eager discussions about these lists. One of the music styles that causes the most discussions, is metal rock. Here are a few of the candidates for this year’s best metal rock album, international and Norwegian that I have photographed this last year and before. (Picture above: Enslaved, from the last Hole In The Sky Festival in Bergen 2011)
Chip Taylor is the American singer songwriter who wrote Wild Thing and Angel In The Morning before he started out as a professional gambler. Paal Flaata is the Norwegian singer songwriter who was the perfect voice in Midnight Choir before he went solo. Now Paal has made a CD with Chip Taylor’s songs and has got well deserved rave reviews.
Hellbillies have been Norway’s leading country rock band for 20 years. During these years they have played 1500 concerts and on Monday they will release their 13th album, aptly called “Tretten” (Thirteen). (Picture: Aslag and Lars Haavard Haugen 2011)