Beth Hart’s breakthrough as an artist came in 1999. In 2003 she released the platinum selling album Leave The Light On. From there her career has gone steadily upwards, culminating with a Grammy nomination for her collaboration with Joe Bonamassa and the album Seesaw in 2013. Her latest album, Fire On The Floor, was released last year. During all these years she has toured extensively, and also visited Norway several times. Last night she played at Sentrum Scene in Oslo.
Satyricon have been on tour in Europe and South America for the last two months, and at last they are back in Norway with eight gigs in different cities. Yesterday they played at Sentrum Scene in Oslo, and late January they start on a new two month tour in Europe. The tour is coordinated with the release of their latest album, Deep calleth upon Deep.
In 1982 I bought the album Men Without Women by Little Steven. Except for when he played with the E Street Band, the first time I saw him play live was at SXSW in 2015 when he participated in a tribute concert to Ian McLagan. In August this year he played at the Notodden Blues Festival with his fifteen piece band, The Disciples Of Soul, and yesterday he visited Rockefeller in Oslo with the same band. I am already looking forward to his next visit.
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)