The 29th Blues Festival at Notodden in Norway is over. Four days with blues and related music styles all day and parts of the night. The official start is early night Thursday, and the festival ends with a concert Sunday at noon. Here are photos of the artists I saw Thursday at Notodden. (The winner of the Bues Prize 2016, Amund Maaraud and Little Steven)
Saturday was my last day at the festival this year, and Saturday is also usually the day with the highest attendance. Traditionally the festival have had a triple daytime concert at an outdoor area by the lake, but this year this concert was held inside the big tent. The question was wether the fans would still come for the concerts there, with George Thorogood as the daytime headliner. There was no reason to worry, the tent was packed during Thorogood’s concert, and also during Beth Hart’s concert later at night. (Photo above: Amund Maarud)
Oslo is a city with an active concert scene all year, but so far with very little activity in July. June and August see many festivals, and this year, Oslo Fjordfest is a new festival, placed in July. As a debutante, the festival have a realistic ambition, having 2015 as a test year. After attending both days, I am already looking forward to next year’s festival. (Picture above: Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell)
On Thursday this year’s Steinkjer Festival starts again with a night of local artists, before Friday comes with twelve concerts, and Saturday with eighteen including the day program. This will be my fifth festival in Steinkjer, and I am sure it will be just as good as the other ones. Here are some of the artists who are performing this year. I will of course come back with some new pictures after the festival. (Above: Ida Jenshus)
Amund Maarud has been one of Norway’s best blues guitarists the last 10-12 years. He started playing when he was a young boy, and was a member of the house band at the Oslo blues club Muddy Waters from he was 18. Seven years ago he changed direction with the band The Grand, playing heavy guitar based rock. At the Notodden Blues Festival he presented his new project that is a mix of blues and heavy rock.