Norway has been blessed with some really good musicians and bands during the years. The jazz musicians Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal, Arild Andersen lead on in the 70’s, and several others have come after. One of my favorite musicians and artists is Knut Reiersrud, who has kept on with his music since the 70’s, establishing himself as one of the most fascinating and interesting contemporary artists, both in Norway and also abroad.
Norway have had an active Americana culture for years, with many excellent musicians and artists performing their own music in what loosely can be called Americana. In Oslo there are Americana sessions at the Buckley club, and this Saturday the Oslo Americana Festival was held at the Grefsenkollen restaurant for the first time. The venue has one of Oslo’s best views over the whole city of Oslo, which matches the festivals wide definition of the Americana style perfectly. (Photo above: Knut Reiersrud)
Thursday, July 30th, The Notodden Blues Festival will open with artists like Robert Plant, George Thorogood, Shemekia Copeland, Beth Hart and many others. The festival has been my favorite blues festival for more than 20 years. Here are photos of some of the artists at this year’s festival while we are waiting for it to start. (Picture above: The audience to ZZ Top at Notodden in 2012)
In the mid 80’s Heavy Gentlemen were one of Norway’s leading live bands. Their members were from the elite of Norway’s rock, funk and blues musicians, and together they presented a funky and potent mix. The band played mostly in Oslo, but never released a CD as a band. The different members were however active in many other bands and together they represent more recordings than they can count. Yesterday night they reunited together with some friends at Rockefeller in Oslo to celebrate drummer Paolo Vinaccia’s 60 year birthday.
The Norwegian Blues Union and the magazine BluesNews celebrated their 15 year birthday yesterday. The party was held at Victoria Scene in Oslo with most of the best Norwegian blues artists during the last 40 years. (Picture: The editor of BluesNews, Rune Endal, and the leaders of the Norwegian Blues Union the last 15 years.)