Denmark have had their own showcase festival, Spot, for some years now, just like Norway have by:Larm and the US have SXSW. The festival was held in its home town Aarhus this wekend, and many talented bands performed. The idea about festivals like this is to attract both the best talent and also the music business, to see if there might be any possibilities for both parties to luck out. This means that the festivals have a seminar program at daytime and many concerts at night. All the bands play 40 minutes shows, enough to get a feel of their repertoire and for them to show what they are worth. (Picture above: Kristine Stubbe Teglbjaerg)
If you haven’t heard or seen Hedvig Mollestad Trio before, do it as soon as you get the opportunity! She combines guitar playing in the tradition of Jimi Hendrix and other rock heroes with advanced jazz rhythms and phrasings. Saturday night she played Byscenen in Trondheim, and I saw part of her show.
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.
Every year I have been in Austin for SXSW, I have attended Leeann Atherton’s Barn Dance the day after SXSW is finished. This year the weather was perfect with sun an temperatures in the 80’s, there were more people than I have ever seen there, and everyone were friendly and seemed to have a great time. (Picture above: Leeann with Karpe Diem.)
In the 70’s, Rodney Crowell was a member of Emmylou Harris’ band, The Hot Band, playing rhythm guitar and sung duets with her. He also wrote Blueberry Wine that she sung on her first LP, Pieces of the Sky. Crowell quit in 1977 to pursue his own solo career, but Harris still recorded his songs. Recently they released the duet CD, Old Yellow Moon. During SXSW they performed songs from the CD and also older songs at the Antone’s in Austin.
At SXSW this year there were many father and son-combinations playing. Either together, or different gigs. One of these was Bobby Bare sr. and jr. I have seen junior some years ago, and he is definitely worth following. The last time I saw Bobby Bare sr., was at a rerun of a NRK TV recording of him, Chet Atkins, Jim Reeves and the Anita Kerr Singers in Oslo from 1964. It was definitely about time to see him “live live”.
The first time I saw Guy Forsyth was when he was a member of the Asylum Street Spankers, a totally acoustic band with “no demon electricity”, at the Antone’s in 1997. I liked what I heard, and I noticed this guy whose voice could be heard over the late night crowd at the club. Since then I have seen both the Spankers and Guy Forsyth with his own band several times. Last night I saw him at the Saxon Pub.
Antone’s is the Austin Home of the Blues. Last night they had a free concert with Ray Wylie Hubbard and Billy Joe Shaver. Both artists are true and tested Texans (even if they are born elsewhere), and this is quite evident in their songs. Ray Wylie is the most pronounced, and he also comes forward as the master of words, and Billy Joe also gave his best performance afterwards. (Picture above: Billy Joe Shaver)
For 15 years, from 1992 to 2007, Toni Price played every Tuesday night at the Continental Club in Austin. After a two year stay in San Diego where she came back one Tuesday every month to do a gig, she came back to Austin and she took up the weekly Hippie Hour tradition at the Continental. So far she has kept on playing Hippie Hour for 21 years.
Dale Watson is one of the artists I like to see every time I am in Austin. He plays a gig at the Continental Club every Monday, and tonight I saw him and his band the Lone Stars there. Dale has been around the block some times in his life, but he has come down on both his feet, and got more true sorrow to sing about than many of his contemporaries.