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)
Yesterday this year’s Notodden Blues Festival opened. The opening show was well attended, with 3-4000 people, and the evening had three acts – Vidar Busk, Dana Fuchs and Mike Zito and Samantha Fish. This was my 21st year at the festival, and this is one of the festivals I look forward to every year. (Photo above: Vidar Busk) Continue reading
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)
When Gregg Allman had to cancel his concert at the Notodden Blues Festival this year, Delbert McClinton stepped in on short notice. The concert was held together with Royal Southern Brotherhood, and the concert at Brygga on Saturday, the big outdoor venue at Notodden, was an artistic success. The 4000 people in the audience certainly had a good time. (Picture above: Delbert McClinton and Heidi Solheim)
The Notodden Blues Festival is starting next week. This will be the 27th festival, and it has established itself as the largest blues festival in Scandinavia, and also one of the largest ones in Europe. In 2012 Notodden was named a part of the Mississippi Blues Trail as the only place outside of the USA. Here are some thoughts about the artists, plus some pictures of the highlights from last year. (Picture above: Vidar Busk and His True Believers)
Next Thursday, August 1st the twenty sixth Notodden Blues Festival starts. A program topped with Van Morrison, The Tedeschi Trucks Band, Royal Southern Brotherhood and John Mayall is ready for blues fans from all over Norway. Notodden is the meeting place for the Norwegian blues family, and this year’s festival looks very good.
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.
This year’s headliners at the Notodden Blues Festival included ZZ Top. The three elderly gentlemen from Texas played at an outdoor venue with a capacity of 10.000 people, and it was packed when the band came on stage.