The Blues in Hell Festival has been a yearly tradition for me since the mid 90’s. The festival is held at Hell, a small place by the airport outside of Trondheim, Norway, and except for three years when it was called Hell Music Fest and the repertoar was pop/rock/hip hop, the festival has been true to the blues roots all the time. Being a smaller festival, they have also presented interesting and great artists a bit outside of the most commercial ones. (Photo above: The winner of the Blues in Hell Award, Jan Erik Moe)
This year is the 30th Notodden Blues Festival, and it is good to be back. The festival has grown from a small and enthusiastic happening to become Norway’s largest blues festival, and also one of the best blues festivals in the world. This year is no exception, and here are photos of the artists from the first night. (Photo above: students from Little Steven’s Blues School)
The second night of Blues in Hell had John Mayall as the headliner. They also had a CD release concert by Reidar Larsen and a surprisingly good concert with Tor Einar Bekken, Richard Gjems and Noora Noor in the acoustic tent. Swedish Knockout Greg & The Injectors followed up with a stylish and powerful concert before, like on Friday night, Davina & The Vagabonds closed the night in the acoustic tent, and The Travellin Brothers did the same on the main stage. (Picture above: Travellin Brothers)
Blues In Hell is a Norwegian blues festival that has a long history. It started as a hotel festival, then it became a Music Fest, with artists like Snoop Dogg, Dimmu Borgir, Turbonegro and Bob Geldoff. After the Music fest went bankrupt, the Blues in Hell Festival came “back” to Hell Station as an outdoor tent festival with the Magic Mirror as an important ingredient.
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)