If you want to see only one of today’s soul artists, you should start with Janelle Monae. Yes, there are others, they sell buckets of records, but they don’t have the natural charm and musicality of Janelle Monae. And their stage shows are bigger, costlier and much more cynically predictable. Yesterday Janelle Monae scored a new victory at the Øya festival in Oslo.
Charles Bradley has become one of my favorite soul artists after I saw him for the first time at the Oya festival in August last year. This year he played the Bergen festival in June, and he confirmed my first impresion. Tonight he played the Rockefeller in Oslo, and showed the fans that grown-ups can do just as well as the young ones.
Amy Winehouse is one of the most talented and also one of the most successful British artists in the first decade after 2000. She was nominated for six Grammys for her second CD, Back in Black, and won five. When she died in 2011, the same album was the best-selling album in the UK after 2000. September 14th it is 30 years since she was born.
This year at Bergen Fest, Naomin Shelton was the unexpected positive experience to me, like Charles Bradley was at the Oya Festival last year. And intersting enough, both artists are signed to Daptone Records, the foremost record company for old-time soul after 2000.
Nidaros Blues Festival is one of Norway’s many local blues festival, but it is also one of the best organized. I have attended the festival for several years, and I have always liked the festival. It is held at a hotel with four stages, a congress hall, one restaurant, beside the lobby and in the night club downstairs. (Picture above: Nikki Hill) Continue reading
One of the good things about festivals like SXSW is that you both get to see artists you have never heard of, and also that you get too see artists you have heard on CD, but never seen live. James Hunter is one of these, with some critically acclaimed CDs, plus one of the best songs after 2000, People Gonna Talk. I saw him at the Americana Association night at Antone’s.
Sometimes I see bands that I have never heard about, and because of that, my expectations are usually quite low. And often the expectations equals the experience. But not in the case of JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound. Their concert at the Continental Club during SXSW was far above my expectations.
Charles Bradley has got one of the greatest soul voices I have heard. It took him 54 years to debut as a recoding artist. Lucky for us he is still touring and putting out records ten years after his first one. This weekend he played the Oya festival in Oslo. Here are some pictures from the concert.
Soul music is known historically for their artists’ performances and their extravagant costumes. In later years many female soul artists have tried to enter the throne. Amy Winehouse was close, but Janelle Monáe looks like the most likely contender. Here are some pictures from her performance at the Molde International Jazz Festival yesterday.