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)
2013 has been a good year for live music. At least it has been great for me. I have been to fourteen festivals, I have seen somewhere between 150 and 200 concerts this year, and I have enjoyed most of them. For some of them I have seen only part of it, but many I have seen the whole concert. Here are 15 of my best 30 concert experiences this year. (Picture above: the audience at Kvelertak’s concert at the Slottsfjell festival)
Friday’s biggest headliner at the Notodden Blues Festival was Van Morrison. He played the biggest outdoor venue at the festival, Brygga, with 8000 enthusiastic fans. Before Van Morrison, James Hunter played the same venue, and later at night Little Andrew, Beth Hart and the Royal Southern Brotherhood played the big tent. Summarized, a great day with one big positive surprise for me.
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.
I have seen Van Morrison on several occasions, and loved all his performances. My best experience with Van Morrison, is the concert he did at the Norwegian Wood festival in Oslo in June 2000. Both because Van the Man was telling jokes on stage, and making fun of his musicians. But also because of the dove. Today is his 67th birthdfay, but I sincerely hope he has no plans of retiring.