Fantastisk lederartikkel om Notodden Blues Festival i Blues Music Magazine!
Blues Music Magazine gir i sin lederartikkel i januar-utgaven fantastisk rosende omtale av Notodden Blues Festival.
Each year’s line-up reflects a broad minded, diverse musical philosophy. At this printing, they have already booked fest favorite Beth Hart, Buddy Guy, a Trampled Under Foot reunion, an all-star Chicago band featuring Charlie Musselwhite, Bob Margolin, Bob Stroger, Billy Flynn, Kenny Smith, and Kingfish Ingram, a Clarksdale, Mississippi band featuring Super Chikan and others. Bonita and the Blues Shacks, and Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band. And they are still working hard on two major headliners to
make this the blues party of the year. So exciting is the over the top forecast that the Blues Foundation plans to hold its Board of Directors meeting here this summer. Keep checking the website or Facebook page for updates.
Over the years, the festival has won numerous awards in its country for tourism. The festival turns the tiny Norwegian city of Notodden, population 12,000, into a cosmopolitan blues center of Europe, drawing over 20,000 fans from all corners of the blues world. For these days, the entire city becomes a blues world. Everybody from children to senior citizens walks the streets wearing blues garb and singing blues tunes. Only in Notodden can you go to the public library and be greeted by the librarians wearing blues festival T-shirts! The city was also recently named a World Heritage UNESCO site for its pioneering use of hydroelectric power plants.
It has pioneered the building of the Bok & Blueshuset which contains a museum dedicated to chronicling the growth of blues in this city, the Juke Joint Studio for recording, a performance area, and the town’s library, which houses the Europas Blues Senter, a very thorough blues archive.
During the Festival, there is the two-day Union Blues Cup showcase, a battle of the finest Norwegian blues bands, with the finalist representing Norway at the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge.
The Festival has also partnered with Stephen Van Zandt, who has attended the last two festivals as a guest, to co-sponsor its weeklong blues camp. The camp, which began in 1989, invites 40 musicians aged 13 to 18 spend a week in a musical camp now called Little Stephen’s Blues Camp to
learn the traditions of the blues.
There is also its Talkin’ Blues sessions, four one hour intimate meet and greets with many of the festival’s performers. [Full discloser: I
have been the host of these sessions since 1999.] In the past, fans have heard personal stories from musicians such as Charlie Musselwhite, Elvin Bishop, Little Milton, Snooky Pryor, Scotty Moore, Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, Jack Bruce, Mick Fleetwood, Beth Hart, Warren Haynes, Steve Cropper, Honeyboy Edwards, Eddy Clearwater, James Cotton, Kim Wilson, Rod and Honey Piazza, and many others.
Tickets and hotel accommodations in nearby Kongsberg can be booked through the festival website. These Kongsberg hotels are also where many of the festival bands stay.
With reasonable flights from Iceland Air and Norwegian Air to Oslo, this is the perfect time to visit both this impressive festival and also have time to behold the stunning Norwegian country. Most first time travelers can book Norway In A Nutshell excursions from Oslo which offer tours of mountains, fjords, and glacial waterfalls. Or you can rent your own car and tour the back roads on your own. It’s not uncommon to drive a picturesque road or mediate at the base of a 1,000-foot waterfall in perfect solitude.
“Let the music keep our spirits high.”