Bluesnews no. 100 is out!

Bluesnews no. 100 is out now, featuring an 18 page artice on the Notodden Blues Festival history. August 3-6 the great Norwegian festival celebrates its 30 Years Anniversary. Read also interview with soul legend William Bell, blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd, EBC winner Kaz Hawkins, blues entertainer Mr. Sipp and much more. 

Eric Slim Zahl & Co won European Blues Challenge 2016

Eric Slim Zahl & The South West Swingers went all the way to the top in the European Blues Challenge in Italy on April 9. They won in competition with 20 other bands from all over Europe.

JT Lauritsen & Buckshot Hunters 3rd in European Blues Challenge

Jan Tore Lauritsen and his Buckshot Hunters (photo) came third in the fifth European Blues Challenge held in Brussels 13-14 March. As last year, a Spanish band won the challenge. The very entertaining Travellin' Brothers won well deserved in competition with bands from 19 European countries. (Photo: Roald Jungård).

Amazing Dark Season Blues

There are not many blues festivals in the world where you have to check around the corner to make sure there are no polar bears around. Despite the darkness and cold and harsh conditions, the annual blues festival in Longyearbyen has grown to be one of the major blues festivals in Norway. Sold out concerts and a good artist line-up created a good atmosphere in the arctic town. With names like Lisa Lystam, Marie Kristin Dale and Magnus Berg younger artists were also well represented.

Marcus Løvdal Band won Union Blues Cup 2013

The final of the 16. edition of the competition for bands without a contract was held at the main stage during this year’s Notodden Blues Festival. The quintet, containing members from Oslo and Akershus won, but not without stiff competition from the two other bands in the final: Borny’s Live Delivery, from Moss and Skogmus, from Stavanger.

Billy T won the Spellemann!

Last night Billy T Band won the Spellemannspris-award in the blues category. The award for the 2012 Blues Award was given to the release Mo-Billy-T, released on the Big H Records label. We congratulate Bill Troiani, Håkon Høye, Ian Fredrick Johannessen and Alexander Pettersen with the award. The Spellemannspris is the Norwegian equivalent to the Grammy awards and was handed out in several musical categories in the coastal town of Stavanger last night. The 'Spellemann of the year award' was picked up by Kaizers Orchestra, while the honourary Spellemann award went to jazz singer Karin Krog.


Italian victory in EBC!

In the weekend of March 8th and 9th European Blues Challenge was hosted in Tolouse, France. 18 nations participated and the big winner of the weekend was the Italian trio ‘Veronica & The Red Wine Serenaders. The runners up were Romania and Spain which shared the second place.


During the first two years of its existence Berlin, Germany had played the host to the EBC, but this year the local blues union of Tolouse, France hosted the event, in technical co-operation with the board of EBU. Apart from the challenge, the weekend also included the yearly board meeting of the EBU General Assembly, a pan European market place and social gatherings.

New festival at Hønefoss

The latest addition to a long list of Norwegian blues festivals is the Norsia-Delta Blues Festival. The premier run will be at Hønefoss from 16th to 18th of May, and the goal is to establish the festival as an annual event.


(From left to right: Tor Simen Granum og Terje Andersen from Kooperativen, speaker Gøran Stensrud, Jørn Ellefsen, Randi Nymoen, Yngve Nymoen and Åge Nymoen.)  By Rune Endal. Photo: Bitten Svendsen.  

Norwegian Blues Grammy Award Nominations


Amund Maarud, Billy T Band and Vidar Busk are the ones competing for the Norwegian Grammy Award aka Spellemannsprisen.
Maarud is nominated for his album 'Dirt', Billy T Band for the album 'Mo-Billy-T', while Vidar Busk & His Bubble of Trouble received a nomination for 'Troublecaster'.

During a press conference at DogA, in Oslo, Norway on February 12, the nominees gathered to celebrate, and maybe even wish each other luck. Left to right:

Bill Troiani, Ole Evensen, Ian Fredrick Johannessen, Vidar Busk, Håkon Høye, Alexander Pettersen (two nominations) and Amund Maarud.

Norwegian Grammy to Amund Maarud


Bluesplayer Amund Maarud is awarded with a Norwegian Grammy – in Norway called Spellemannspris – for his 2011 release "Electric".

Dana Fuchs played Mojo in Copenhagen

dana_mojo.jpgDana Fuchs soon became a hot name in Norway after her performance at last year's Notodden Blues Festival. She has recently finished a tour in Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Denmark. Norwegian BluesNews met The Dana Fuchs Band at a packed MOJO Blues Bar in Copenhagen, the first weekend of March. An enthusiastic audience supported Dana, and there was a magical atmosphere in the club.

Norwegian band Pristine no. 2 in European Blues Challenge

Pristine from Tromsø, Norway won 2nd price in the European Blues Challenge in Riga, Latvia April 11-12th. This was the fourth time for the band competition, which this year had participants from 18 different countries in Europe. The winner of the Challenge 2014 was the Spanish band A Contra Blues.

Full house and success for Color Cruise

October means time for Color Line’s blues cruise from Oslo to Kiel, and this year the cruise had a great line-up. From US came Nick Moss Band, Mike Zito & the Wheel and Dave Fields, from Sweden KnockOut Greg & the Injectors and from Norway Greasy Gravy feat. Linda Kvam and JT Lauritsen & Buckshot Hunters.

The stars shone at Notodden

There were many musical highlights during the 26th edition of The Notodden Blues Festival. Van Morrison with his band delivered an outstanding show at Brygga on Friday afternoon. The supergroup Tedeschi Trucks Band did not disappoint when playing the same state on Saturday. However, the band that everyone talked about after the festival was The Royal Southern Brotherhood. Mike Zito, Cyril Neville and the rest of the American super band gained a lot of new fans during their stay at Notodden.

3000 attending the Notodden Blues Festival opening

The 26th Notodden Blues Festival was opened, with a crowd of 3000, watching the main stage in Hovigs Hangar on Thursday, August 1st. Mayor Jørn Christensen and Gerd Kristiansen, leader of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) did the formal opening of the Festival, while the crowd were also treated to performances from Dana Fuchs, Charlie Musselwhite, Good Time Charlie and the new homegrown favourites; Norske Menn I Hus og Hytte!

Bitten still leading the union!

The Norwegian Blues Union had their annual meeting in Oslo, Norway this weekend. Bitten Svendsen was re-elected as president, while others being elected in the board was (from left to right): Kåre Amundsen (Kleive) Rolf Johannessen (Oslo), Svein Terje P. Førland (Stavanger), Mona Johansen (Oslo) and Susanne Sørensen (Tønsberg). 65 delegates were present during the weekend, plus representatives from 25 different clubs and festivals. (Photo: Rune Endal).


Tedeschi Trucks Band @ Notodden

Tedeschi Trucks Band will do a long awaited debut in Norway as they play Notodden Blues Festival 2013. The Grammy winning 11 man band led by Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks is one of the hottest names on the US bluesrock-scene these days. Also in August, Eric Burdon will pay another visit to the biggest bluesfestival in Norway. Burdon releases a CD this week, and will be keynote speaker plus playing shows in Austin, TX, USA during the SXSW-festival next week.

Mayall jubilee at Notodden


British blues legend John Mayall will perform at Notodden Blues Festival on August 3rd, as he also starts celebrating his 80th birthday together with his Norwegian fans. Mayall has been highly popular in Norway ever since he was part of the British blues boom in the 1960's. He will turn 80 on November 29.


Back in 2004 Mayall was honoured with the Blues Award at Notodden in honour of his effort as the main ambassador for the blues in Europe. Together with his colleagues, Mayall was responsible for introducing the blues music to a pan European audience, before the American blues had managed to find foothold across the continent. John Mayall is still going strong and releases albums as well as doing frequent tours.

Notodden will be the focal point of a small Scandinavian Tour this autumn.

Bluesnews handed KBA Award!

kbapris1.jpgOn February 1st, representatives from Bluesnews and the Norwegian Blues Union were present in Memphis, TN, USA, where they received the 2012 Keeping The Blues Alive Award in the category 'print media'. 14 other awards were also handed out during the ceremony.

Board member of Bluesnews, Elisabeth Solum and leader of the Norwegian Blues Union, Bitten Svendsen, accepted the trophy on behalf of the magazine.

Picture left to right: Kåre Amundsen, Gøran Stensrud, Anlaug Landsverk, Bitten Svendsen, Ragnhild Naas, Elisabeth Solum and Arne Swedin. (Photo: Roald Jungård).

Eddie and I - In memory of Eddie Kirkland


In 1971, I was asked by Pete Lowry, the owner of Trix Records, to go with him to Chapel Hill University in North Carolina, and be part of the house band at an historic concert there.  It was to be the first blues concert held on campus. The great Peg Leg Sam was there, as well as Eddie Kirkland, Frank Edwards, Tar Heel Slim, Roy Dunn and Guitar Shorty, among others.

Norwegian Grammy to Billy T Band


Billy T Band is awarded with a Norwegian Grammy – in Norway called Spellemannspris – for their 2010 CD-release L.O.V.E. (Just a Silly Notion). 27 different awards were announced during the big TV show in Oslo Spektrum March 6. On the picture, Billy T Band with the trofe, from left Bill Troiani, Alexander Pettersen, Håkon Høye and Ian Fredrick Johannessen. (Photo: Harald Olsen).