The third weekend in March, the whole Blues Europe will be gathered at Hell in Trøndelag. European Blues Union's annual event takes place in Norway this year, and the festival and Blues society Blues in Hell is responsible organizer. It is the 8th time for the event, and in addition to the band competition European Blues Challenge, there will also be held an exhibition market for the blues industry, as well as the European Blues Union's General Assembly. Photo: The event general Kjell Inge Brovoll at Hell railway station (photo: Ingunn Nesset).
A numerous audience of mostly grown up people filled the Sentrum Scene in Oslo on March 9 to experience the historic golden sound of Motown Records' soul factory. The Four Tops (picture) and The Temptations were the greatest male vocal groups to come out of Motown. In the U.S., The Temptations was the more successful of the two groups, while The Four Tops were very popular in both England and Norway.
The Spellemann is Norway's equivalent to the Grammys. Prizes were handed out in 26 different categories this year. In the blues genre, the Spellemann was awarded to blues veteran Reidar Larsen, and to Norway's new "Queen of Soul", Noora Noor. Reidar Larsen won for "Best Blues Album", and Noora Noor for "Best Female Artist".
It has been 30 years since the Bergen Blues Band released their critically acclaimed first recording. Hungry John (picture) is now busy planning the anniversary events. This month there will be a new CD released with highlights from the band's first three recordings, and some of the former members have gathered for an anniversary tour.
In January came the sad news that musician, producer, studio- and label owner Willie Mitchell, had passed away at 81. Mitchell started his long career in the music business as trumpeter and band leader early as in the 50s. First of all he will get his place in the history books for his efforts as producer for the label Hi Records, and especially for being the man behind the soul success Al Green’s many classical recordings.
On Saturday, March 20, the Oslo Blues Club celebrated it's 15 year anniversary, at Buckleys in Oslo. The 12 hour blues party included blues concerts - both afternoon and night - two meals, speeches, "hobnobbing" and everything that comes with a successful birthday celebration. The Oslo Blues Club was founded in 1977, and after a ten year hiatus, came back to life in 1995. It is one of the oldest members of the Norwegian Blues Union, which has more than 60 members.
ZZ Top will headline the Skånevik Blues Festival this year. The negotiations have taken quite awhile, but a deal has finally been reached. ZZ Top will play on Friday, July 2nd, 2010.
Blues Music Awards is the Grammy of the Blues, and truly one of the big events in the Blues. This year the show takes place in Memphis May 6th. It is very good news for our blues scene to see that there are some Norwegian productions among the nominees this year.