30 Sep Report of Blues in Hell Festival. (Norway) 2022
Blues in Hell Festival is held on the first weekend of September. Right next to Trondheim airport stands Scandic mega hotel where you will be able to find four different stages -one of them exclusively devoted to piano blues-, during three days of non-stop blues shows, with no need to leave the hotel.
Approximately 30 different artists and bands come every year to the festival, bringing together local artists with international names. The main stage can gather 1,200 people and the other stages range from 100 to 500 people. One can move around the various stages and enjoy a unique experience with approximately 15 artists per day.
You can easily imagine it is practically impossible to see every show, so here is a small summary of some of the acts I was able to enjoy in this amazing 2022 edition.
In all his shows at the Vikaune stage, a charming location in one of the hotel’s lounges/bars, Mike Sánchez communicated a devilish rhythm that caught the audience with his aim to please and his terrific feeling on piano.
One of the piano players I liked most was Anke Angel. Besides singing, she peerformed a very dynamic show and became a true entertainer. With a good staging, she showed her mastery in many piano styles, together with a more than convincing voice.
With his deep and traditional country blues and coming directly from USA. Roy Book Binder captivated the audience, performing on a simple but passionate way real Delta blues.
Undoubtedly Muddy Waters’ spirit was present along the whole set by his son Mud Morganfield. Chicago blues with an exclusive touch spices with his father memories on a really gratifying show, perfectly backed by a bunch of very professional musicians.
Few things can be said about Walter Trout fans doesn’t know about. Powerful blues rock that, in some passages, drove us to the 70’s, performed with an undeniable energy on a more than efficient way.
I didn’t know Norwegian musician Marius Lien, an artist with a terrific feeling that, thanks to his intimistic deep blues, immediately connected and impressed all people at the festival.
A nice surprise was the show by Jolly Jumper & Big Moe & The Jimbo Jambo Band led by Kjell Inge Brovoll who, among many other things, is a good harmonica player and Hell Festival director. A well teamed band with an outstanding piano player.
Another great bluesman coming from Netherlands was Hans Theessink. He treasures a remarkable strenght and deeply lives the blues. The passion he gives to his performing can be inmmediately felt in his shows, which could not be otherwise in the nice Hell stage.
BB & The Blues Shacks is certainly one of the best European blues bands. They are masters of jump blues, West Coast and Chicago blues. And if they feature an effective singer like Bonita, the result can’t be other than a superb set as the one they performed on the main Blues in Hell stage.
Coming from UK, Nine Below Zero showed they are in a really good shape. High voltage British blues by real masters of that particular style that seemed short to me, as they did an amanzing set, showing their mastery, experience and professionalism.
Winners of the European Blues Challenge 2022 and, thanks to Blues in Hell Festival as one of the various “Awarding Festivals” that every year book the EBC winner act, Harlem Lake from Netherlands presented their music in Norway. Blues with 70’s rock influences which gives them a remarkable personality and originality, together with an style quite different from most of the actual blues rock bands.
To end this small report of Blues in Hell Festival, let me mention one of the actual European boogie-woogie piano players gifted with an extreme feeling. I’m talking about Bart Szopinski, who comes from Poland. It is really nice to see him playing because he immediately catches us with his amazing infectious rhythm. A real pleasure to enjoy his shows at this superb edition of Blues in Hell 2022.
Text & Photos: Roser Blues