May 21, 2024

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Storslagen feiring for Nidaros Blues at Royal Garden in Trondheim: Photos, Video

They got their challenges when the festival’s first 20 years were to be celebrated at Royal Garden in Trondheim, 24-28. April. but festival manager Jan Engen and the gang were not stopped by strikes in the airline industry. They thundered with full force and provided a celebration as everyone had hoped in advance. Among the highlights were The Black Sorrows (pictured).

The strike gave us some challenges, but in the end there were only two artists we didn’t get. A fact we are quite proud of, strikes the festival manager against Bluesnews, while Eric Bibb and Staffan Astner are well underway with their set on the acoustic stage Saturday night.
Belgian Guy Verlinde and his band, as well as Swedish legend Roffe Wikström never reached in time. It could have been far worse such challenges had hit a less experienced staff.

Storslagen feiring for Nidaros Blues

  • We realized what was happening. Therefore, we started rebooking three to four days before the strike was a fact. One period was 10-12 artists at risk to fail. All in all, I think we saved ourselves okay in relation to the challenges we faced, admits the festival manager.

Additional charge

Nidaros Blues had a new transport manager in place in the anniversary year. It turned out that she had a fire suit of the worst kind.

  • She has had to work both day and night, but it did well, smiles Engen about the efforts behind.

There were also some extra costs with the massive rebookings that needed to save the anniversary party.

  • We couldn’t take any chances. The new airline tickets cost money. In total, I estimate that all this will cost us up to NOK 70,000, he acknowledges.

  • And it’s worth it?

  • Yes, I certainly do. It’s annoying that it gets so, but we have the funds, and the anniversary should be, he concludes.

Eric Bibb and Staffan Astner start the festival manager’s favorite song in the background. Engen asks politely if it is okay with a little break in the interview. Of course it is. Five minutes later we are going again.

Good ticket sales

There were 1,600 people at the doors of the Royal Garden on Friday. The same number appeared during the Saturday.

  • We are very pleased. We can refer to more or less sold out houses. We have a varied musical menu, it is brilliant spring weather and top atmosphere. It became more hectic than we wanted, but we are very happy with the anniversary party, he concludes.

Fixed items

Nidaros Blues Festival has created some traditions over the years that have really taken root also beyond the regular blues public. The 20th anniversary party was no exception in this respect. Friday morning was set aside for senior blues. This time, the tables inside the congress hall of the hotel were covered with white tablecloths inside. On stage, Jolly Jumper and Big Moe & The Jimbo Jambo ravaged. In the large hall, the older guard sat and enjoyed the cuts, coffee and good music. The festival has a large device in motion to transport this audience from their respective residential units around the city. There is little doubt that the offer is popular.

  • Extra fun is the fact that they seem to like the music as well. This is a fantastic offer that is great to be with, assures Kjell Inge Brovoll, or Jolly Jumper as he is called when he is on the stage.


Saturday morning there is a children’s blouse in the congress hall. On the stage, it is Trondheim Storband who reigns. The musical menu consists of the biggest hits of the Blues Brothers movies. This free offer also seems to be very well received by both parents and children year after year. During the hours of the children’s blouse, there is a steady stream of families with small children out and in the hotel down by the river bank.

Current vocalist in The Original Blues Brothers Band, Rob Paparozzi, was on the poster in the anniversary year together with The Paparozzi Keyes Trio. And the vocalist wasn’t hard to ask when Jan Engen wondered if he would take any songs with the city’s big band in honor of the kids.

  • I was here five years ago and saw how great the program was for the kids. This is not my band, but they asked if I wanted to sing a little, and it gave me a taste. When they asked me again this year, I never doubted yes, smiles Paparozzi.

Music for new generations

When the first Blues Brothers movie came out, Rob Paparozzi was not a big fan. In his opinion, the main characters made comedy of the music he himself loves. This was a meaning that quickly changed when Steve Cropper himself called and wanted him to be a singer and a mouthpiece.

  • You don’t say no when Steve Cropper calls. I have not regretted, and I have had a completely different view of the film’s positive impact on new generations, Paparozzi acknowledges.

And precisely that is the children’s blouse on Nidaros Blues the perfect example.

  • We all see what positive impact this music has on the children. They have no idea what they are listening to. Then just notice what the music does with them. It is absolutely fantastic, while some of their parents also get an insight into the catchy soul music. In this way, the Blues Brothers movies have gained a position and have had an impact filmmakers hardly anticipated when they made the film, points out the cheerful vocalist from New Jersey.

Paparozzi had previously practiced three songs together with Trondheim Big Band.

  • The band can play the songs and have made some great events. Just applaud them for the effort. They show tremendous respect for the songs and the music, smiles Paparozzi as the plus of the repertoire and sang about 10 songs during the children’s blues.

  • The music of The Blues Brothers creates a great circle that in many ways ends when we perform it for kids like here at Nidaros. For me it is an honor to be allowed to contribute on something as wonderful as this. I like to come again and play for the kids in Trondheim with this great big band, smiling a glorious happy Paparozzi a few minutes after he has finished his own set on the acoustic scene along with The Paparozzi Keyes Trio.

Many treats

There were many goodies to bite for the public at the anniversary party, but it was also quite impossible to bring everyone along. Until that, the musical menu was full. For example, Saturday, The Paparozzi Keyes Trio went on stage as well as The Black Sorrows, and then it must be a priority. That’s how it happens when there is music from four scenes. The audience must walk from stage to stage to get a bit of everything.

The 20th anniversary was largely compiled by wish prices from previous years, so it was a reunion with many “old friends”. Like Ruthie Foster and her great band, this time with Hadden Sayers on guitar, and as usual Scottie Miller on keys and various string instruments. Both of these could have been on the poster at blues festivals around with their own bands, which tells its about the quality here. Ruthie sings some of the most, and this time she also made great fun of the fans. It’s stylish and very cozy, but not amazingly exciting for those who have seen her live many times before.

Two highlights

Andy Fairweather Low there were also many who were looking forward to hearing. The well-dressed Welshman served a very varied set that opened with the first guitar riffe he learned at home in the youth room, namely the intro to Route 66, such as Keith Richards played it on the first album of The Rolling Stones.

The Walian has been standing side by side with a host of legends on scenes around the world, such as Eric Clapton and Roger Waters. In Trondheim he played with his own band and took the audience on a musical journey in his more than 50 years of career. On the guitar solos he showed the meaning of “less is more”. In his world, it’s not about speed, it’s about feeling and touching. The set ranged from early English blues rock to swinging, blue jazz and 60’s. He does not sing like in the glory days, but it still worked very well for us who were present in the congress hall.

Another highlight, of course, was Booker T Jones and his band with young musicians. They served their Stax package both stylishly and superbly. The boss himself shone and looked to enjoy himself on stage.

Booker T Jones.

But with cancellations of Guy Verlinde and Roffe Wikström, we are still left with the feeling that maybe a lot of soul came this time. Not least since The Rhythm Kings with their soul repertoire had stepped in for Roffe Wikström. Anyway, little to get done with because of the flight strike.

Muddy’s son

Mud Morganfield was for some a highlight. The son of Muddy Waters travels around the world and so does no shame on family life. He will of course be compared to his father no matter where he plays, and together with the band he leads the legacy with great respect. We hope he will continue for a long time. Although the voice is very similar to the dad’s, he doesn’t have the same power. Still, it’s tough as fy and the closest we get to Muddy Waters in 2019.

Trondheim Friends

The Black Sorrows has many friends in Trondheim. Joe Camilleri and his band were at the top of the wish list list, and they also delivered a hit concert this time. We got the hit parade with “The Chosen Ones” and “Harley and Rose”, but the highlight of the undersigned was the glorious, raw and bluesy version of “Do I Move You” from the last album, “Citizen Joe”. A version that leaves no doubt that these guys have been inspired by the blues.

Acoustic scene

We were able to write a book about what was served on the acoustic stage. There, every concert was a highlight in itself. Eric Bibb and Staffan Astner took it down a bit and played vividly and thoughtfully, beautifully and delicately. It was like a velvet in the ears and people kept their talking gear calm and cost themselves.

He is actually called Johan Eliasson, but stood on stage this time as Bottleneck John along with his Delta Trio. Also their concert appeared as a balm for body and soul in the myriad of music that was served on the anniversary party.

Dutch My Baby in Trondheim. (Photo: Arve Reistad).

My Baby

The big talk talk didn’t really happen this year, but My Baby from the Netherlands was much discussed in the corridors. They represent something new, different and very distinctive. The music is very difficult to put in the cubicle. It is psychedelic and suggestive. They have a modern groove, interspersed with lots of funk and blues. Not least, guitarist Daniel Johnston, who comes from New Zealand, impresses with glorious blues-inspired riffs in the songs. Several of the songs also contain some fascinating tempo changes and transitions. Undoubtedly a breath of fresh air at the festival sky that really sets the tone for the genre. To the delight of many, and to great indignation for others.

Nidaros Blues has survived its first 20 years. The festival has evolved to become an ever so little pattern use by Norwegian blues festivals. They can show to sold out houses year after year. Together with the Royal Garden, they have made sure to be a festival the city wants, and also a festival people would like to travel far to get along. We are looking forward to the continuation. Jan Engen and the gang have been in charge for 20 years. Time has flown. The course is now staking out for new 20 years. It is just to wish everyone the best of luck with the continuation.

Eric Bibb på Akustisk scene.

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