May 29, 2024

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Blues in Hell 2019 is not for little ones … Photos, Video

Blues In Hell is not for little ones. Here you have to be both persevering and creative to bring the goodies to the menu. The music is served from four stages for two days to the end, and it’s absolutely impossible to get absolutely everything.

A very conscious choice according to the manager himself, Kjell Inge Brovoll. Two good blues names at this year’s festival were Jontavious Willis and Vasti Jackson (pictured).

Musikalsk triatlon på Blues In Hell

Kjell Inge grins raw when JBN is asked how we are doing at the festival, and we answer:

  • We have great sovereignty, but have a problem: It is impossible to bring everything with you.

  • This is a very conscious choice on our part. We have so many people in the hotel at the same time. In order to make it all flow without dangerous bottlenecks, we have to get people scattered around the different scenes. The logistics are very carefully planned. So it’s good to hear that it works, explains Hellboss Brovoll.

And here we are at the core of Blues In Hell. The festival is packed with good concerts, something for everyone. From the acoustic stage shot Jontavious Willis to Silya and The Sailors and Steinar Albrigtsen on the main stage. From John Németh, Jo Harman and BB & The Blues Shacks up in the Vertigo Bar to King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys, Maldito and Swedish Among Lynx, to name a few in the Magic Market.

90 concerts

In total, nearly 90 concerts were arranged during this year’s Blues In Hell. In fact, that means nearly 10,000 people have been exposed to blues and blues-related music along the way.

  • We have had school concerts for around 1500 students. We have had concerts for 600 pensioners and the elderly, as well as free concerts at Hell shopping center, Shopping street at Stjørdal and Hell station, Brovoll summarizes.

Inside the Scandic hotel itself in Hell, 40 concerts were performed only during Friday and Saturday.

  • The hotel is as created for an event like this, points out the festival manager.

And we have to put him right in that claim. In fact, it was 1,700 people who solved tickets for Friday’s concerts. Saturday there were 1,600 eager blues enthusiasts. Even with so many people present, there were rarely any queues or troublesome bottlenecks along the way.

  • We are very pleased with the ticket sales. We will end up with one plus in the accounts of around NOK 250,000, Brovoll confirms and continues:

  • We are working towards a buffer of NOK 500,000. We need that after spending a few years with minus numbers.

Blues In Hell Award

Friday opened with the eternal Diz Watson and Tony Uter being awarded the Blues In Hell Award. Watson, who has turned 71, has visited both Nidaros Blues and Blues In Hell countless times over the years. Congas king Tony Uter, who played 15 years in the band of Bob Marley, celebrated his own 90th birthday earlier this year. He is “still going strong”. The duo has almost become as familiar a view of the Trøndelag festivals as Jolly Jumper and Big Moe. Thus, it might have been in the cards that this time it was precisely these two who were to be honored, and so it was. Much to the delight of the audience, and not least two proud protagonists. Here both received visible evidence of their long-standing efforts in the music and blues service.


JBN’s frightened confession readily admits that he sat on the plane heading south towards Værnes and clad vigorously in his short hair, while emphasizing which concerts should, and only should, be prioritized in a full-fledged program. Once we arrived at Scandic Hotel, we quickly talked to two experienced festival veterans from the Oslo Blues Club. Without revealing too much, we can call them “Rolf and Kristin”. The conversation was drawn to the many collisions in the program. Before the trip to Hell, the duo had made their own overview, to find out how the Friday and Saturday courses could best stand out. A completed checked form was shown. The same form was confiscated on the spot and then included in this summary. In addition, it was quick to understand that Little Andrew & His Band had to be prioritized at the expense of talented Peter Price. That Guy Forsyth Band made sure I didn’t see the Swedish ladies in Among Lynx. Friday’s concert was tough for the young Swedes, at least for the public. It was glittering in the Magic Market as they competed for the public’s favor while Guy Forsyth and Swedish The Kingbees played. Fortunately, Among Lynx got their resurrection on Saturday morning, when they had everyone’s attention on the same scene ahead of home heroes Jolly Jumper and Big Moe.

Jontavious Willis

On Saturday, the program seemed even closer and it was even harder to prioritize what to hear. The Kyla Brox Band started 15 minutes before Jontavious Willis, who in turn started half an hour before Amund Maarud. And we just have to say, it was extremely difficult to leave Willis’s concert before it was finished. The 23-year-old star shot, which got the fabulous debut album produced by Messrs. Keb Mo and Taj Mahal, captivated audiences on the acoustic stage. He told little anecdotes about the ancient songs, and served them with charm and vigor.

  • You can play whatever you like on guitar or harmonica, but it is the story that is important, he smiled expletively along the way and sang the lady who constantly appeared on his visit, and about changes in the world and moving to new countries and continents.

King Pleasure show

Beyond Saturday night, it was annoyingly difficult with Steinar Albrigtsen on stage 15 minutes before the John Nemeth Band went upstairs in the hotel bar. Annoying because you almost had to show up 15 minutes before showtime at the Vertigo Bar to get some close contact with the main actors on stage.

Half an hour into the concert of the best Nemeth entered King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys Magic Market. King Pleasure, as he calls himself, still holds the strings of vocal and baritone scissors, while elleville Shark Van Schtoop doesn’t just play bass so it cries. The little bouncy ball roams around the stage, running its own little standup show with the help of mimicry and cops and playing hide and seek with himself and the bass player. Watching him is a highlight in itself. After more than 30 years on the road, there is also no doubt that the band knows their business musically as well. This is swinging big band blues / jazz, as it was served in the mid-1940s. It is not unlike Louis Jordan in his heyday. Fortunately, we managed to tear ourselves away at the end of John Nemeth’s set, so we got to enjoy Kinge Pleasure and the happy gang from Brexit Island.

Enchanting Blues Shacks

Then we had the choice, Jo Harman or Dane Fuchs? Blues Aspic or Caravan Joe, before the superb Germans in BB & The Blues Shacks launched their amazing show at the Vertigo Bar half an hour after midnight. The Germans were given priority. Incidentally, a very select few took this evening. The brothers Michael and Andreas Arlt gave us a solid dose of the best brand of blues, swing and soul. They paid tribute to Otis Rush and BB King, forcing blissful smiles on the faces of those who still endured Kjell Inge Brovoll’s musical triathlon. They did not leave until they had played for an hour and 40 minutes on the small stage.

When the fun was over, it was just to feel tired, but happy to continue in a hotel room nearby. We had a lot to digest, and for that we the organizers are eternally grateful.

Blues In Hell 2019 was a real power pack with large doses of great music. A safe and experienced staff made sure that most things went on rails. Then it may also be that the undersigned had to prioritize goodies along the way. It’s a luxury issue I live well with.

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