Category Archives: Øyafestivalen

November 5: Charles Bradley is 66 Happy Birthday

Charles Bradley (born 5 November, 1948, Gainesville, Florida), commonly referred to as “The Screaming Eagle of Soul,” is a funk/soul/R&B singer signed to the Daptone Records label under the Dunham Records division.

His performances and recording style are consistent with Daptone’s revivalist approach, celebrating the feel of funk and soul music from the 1960s and 1970s. One review stated that Bradley “echoes the evocative delivery of Otis Redding”

 

Read our interview with Mr. Charles Bradley

Continue reading November 5: Charles Bradley is 66 Happy Birthday

The Saddest Songs in History: Billy Bragg Tank Park Salute

Billy_Bragg
Billy Bragg at Oya Festival 2012 by Hallgeir Olsen/Johannasvisions

“Daddy is it true that we all have to die?”

“You were so tall. How could you fall?”

In 1991 Billy Bragg released the album, Don’t try this at home.

“… (this album) was where Bragg first began to sound completely comfortable with the notion of a full band. With Johnny Marr (who helped produce two tracks), Peter Buck,Michael Stipe, and Kirsty MacColl on hand to give the sessions a taste of star power, Don’t Try This at Home sounds full but uncluttered; the arrangements (most complete with — gasp! — drums) flesh out Bragg‘s melodies, giving them greater strength in the process”
– Mark Deming (Allmusic)

It is one of his best albums and it has a eulogy to his father Dennis who had died of cancer when the singer was only 18.
It is devastatingly beautiful!

In an interview with the blog Timber and Steel, Billy Bragg said:

” My father passed away in 1976, and before I wrote that song, oh, I’m guessing now, in 1991. It’s on Don’t Try This At Home so it’s about that time. Until I’d written that song, I’d never spoken to anyone about my father dying, which was something I couldn’t face.

And I wrote that, and it just came out in a huge flood. And I got it down on paper and looked at it and thought, “D’ya know what? If I sing this song, I will have to talk about what happened.”

And I went and showed it to teach to my keyboard player to show her part, and she said, “Wow, that’s about your dad, isn’t it?”

And I thought if she gets it, anyone will get it, and it obviously works as a song. And I’m really glad when I find someone who it’s helped because I can tell them – honestly – it helped me too. It had the same effect on me; it helped me to deal with losing somebody. So more often than not these days I find myself playing it at gigs, because more people are getting to the age where we’re losing loved ones, so it’s become a really important part of my set now.”

 

Billy Bragg – Tank Park Salute (Spotify):

Continue reading The Saddest Songs in History: Billy Bragg Tank Park Salute

Afghan Whigs top 10 cover songs

2 oya afghanw_for_web_1

We saw Afghan Whigs at last years Oyafestival and of the 80 concerts I saw in 2012 I rated them on third place. What struck me was not only the great live versions of their own songs, but their very clever choices of cover songs.

afghan whigs 2012

And it was funky as hell!

I started to dig around the interweb and found a lot of very good cover versions done by Afghan Whigs, these are my ten favourites:

1.  See and don’t see – Afghan Whigs:

“Man, these words are kind of desperate and lonely, and they’re surrounded by this funky song. I might have to strip this one down someday.” – Greg Dulli

Originally by Marie Queenie Lyons:

2. Lovecrimes – Afghan Whigs (Frank Ocean cover):

“LoveCrimes came to me immediately. I had played around with that one maybe a week after I heard it. When I was looking to have something to play with the guys—we jam covers all the time…we had it down in half an hour. So that one was very, very natural.” – Greg Dulli (to AV Club)

3. True love travels on a gravel road (audio only) – Afghan Whigs (Nick Lowe):

4. Superstition (and Going to Town) – Afghan Whigs (Stevie Wonder):

5. Beast of Burden – Afghan Whigs (Rolling Stones):

Continue reading Afghan Whigs top 10 cover songs

Charles Bradley in Norway 2012

Charles Bradley 2012-1

Charles Bradley made a huge impression on us in 2012. We saw him in concert three times, all tremendous shows. We also got to meet him in person two times. We had a little chat with him and we got a hug after his concert at  Oyafestival in Oslo (Paste Magazine rated it among the 10 best festival moments in 2012). The best thing however was when we met Mr. Charles Bradley at Bergenfest.

Charles Bradley at Bergenfest 2012 part1
Charles Bradley at Bergenfest 2012 part2
Charles Bradley at Bergenfest 2012 part3
Charles Bradley at Oyafestival 2012

Also check out Bergenfest and Oyafestival online.

The Press guys at Bergenfest called us just an hour before the meet, and said that we could get an interview with Charles Bradley if we were interested. We were thrilled!

We (JV) met in a hotel lobby close to the Bergenfest area, Charles Bradley (CB)  had just arrived in Bergen, he was a bit tired, but very friendly and open.

We are not experienced journalists, we are fans and the talk we had, kind of reflects that, Charles Bradley talked most of the time and we listened to this fantastic soul singer telling his story.

JV: It’s an honor to meet you Mr. Bradley.

Charles Bradley smiles, shakes our hand and appologises for beeing late.

 CB: Sorry to keep you guys waiting, we just arrived two hours ago and needed some time to freshen up. We had to jump in a car and drive real fast to get here to you. Just had to get myself a bit together before I met you.

We introduced ourselves and explained that we write for Johannasvisions.

JV: We started The Johanna’s Visions web site 6 months ago, we love music, especially American roots music, soul, jazz, folk, blues and rock’n roll. We’ve had a deep passion for this music most of our life. We are getting quite a lot of visits on the web site.

(At the time we had about 50 000 page views a week, now we have well over 200 000 a week.)

CB: You just gotta do it!JV: Yes!

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CB: Well I can tell you some stories that I don’t think you’ve heard before.
I can say, I’m 63 years old, I’ve been back as far as the segregation days when you couldn’t say what was on your mind. You had to run to a baptist church just to let it all out, and it was all soulful hurt and pain put in to music.

JV: You have been on tour for some time now and you said you could tell us some stories…

CB: Yes

JV: …do you see any differences from Europe and USA?

CB: Europe, oh yes! In Europe I have been treated more fairly, more honestly, people show me more love. Now that I’ve been coming over to European countries and playing shows I get a lot of respect. It is hard to see that, you have to get out of you country and then come back to get some kind of respect.

JV: It is a terrible thing, but it is nice that you are treated so well over here.

CB: Yes, but I gotta say, oh my God, your country keeps me in tears of joy, not of hurt, of joy, the love that I’ve received from people, and I say this from the depth of my heart.

JV: This is the same story the Stax artists told in the 60s, but it is a long time ago, surely it must be different now?

CB: I will say, America is more hush, hush, the roles that they play, you can see it and you know they do it, now it’s more quiet but they still do it.

…and just because we have a black president, who says he’s gonna change things? It is just a front, that’s my opinion. You can feel when somebody hug you,the sincerness in their heart, you can feel when somebody hug you, if it’s false.

JV…the same with the smiles, when people smile at you.

CB: Yeah. That’s what it’s about, man. It is that, do you understand what I’m saying.

JV:  Yes.

Charles Bradley 2012-2

JV: You are going to play two concerts here in Bergen, we’re seeing both. Plus, we are going to see you in Oslo in August, how do you compare the large stage festival shows to the smaller venues in clubs?

CB: You know, it’s like, me, the audience, compassion, we all hug, cry together, the love is infinite. Oh man, i think I’m on a mission, I think I’m out to do something good, because with all the trials and tribulations I’ve been through…

…and now when I meet all the people that open their hearts to me, it talks to me. A man, last night, he said,”Charles, man, I’m 52 years old, and you just made my day” (laughter), “you made me realize that there is still hope for me!” Isn’t that incredible? I just broke down and cried!

I say, My God! That is what makes me want to keep my heart and be clean, the way I just can tell them. Show them.

Like, this one kid, this was over in Canada. He came over to us and he told me about himself, and he said, “I wanna talk to Charles Bradley”.

So they said to him, “We’re gonna talk to Charles Bradley to see if he can talk to you”. They told me about this 18 year old kid and I said yes, get him on stage, he was standing right by the stage.

He said, “Charles Bradley, please talk to me”. I said, “Young man, what am I gonna say to you?” He said, ” I just lost my Ma”. I said, “How old was your Ma?”, she was 51, I said,”Oh my God!”

What am I gonna say to this kid? God, give me something to say to him. And then I remembered back to when I was a kid, when this… this baby only about six months. It was in a crib and he died. I remembered that someone told me that when a baby dies young, they only came into our world to give something great to us, and then the child would leave. God said your work is done. So I said, ” Son, your mother was 51 years old, she brought a beautiful boy into this world, and she put all the love that she knew inside that boy”, “and that was you!” “What she gave you, you take it out into this world”.

JV: We can understand why he came to you, because your own story is so inspirational

Charles Bradley 2012-3
Continue reading Charles Bradley in Norway 2012

Video Premiere: Bob Mould – The Descent (official video)


Egil’s description of Bob Mould at this years Oya Festival:

Bob Mould performing “Copper Blue” +
Mr. Mould still rocks… hard. Copper Blue is great album with many highlights. Strongest @ Øya was Hoover Dam, Helpless & If I Can’t Change Your Mind – from “Copper Blue”. He also played 2 great Hüsker Dü classics “Celebrated Summer” and “Makes No Sense At All”.

read more here

…and we got to hear The Descent live!

The New video shows us Bob Mould who leaves the corporate world and heads for the woods:

Directed by Alicia J. Rose

 

– Hallgeir