There are many reasons to put out an EP—a taste an upcoming full-length, finding a way to release a collection of b-sides, covers or other odds and ends.
There are several common threads in the choices we’ve made, you can find them without me pointing out the obvious.
The EP itself can be a variety of things. An 10-track collection or a three song collection… The Ida Jenshus release could be counted as a full album release, and it would have in the Vinyl/LP days. Anyhow, these are the best of 2014:
Rockefeller concert venue looked different this chilly night in october, the lights were dimmed and the stage was put in the middle of the room, there were draperies and burning candles. It was like coming into someone’s home. I could sense the anticipation from the audience, they were expecting something special. Dixie Chics softly on the speakers.
We started a new series in January/February were we presented some of the songs we’ve played during the months that had passed. This is our playlist for June and July 2014, as usual it has something new and a few golden oldies.
I have finally seen Van Morrison in concert, and I’m going around with a big grin on my face. It was better than I could hope for. I had heard a lot about how his concerts could be hit or miss affairs, and I was a bit afraid that we would end up with a miss. We did not!
We jumped in the car at 9:30 in the morning on Friday 2 August and drove to Notodden, this took nearly 6 hours with some stops along the way (and a few hiccups in the traffic). We drove through fantastic mountain scenery and listened to Van’s music and had interesting discussions on his music (and life in general).
We put up the tent at the official Blues-camp, drank some wine/beer/whisky and headed over to the concert area.
Van Morrison had asked for James Hunter Six to be support act to his own show, they did a good job. They sound better live than on record, but the best ones always do.
Minute by Minute from their latest album, Minute by Minute was the high point for me, great singing and good fun!
Then there was a short wait until the main attraction would come on stage. The band came out and started Celtic Swing, Morrison joined them and the stage was set. This instrumental sounded tight and good, and the main man played some fine sax. The band consists of seasoned musicians and they played brilliantly through the concert.
I will not go through all the songs, but it was a good set, it was a great set. The last half of the concert was incredibly good. Van Morrison smiled and even told a joke (!): The horns were in the middle of a particular grandiose (even pretentious) part of I Can’t stop loving you when Van points his arm in their direction and declares, “The Bert Kaempfert Orchestra!”, then grins and says, ” almost like the real thing”. Funny guy!
James Hunter joined them on stage for two rousing renditions of Help me and Gloria. It was one of the best concerts I’ve seen this year.
Set list (I’ve marked my favorites with an * ):
1. Celtic Swing
2. Got to go back
3. Only a dream
4. Keep mediocrity at bay
5. Pagan Heart *
6. Baby Please don’t Go/Boogie Chillen/Rock Island Line
7. What am I living for
9. Born to sing *
10. Going down to Monte Carlo
12. Brown Eyed Girl
13. Jackie Wilson Said
14. That’s Life
15. Whenever God Shines his light *
16. Can’t Stop Loving You *
17. Help Me * w/ James Hunter
18. Gloria * w/ James Hunter
Van Morrison told us we had been a fantastic audience, danced (yep) off the stage and the band finished an extended Gloria. It was fantastic!
We saw/heard Little Andrew (parts of it anyway) – didn’t do it for us, Beth Hart, well, one of our principles here at JV is not to write about things we don’t like, therefore I will not say anything about her performance. Late on Friday night we saw The Royal Southern Brotherhood, a band with great potential, a good group of musicians but their songs don’t match their skillful playing. A very promising band none the less!
We went down to our tent around two in the morning, and some fucker on a bus played bad trance music until five! Why do all the guys with the largest loudspeakers have the worst taste in music? I seriously considered throwing rocks at them around the time the power went out in the morning. Then came the rain, the worst downpour we have seen in quite a long time. First time camping in a tent in at least 15 years and all this! We woke up at around ten. 5 good hours of sleep 🙂
We saw Ida Jenshus and here incredible band before the drive home. I’ve said most of the fine things that has to be said about Jenshus and her band, and again they gave us a wonderful concert. They ended the show with a fantastic version of Neil Young’s Words (from Harvest). Then and there all the noise from those trance loving idiots and the bad weather from the night were forgotten. It had all been worth it.
Ida Jenshus is a terrific artist and she’s a great entertainer as well. There are many artists that have forgotten that part, she hasn’t. I’ve seen her several times now, and she and her band always delivers. In Vikedal it started a bit on the slow side but soon they ventured into a more southern rock territory, from then on in they sailed on monumental jams and great songs. The audience was on the chatty side, but the band ignored the talkative bunch. We who were there for the music got a great concert.
I’m looking forward to Notodden Blues Festival 🙂
I just have to pick a favorite moment from last night’s show: When the song Little Blue slided into a fantastic Words (Between the lines) by Neil Young! Magic!