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MP3 Spoonful Of Blues - Chasin' That Devil's Music

Blues Wax wrote about Spoonful of Blues that the band “..... delivers a message with passion. That message is that this ain’t yo’ daddy’s Blues band, but daddy would still dig it.”

12 MP3 Songs
BLUES: Rockin'' Blues, BLUES: Guitar Blues

Spoonful Of Blues

The blues rebels of Spoonful of Blues hails from Notodden, Norway and they serve up some fiery blues drenched music with battling guitar and harmonica.

Their first record, Three Car Garage, gave the band some well deserved attention and brought them invitation to play the Sunflower River Blues Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Spoonful of Blues have since then on occasion been the backing band on gigs for Clarksdale musicians Big Jack Johnson and James “Super Chikan” Johnson and Fat Possum recording artist Robert Belfour.

Blues Wax wrote about Spoonful of Blues that the band “..... delivers a message with passion. That message is that this ain’t yo’ daddy’s Blues band, but daddy would still dig it!”

On their show at the well famed Notodden Blues Festival in 2005 Spoonful tore down the house by bringing to the stage The Rising Star Fife and Drum Band for two hoserocking numbers.

The band’s second cd Chasin’ That Devil’s Music contains of 12 new songs mostly penned by the band members Morten Omlid and Jostein Forsberg. Spoonful of Blues not only displays their love and comprehension of the idiom, but with complete lack of fear they effectively combine tradition with modern elements and are cooking up some hot and spicy blues stew served with a tasteful Nordic flavor.

Here is a very special blend of style, talent, attitude and blues know how. Everything that the Spoonful of Blues does becomes totally their own and their compositions melt together into a world of pure listening enjoyment. When you spin the cd’s of Spoonful Of Blues you should be prepared to move or be moved. This is powerful stuff from the juke joints of Telemark ''" the hill country of Norway.

Spoonful Of Blues is:
Jostein Forsberg ''" vocals, harmonica
Morten Omlid ''" guitars, backing vocals, dunkidekk
Jens Haugen ''" bass
Eskild Aasland ''" drums, backing vocals

Some press quotes

Blues Revue November 2005
Chasin’ That Devil Music
Bluestown Records 1011

When you chase that devil’s music, aka the blues, it never matters where you begin. At some point you must end up in Mississippi, the taproot of blues. Spoonful of Blues is one of the top blues bands in Norway. Though they regularly play throughout Scandinavia, the have also played the Sunflower Blues Festival in Clarkesdale, Mississippi. In fact, the band’s singer and harmonica player Jostein Forsberg travels at least once a year to Clarkesdale, Memphis, and other Delta blues hot spots. Those trips have exposed Forsberg too the purest blues in the world and, as co-writer of these 13 originals, his song writing is lean and precise. Add to that the juke joint authenticity recreated in the band’s home studio in Notodden, where they use the board from the Stax Studios, and you have a band who understands how to best engineer the music you play to sound like the place it comes from. The Mississippi blues that Spoonful admires is built on riveting, hill country grooves established by the driving rhythm section playing below Forsberg’s gritty, electric harmonica and Morten Omild’s raw guitar work. Their first song, “Down In Mississippi,” is an irresistible juke joint romp which easily transports listeners into that setting. The Norway-Mississippi connection continues on Spoonful’s “Three Forks Store,” a jug band styled tribute to the place where Robert Johnson was poisoned. On the title cut, taken from title of Gayle Dean Wardlow’s book about Delta blues pioneers, Forsberg and Rita Engedalen chant a liturgy of blues history about Charlie Patton, high water, and cotton, while Omlid’s guitar dials into those hard Delta days. As his guitar playing gets more frenzied and the rhythm section begins pumping., this song accelerates to a frenzied climax. The band shows off some high flyin’ John Lee Hooker boogies on “Boogie Now” and “Midnight Man.” On “Midnight Ride” Forsberg deftly combines a John Lennon type song with a Junior Kimbrough “all night long” refrain. A dedicated band like Spoonful of Blues proves how universal the blues can be.
Art Tipaldi

Review Blues In Britain, June 2005
Spoonful of Blues ''" Chasin’ That Devil’s Music
Bluestown Records ''" BTR 1011

Spoonful of Blues are a Norwegian blues band led by singer and harp player Jostein Forsberg and comprise of Morten Omlid on guitars, Jans Haugen on bass, with drumming duties shared by Esklid Aasland and Kai Kristoffersen. Forsberg is the leading light in Norwegian blues and plays a major part in putting together the Notodden festival each year, on of the most successful blues events outside of the USA. His first love is Mississippi blues and this influence shows through strongly on the band’s second release.

The opening track ''" “Down in Mississippi” ''" is a one chord boogie that could easily be Kenny Brown, and large parts of the rest of the CD stay mostly in a North Mississippi vein with shades of Junior Kimbrough and RL Burnside clearly audible, especially on the excellent “Need My Baby”. And the title track has a bass line to die for. One or two of the songs are out and out rockers and tend to be weaker than the blues, but they do add variety and make for a nicely varied set. The loops and samples used on the band’s debut release ''" Three Car Garage - sadly don’t appear this time but demonstrate the band’s awareness and willingness to move into territory that has given so much positive publicity to bands such as NuBlues.

Apart from the excellent songwriting (all the songs are originals), special mention should be made of the top quality production. There is a rawness that doesn’t quite capture the Fat Possum sound but makes a damn good try. The North Mississippi blues here are dirty and menacing and the country blues of songs like “Three Forks Store” are sparse and simple, just how they should be.

Blues means different things to different people, and the North Mississippi thing is not to everyone’s taste, but if it is then you should definitely check out this release. Norwegian blues may appear something of a curiosity, but these guys are serious players who are deserving of much wider recognition.
Rating 8 ''" Chris Kerslake ''" Blues In Britain

Blues Wax
A Spoonful of Norway Blues, (05/19/04)
Spoonful Of Blues - Three Car Garage (BTRCD 1001)

Spoonful Of Blues hails from Notodden, Norway, a hot bed of Blues music serving as host of the prestigious Notodden Blues Festival and a sister city to Clarksdale, Mississippi. Really, I''m not making this up. The entire town has embraced our indigenous American music and is in the process of constructing The European Blues Center there. But it is not merely a museum, but a living, breathing, working research Mecca committed to keeping the Blues a viable entity, not merely on life support. Instrumental in these projects is the enthusiastic Jostein Forsberg, SOB''s tunesmith, harpman, vocalist, and recipient of The Blues Foundation''s Keeping The Blues Alive Award in 2004 for his work with abovementioned Blues Center.
Although Forsberg''s voice isn''t the usual baritone snarl that the Blues has fostered over the years, he delivers a message with passion. That message is that this ain''t yo'' daddy''s Blues band, but daddy would still dig it! The CD, Three Car Garage, by his band not only displays their love and comprehension of the idiom, but complete lack of fear while diddling with it utilizing Jews-harp, samples, loops, and a dompidekk (Unaware of what a dompidekk was I got in touch with the band to find out, this was the reply I received: The dompidekk is a homemade one of a kind percussion instrument and it''s used on the "Who Do You Love" track to accentuate the two and four. It is made by the father of one of the drummers in Notodden. It happened to be in the studio at the time and we just decided to use it. We found out that it was really hard on the ears for the one that''s using it. Morten''s ears were really ringing after he put it to the track. Don''t think he will ever do it again!).
To their credit, the boys pen nine of the twelve tunes. The remaining three covers are wildly different than their authors'' versions, with their arrangement of John Lee Hookers'' "Bottle Up and Go" being the wildest. It incorporates record scratches, Islamic chants, ethereal guitar, a naked harmonica, a sampled Hip-Hop beat and...incredibly...it still works! I like it and quite frankly don''t wish that information to go any further, shhhhhhhhhhhhhh! "Who Do You Love" is madcap in a totally different context. Imagine Buck Owens playing it on "Hee Haw," but in a first-rate way as the girls in the Daisy Dukes add an R&B moan to the chorus. "I Got Love If You Want It" is the most "normal" sounding of the three.
Morten Omlid is stellar on guitars, bringing a big authentic sound with some 21st Century electronic embellishment. Even his funky abbreviated closing solo on "Evil Going Down" works, as it leaves you hungry for more. Fortunately you do get much more with "The Blues" as a musical mix of J.L.H., Canned Heat, and ZZ Top with Norman Greenbaum throw in, vocally. Lyrically it displays Josteins'' happy addiction to the Blues and demonstrates his prowess on the harmonica. "Summertime In Bluestown," a tune about Notodden, utilizes traditional themes, but displays a decidedly modern use of effects, unlike "A Woman Like You," which closes the CD with a slow groove and Forsberg using a different approach to his vocals. He should employ it more often if it sets up guitar solos like the delectably staccato ones laid down here. A righteous way to end an album, I believe I love the Blues put through a Nordic filter! This CD was released in 2000 so hold on to your pork pie hat for the next album of contemporary Blues.
Beardo is a senior contributing editor at BluesWax

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