Tough Blues ladies in print / Entertainment / The Foreigner

Tough Blues ladies in print. ‘Crazy Cryin' Blues – Tett på Bluesens kvinner’, is a Norway-produced book portraying central female blues musicians in history. Norwegian English textbook author Hilde Beate Lia took a research trip to the United States. Her interest in blues women came when she studied early lyrics belonging to the music genre. Norwegian blues singers also get their own chapter in the book; many readers may well be surprised to learn of how dedicated a handful of Norwegian women have been regarding the Blues. “Interest in blues is at the core,” says Ms Lia, herself from Notodden, a regular visitor to the southern Norway city with UNESCO World Heritage status in which the annual Blues Festival takes place.

blues, notodden, unesco, music



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Tough Blues ladies in print

Published on Wednesday, 29th July, 2015 at 14:43 under the entertainment category, by Tove Andersson.

‘Crazy Cryin' Blues – Tett på Bluesens kvinner’, is a Norway-produced book portraying central female blues musicians in history.

Cover of the book
Cover of the book
Photo: Falck forlag


Norwegian English textbook author Hilde Beate Lia took a research trip to the United States. Her interest in blues women came when she studied early lyrics belonging to the music genre. Norwegian blues singers also get their own chapter in the book; many readers may well be surprised to learn of how dedicated a handful of Norwegian women have been regarding the Blues.

“Interest in blues is at the core,” says Ms Lia, herself from Notodden, a regular visitor to the southern Norway city with UNESCO World Heritage status in which the annual Blues Festival takes place.

“So I’ve always also been interested in fighting for women’s rights. I read of the first blues women and their texts when I studied English, which included learning about the story of American women. I discovered that the first blues women in the 1920s were strong, independent women who governed their own careers, led large orchestras,” she adds.

These women and their tours they headed dominated the Blues at that time, according to her.

“They were role models for black women in their struggle for liberation. I think this was interesting, and gave a lecture about this at the Notodden Blues Festival in 2000.”

Ms Lia’s US research trip resulted in exciting meetings with artists in New York, Chicago, and Memphis.

Her book contains many poignant and entertaining stories. Blues ladies such as Bessie Smith and Memphis Minnie did as they pleased and did not care about moral rules. Billie Holiday, Etta James, and Janis Joplin were great artists while living a hard life.

Crazy Cryin' Blues - Tett på Bluesens kvinner (currently available in Norwegian only) portrays the artists' living conditions, the society they lived in, as well as their joy, sorrow, pain, and loss expressed through words and music.

Other legendary blues names covered in the book include Mamie Smith and Ma Rainey. Several of contemporary blues women such as Shemekia Copeland, Beth Hart, Nikki Hill, Samantha Fish, and Dana Fuchs have also contributed to the book. They are all visiting this year’s festival in Notodden.

Norway's own blues queen Rita Engedalen from near Notodden is included in the book too. She uses every opportunity to pay tribute to the Blues idols, including her Norwegian one Kristin Berglund (1953-2006).

This year’s blues festival edition also sees artists like British musician Robert Plant CBE and group the Sensational Space Shifters, as well as famous Lilyhammer actor and Bruce Springsteen guitarist Steven Van Zandt.

Hilde Beate Lia’s Crazy Cryin' Blues - Tett på Bluesens kvinner is being released during the festival.



Published on Wednesday, 29th July, 2015 at 14:43 under the entertainment category, by Tove Andersson.

This post has the following tags: blues, notodden, unesco, music.





  
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