Friday, April 22, 2011
Delta Blues in the Land of the Midnight Sun
I haven't had this much musical fun in another city since the jazz band in Budapest found out I can sing St James Infirmary.
American music is big all over the world. But uniquely American music is a passion for some in other countries. Particularly Jazz and the blues.
While I was staying at the Hilton Nordica, just out of the main city area, the hotel was hosting Bluesfelag Reykjavikur. The Reykjavik Bluesfest.
Each night the hotel bar filled with the sound of the blues - done with an Icelandic twist. Men dresses as Jake and Elwood walked around in shades and fedoras. Long vintage Cadillacs were parked out front, some decorated with American flags. They advertised than an actual Mississippi Blues singer Marquis Knox would be appearing. I watched the Lame Dudes rock out to the Reykjavik Boogie. (Video on YouTube.)
Of all the things I expected to see, the annual Reykjavik tradition of celebrating an oh-so-American musical style was totally unexpected.
And that kind of lagniappe is exactly what keeps me flying.