Live at Parkteateret, September 22nd 2011
Every once in a while a singer-songwriter comes a long that just blows you away. 22 year old Jonas Alaska is one of these. He comes from a small place in the south of Norway but currently lives in Liverpool. His debut album is released today, and last night - only a few hours ago - I was at the release-concert for this album. One of this years best Norwegian album, in fact, one of this years best in any country or genre or whatever. It's absolutely stunning.
I was at the gig with a couple of friends of mine, one of them had just finished a review of the album and given it a score of 10/10, something I then - before the concert - thought was maybe a tad too much. After the gig, not so much. This was one of these 11/10 score gigs, you know - the gig is just perfect, and the artist isn't quite aware of quite how good it is.
Jonas Alaska writes songs in a classic singer / songwriter genre, he has a lot to thank both Paul Simon and Bob Dylan for - still he sounds like nobody but Jonas Alaska. His liveband has some of the best known Norwegian musicians. One of the country's best drummers, Gard Nilssen (Bushman's Revenge) plays perc. Another one of Norway's great drummers, Martin Hortveth (Jaga Jazzist), is the drummer - and he takes on the role as Kenneth Buttrey in this kinda Area Code 615 crossed with The Band backing band. Also in prominent places in the backing band are Thom Hell on electric guitar, a fantastic singer / songwriter himself - with four outstanding albums in his own name. But the real essence of the band is bassist Even Ormestad (Jaga Jazzist / Marit Larsen), this guy must be Rick Danko ressurected or something. This band just blows me away.
Still, the best thing about this gig - isn't the outstanding and fab band. It's the knowledge and feeling that this guy, Jonas Alaska, could have stood alone on stage armed with only his guitar and the gig would have been just as great.
Top of the pops!