Musicians and fans across Iceland will unite in the capital tomorrow for the first day of the annual Reykjavík Blues Festival, a moody, melodic, must-see showcase featuring some of the biggest names in local and international blues. Check out our Iceland blues playlist below.
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There is no better place to celebrate the music of the Mississippi Delta this April than in Iceland, no doubt a surprise to even the most sophisticated listener. With the festival kicking off daytime tomorrow, the city will be filled with the sound of floating pentatonic scales, squealing guitar solos and emotive vocal performances. I, for one, cannot wait.
Hosted by the Hilton Reykjavík Nordica from 13th to 18th April, the Reykjavík Blues Festival boasts three important concerts, each of which is destined to reveal new sides of this ancient, mystic genre. Be they wallowing in slow jams like ‘Bring me my Shotgun‘, or tearing the roof down with lively numbers such as ‘Smokestack Lightning,’ you can be sure these performers will transport you to new dimensions of auditory pleasure.
Blues Hall of Fame inductee, Joe Louis Walker, will be performing this year with backing from the Blue Ice band. Joe Louis Walker is a living legend in the world of the blues, having recorded with some of the genres biggest names, including BB King and Tah Majal.
Other acts performing this year include Emil & The Ecstatics and the folksy Uncle John Jr, as well as the downtown staple GG Blús (Gummi Jóns & Gummi Gunnlaugs).
Expect improvised jam sessions held in a variety of venues in downtown Reykjavík. United in their love for blues music, performers from some of the genre’s most significant hubs—Chicago, London and New Orleans, among them—will make their way to this little island to get crowds jumping from their seats.
See also: The Top 10 Festivals in Iceland.
If you’d like to get involved in Iceland’s blues scene, then make sure to head down to Dillon whiskey bar on Wednesday nights, around 9.00 PM. Hosted by the champion guitarist, Beggi Smari, and routinely featuring prized musician and comedian, Nick Jameson, this Blues night is the perfect opportunity for aspiring musicians to showcase their talents.
Aside from that, Dillon boasts the largest selection of whiskies in Iceland, only adding to its allure for moping bluesmen.
You can find further information and purchase your tickets to the Reykjavik Blues Festival here.
Are you planning on attending this year’s Reykjavík Blues Festival and, if so, which act are you most looking forward to seeing? Make sure to leave your thoughts and queries in the Facebook comments box below.