The band Blåmann Blåmann is from Vinje a small village in Telemark. They primarily play the old traditional folk music of their area, but their arrangements are often influenced by newer pop music. Their repertory spans several different folk music types, including ballads from the Middle Ages, lyrical pieces, springar and gangar dance tunes, slåttestev (short songs based on fiddle tunes), and ballad melodies.
Their music making is unpretentious, but at the same time they take care to arrange their material so that the original core is preserved. Blåmann Blåmann’s goals are to play well, have fun, and give their audience a top-quality musical experience. They have been on tour playing at many Norwegian junior high schools, where the audience can be a bit prejudiced against traditional folk music. When asking singer Odd Nordstoga if he thinks it’s uncomfortable to play in front of a somewhat sceptical crowd, he says:
- No, because we get through to a lot of these kids, and we are teaching them something valuable about their cultural heritage. So it’s definitely worth it.
Blåmann Blåmann have done a lot of touring in addition to playing at schools. They have played different venues in Norway, appeared at Norwegian TV-shows and have also been on a concert tour in Germany among other things.
Unfortunately critically acclaimed “Blåmann Blåmann” share the fate of many bands who play folk-music, they are often overlooked by the media. Although Blåmann Blåmann have enjoyed more media attention than what is normal for a band in this genre, many feel they don’t get the mention they deserve. Or as journalist Eivind Blikstad once said in an article about them:
- If they played rock, critics would call them a Norwegian superband.