Rita Engedalen is a genuine artist with a very original and natural expression, inspired by raw Mississippi Blues and a wide range of American roots music. She is one of the most renowned blues artists from Norway and has, among other achievements, won the Norwegian Grammy for best blues album as well as Notodden Blues Festival’s Blues Award. Rita performs on stage either solo, duo, or with her regular band consisting of Morten Omlid (guitar), Eskil Aasland (drums) and Bård Gunnar Moe (bass). The combination of natural talent, a beautiful voice, solid song writing skills, original music and her outstanding musicians makes Rita’s live shows an amazing experience.
Photo: Morten Gjerde
Women in Blues
Rita Engedalen & Margit Bakken
“Women in Blues” has during its 19 years “on the road” evolved to become one of Norway’s most favorite music projects.
Ever since they first met – during Kristin Berglund’s “Tough Ladies of the Blues Project”, the two “blues-sisters” have stayed in touch and performed together on numerous musical stages.
After several years of honoring their female blues idols in concerts together on stage, “Women in Blues” released their first album – “Broken Soul Blues” – in March 2012, followed by great reviews.
Rita and Margit are both dedicated to spreading the words and music written and performed by many strong blues-singing ladies, of which many never had the freedom and opportunity to do so themselves.
In a very personal, semi-acoustic concert, Rita and Margit play a selection of their own written material, together with both new and well-known music from strong personalities of blues, folk, soul, gospel and hill-country blues. They bring forward historical music jewels and give tribute to some of their most favorite female blues legends and icons such as Janis Joplin, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Ma Rainey, Memphis Minnie, Ida Cox, Big Mama Thornton, Billie Holiday, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Elisabeth Cotten, Bessie Smith and Kristin Berglund.
Rita’s and Margit’s voices form a special harmony together, and when both ladies subtle, yet forcefully handle their acoustic guitars, it is no surprise that we hear that festivals, clubs and cultural-centres are being sold out all over the country.
Photo: Jan Storfossen