Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/12898
In an attempt to explore the short history of the Icelandic blues, with special emphasis on the early years, the main focus of this thesis consists of my interviews, originally taken in Icelandic and translated into English for this paper, with two blues pioneers and renowned Icelandic musicians and composers: Magnús Eiríksson (1945-), the founder of Blúskompaníið (The Blues Company) and Gunnar Þórðarson (1945-), a member of the band Hljómar (Tones) that enjoyed enormous popularity in 1964-1969. It also presents a translated interview with Jónatan Garðarsson (1955-), founder of Jassvakning (Jazz Revival) who knows the story of the Icelandic blues by heart.
What marks the beginning of the Icelandic blues history? What is the source of the Icelandic blues legends? Who were the first Icelandic blues heroes? These are a few of the questions that I aim to answer in my endeavour to encapsulate the short but exciting history of the Icelandic blues.
The second part of this thesis discusses whether blues lyrics have changed over the years, especially those of Magnús Eiríksson. What is their essence? How do Icelandic artists compare to the old masters? I also venture to explain why Icelandic songwriters and singers preferred to sing in English rather than their native language. Were they under pressure from their peers or did they simply want to follow in the footsteps of the old masters?
Finally, I summarise my main conclusions and envision the future: where is Icelandic popular music heading?
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