Far adrift, yet solidly anchored: Billy T and other longtime Dark Season Blues colleagues liven up lunch at Svalbar

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(Festival blog by Staff Writer Marion Prudhon, 1:30 p.m. Friday): “People say we have drifted far from the blues,” said William T. Troiani – alias Billy T – who’s been performing at Dark Season Blues for 13 of the festival’s 15 years, during the latest of his many free “Blues Lunch” concerts at Svalbar at midday Friday.

Indeed, he and he fellow musicians played more rock, rhythm and roll ‘n roll that might have filled the free space in front of the stage if the enthusiasm communicated last night hasn’t settled down during their sleep (Billy T acknowledged afterward he felt somewhat lost and some of attempted laugh lines fell flat during the start of the gig). Natural shyness had taken over, but after 45 minutes of swinging music the audience started moving in their seats.

A short break allowed Billy T to answer a few questions. Not really a foreigner anymore since he has been living in Oslo for more than 22 years, he says about Svalbard: “I’m used to it, I’ve come here for 13 years, I know people here, have friends .”

“I’m from New York. As a child I lived in the countryside. For me it does not matter, big cities, small cities, people are the same everywhere.”

Danish singer/guitarist Mike Andersen joined during the break while Alexander Pettersen (a Norwegian drummer who now lives in the U.S. and plays with Rick Estrin & the Nightcats) was catching up with old acquaintances.

“We are all friends,” Billy T said. “My drummer used to play for four bands. We all played with each other.”

So.. Let’s see how they mix in the following days…

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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