Humming People
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Humming People

Oslo, Oslo County, Norway | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | INDIE | AFM

Oslo, Oslo County, Norway | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2006
Band Country Americana

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"Americanafest 2014: Humming People and Phil Madeira shine"

I have seen the future of Americana Music, and its name is Humming People. That could very well be the one-line recap of Saturday night’s Americanafest Showcase at The Listening Room Café where Norwegian youngsters Humming People co-headlined a performance with Phil Madeira that also included Matthew Mayfield, Ryan Tanner, and Matthew Perryman Jones.

It was hard at times to tell where Humming People’s set ended and Phil Madeira’s began. Madeira produced Humming People’s most recent album “City of Lost Men” and has served as a bit of a mentor for the youngsters’ American debut, so it’s no surprise that Madeira sat in for several songs on Humming People’s set.

What was a surprise was just how hard the band rocked. While they have a fair number of ballads in their arsenal, it was on the rockers that Humming People showed themselves to be a band on the rise. Swaggering and slinging guitar licks like a Norse Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Humming People is the Americana antidote to anyone tired of yet another sensitive guy with a banjo. For such a young band, their stage presence is already well-developed and the entire set gave off a vibe that was goofy but sincere. You can’t help but have fun watching Humming People because they look like they’re having the time of their lives.

Following Humming People’s set was Phil Madeira and the contrasts couldn’t be more stark. Where Humming People was a loose roller coaster ride, Madeira’s set was a master class in what happens when you put some of Nashville’s best talent on a stage and let them stretch their legs. A long time producer, songwriter, and sideman himself, Madeira’s band is almost always made up of fellow sidemen, sessions players, and instrumental wizards. His band might not be made up of people you’ve heard of, but it’s always made up of people you’ve heard, whether you know it or not.

Madeira’s hour-long set pulled from his solo albums, from his “Mercyland” project, and from songs Madeira wrote for other people. The band even got to show off its improvisational skills as an audience request for the “Mercyland” song “If I Was Jesus” led to a quick huddle up, a scribbled on setlist, and an unrehearsed but flawlessly performed rendition. Not surprisingly, Humming People returned the favor from just a few minutes earlier by sitting in for a portion of Madeira’s set. The bond between a great producer and his band was evident in both shared sets as there was a genuine respect and friendship present that can’t be faked.

But Humming People and Phil Madeira weren’t the only performers on Saturday night. The evening began and ended with a pair of Matthews. Matthew Mayfield opened the evening with a solo acoustic set that included songs from his entire catalog and also featured an intense reworking of the Bob Seger classic “Turn the Page.” Ending the night was Matthew Perryman Jones. Jones performed as a trio, with a steel guitarist and a background vocalist along. Jones seemed genuinely surprised and taken aback that people stayed so late to hear his show, it being well after Midnight by the time he took the stage. With numerous songs placed on hit television series such as “Nashville”, it’s a good bet many in the audience were familiar with at least some of Jones’ work.

Also performing was Ryan Tanner. Tanner is an Americanafest veteran and popular touring act so he brought along his fair share of fans. He also brought a group of five friends to share the stage and help bring his music to life. But the star of the set was Tanner’s humor. A gifted comedic storyteller, Tanner’s dry wit brought many a chuckle to those in attendance as he playfully trash talked The Avett Brothers, who were playing just down the street as Tanner was on stage.

As one of Americanafest’s brand new Showcase venues this year, The Listening Room Café got a lucky draw on Saturday night. Not only did they get to host a popular Americanafest favorite like Phil Madeira but also to what is sure to be one of the weekend’s most talked about sets. Humming People is the best thing we saw all weekend so far and, judging by the standing ovation the band received, we aren’t alone in that sentiment. - The Examiner


"Humming People Own Americanafest"

While the vast majority of Americanafest attendees spent Saturday night at the massive Avett Brothers showcase in Riverfront Park or watching outlaw legend Billy Joe Shaver at Mercy Lounge, a smaller but still sizable group of fans in the know made their way to the Listening Room Cafe where Norway's Humming People put on what might have been the performance of the weekend. Joined on stage for part of their set by producer and mentor Phil Madeira, Humming People put on the kind of high energy set that was just what many needed to reinvigorate them on their fourth straight day of music. - AXS


Discography

A Hope No Man Can Bind (2009)
Live at Halden Prison (2011)
City of Lost Men (2014)

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Bio

From the icy urban streets of Oslo, and the backwoods country of Toten emerges an honest, straight-shooting band with Americana influences ranging from Johnny Cash to Bob Dylan, but with a cultural awareness and musical voice uniquely their own.

With distinct sharpness the band spins their poetic tales with a deep musical beauty and intimacy, but also shamelessly reveals life's dirty underbelly. They tell you stories about life as it is, it's beauty and ugliness, it's better and it's worse, never forsaking the glimpse of a hope that never fades.

"A hope no man can bind", their debut record, was released in June 2009 after touring 3 years, playing approximately 120 shows a year, in every hill and corner of Norway. They have also shared their honest, hopeful tunes abroad, mentioning the UK, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Israel, Ethiopia, Cambodia and the U.S.

In 2010 and 2011, Humming People played nearly 200 concerts within the walls of Norwegian and Swedish prisons, as part of a cooperation with the Salvation Army. This cooperation lead to the recording of their second album "Live at Halden Prison". Recorded within the high security walls of Halden Prison, in front of over 200 inmates, Humming People's second full length CD was released January 2011.

Humming People is now back with their third album, "City of Lost Men". Producer Phil Madeira (Emmylou Harris, Civil Wars, Buddy Miller, Mindy Smith) was so excited about the result that he called some friends and suddenly Emmylou Harris, Holly Williams and Sam Bush (Alison Krauss, Taylor Swift) was part of the album. "City of Lost Men" was released March 7th 2014.

Humming People is: Joakim Hansen, John Hjeldsbakken, Christer Slaaen & Ă˜yvind Bergsaune.  

 

Band Members