Published Oct 10, 2015Earlier this year, several Edmonton musicians travelled over to Iceland as part of a cultural exchange, collaborating with musicians and performing shows in Reykjavik. As Snorri Helgason put it during a brief aside in his set, he and several other Icelandic musicians were now in Alberta to return the favour with performances of their own.
Out of the three Icelandic artists on the bill, Helgason had the strongest folk and Americana inclinations, thus the arrangements of his material best suited a stripped-down and solo context. His smooth croon helped provide a gentle energy that kept the set varied and casted Helgason as an ardent music fan caught somewhere in the middle of folk and country. It even gave a startling cover of Bob Dylan's "Abandoned Love" some necessary context.
He later called opener Pétur Ben up on stage to help him play through two songs they had loosely rehearsed before making the trip to Alberta. Much like Ben, Helgason's music is definitely one that can benefit from having additional instrumentation and simply having another guitarist and vocalist — especially one as talented as Ben — added a jolt of energy to the proceedings that was so powerful it made you wish they had been able to make the trip with full bands in tow.