Sep 30, 2010 – NORRTALJA
Note: new guests on the tour – Bjorn’s fiancé, Sarah & their great little 2 year old, Olaf – who runs the universe!! I love this s guy!!
I CAN’T WAIT TO GET TO NORRTALJA .. my hub on my prison tour last year. LOVE THE ATELLATE HOTEL, with it’s little river running off it’s deck & it’s awesome, kind & lovely staff of young ladies.
It was a short plane ride back to Stockholm. A big van was waiting (without driver). With Bjorn at the helm, we arrived at our Norrtalja venue, a high school on the edge of town, at about 4:00.
THE VENUE & SOUND CHECK
This is extraordinary good set up. It’s an auidorium set up for 150 or so, with a great stage & excellent acoustics! Friend, soundman & drummer for “SIXPACK HOLIDAY, a cool local band, has the great sound ready for us in minutes.
Great to see Bjorn.. my Rootsy co-hort & daughter THEA.. big thanks for your hard work, my friend.
CHECKING IN TO THE ATELLATE & DINNER
John, Tony & I are staying here, the rest of the band is at big Bjorn’s wife Anja’s new B&B .. “The Nortallja B&B” .. which we hear is quite nice!!
GREAT TO SEE MY OLD FRIEND, lovely LYNN who checks John, Tony & me in. GREAT TO BE BACK!!!
Quickly we head to old friends Hakan & Christine’s great restaurant for an awesome dinner.
On stage at 8:30.
Loved this show!! Lynn from Hotel ATELLATE & my old friend Amanda and new friend, Lovisa. were sitting front row center & leading the clapping in rhythm & the singing along.
We went from the YONKERS NY stories & songs (ie: BASTARD BROTHERS, HEY JONNY) & songs to selections from the Best Of (JAMES WESLEY DAYS). We played for 2 hours. Nobody left. It felt like 45 minutes.
Some of my favorites tonight were, I NEED SOME HELP WITH THAT (a prison favorite), I KNOW DARK (tribute my far north friends) & a chilling CHARCOAL SKY, which seemed to be a show highlight for many, aside from me.
The sound was GREAT!! THE BAND WAS AWESOME!! .. Every night is an adventure with these guys – great friends & amazing & inspired players. Each night it’s some different soulful things erupt. It’s wonderful to be mixed into that magic.
The tour is ending here in a couple of days – then I’m off to Ireland with Kendel Carson for a duo tour – I WILL MISS THESE FRIENDS.
Back to the show:
We ended with a warm tribute to my Swedish friends, with THE WAY OF IT & ended with a totally spirited, I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE.
Another special night – see you all soon!
Said hi to several, including:
Again, great to see my great friend & Rootsy cohort, Bjorn Petterson. “BIG BJORN” (same name as bass player), who booked most all our shows – HUGE THANKS!!.. & wife Anja & daughter Thea. (WONDERFUL TO SEE YOU GUYS!!). tell Victor I said hi..
Hi Lynn, Amanda – my ATELLE friends & Lovisa .. so good to see you all. Thanks so my for my gift. I will toast you in Malmo with it before I leave these shores.
Hi to my friend Anders, head of Norrtalja Prison – great to see you again! So good to see you as well, Britt-Marie. Thanks for the kind words. Anders, I’ll see you soon. My next prison tour is already in the works.
Hi to Inge-May, deacon at Norrtalja Prison – so nice talking with you & hearing about your good work. Hi Gunner & Irene .. GREAT SEEING YOU GUYS!!!
Big thanks to my new friend, Borje so great to see you from the stage .. look forward to seeing you soon!! & Hi Yvonne .. thanks so much for the good wishes …
HI LARS (ANDERS DAD) .. great to see you boys here!! Big thanks from the “6 pack Holiday” band .. Big ANDERS (“FJELLIS”)… & Frederik.. & OF COURSE, GREAT SOUNDMAN, JOHN!! …see you soon, boys!!!!
HI MARIE … so good seeing you right after the show .. thanks so much for those words – I took them to heart. ANNIE .. IT WAS SO GOOD TO SEE YOU!! .. thanks for your warm, Charcoal Sky thoughts.. & HUGE THANKS FOR STOPPING BY LATER WITH THE GLASSES FOR JOHN.. That was so thoughtful .. John was so surprised in the AM & appreciated the gesture so much – he will definitely use them!!
Hi Ulf.. hope you enjoy the vinyl .. great meeting you!! .. Hi Stefon.. thanks for being here .. see you next time!!
BIG HELLO TO OLD FRIEND, MAGNUS… I didn’t thank you enough.. I heard the article was wonderful.. Bjorn will translate & send to me. Hope to see you very soon again, my friend.
Look forward to my next visit – love this town!!!
Thanks for keeping the bar open for me Lynn – so good to see you. Hope you & your boyfriend have a great vacation! Alex .. great seeing you!! Thanks for guiding me to Helen’s place for my nightcap. HELEN.. so good to see you . thanks for the SPOTIFY lessons. Also .. nice talking to shipman (dredging ship) Geoffery from Belgium. All good wishes!!
It was great to see & talk to Sanna, the kind manager of The ATELLATE.. & to see new assistant Marie & friend. I hope to see you very soon again. The tentative plan is to do a prison tour in March, with this town & this hotel as the hub – for about 5 days. That would be paradise for me!!! See you then!
BJORN – BIG THANKS FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS!!!!!
Note: JUST A THOUGHT – MY GRANDDAUGHTER’S BIRTHDAY (7 years old, already!!!!.. woww!!! – time flies!!) IS COMING UP IN A FEW DAYS!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAMANTHA!!!!!!! – THINKING OF YOU FROM SWEDEN!!!! I LOVE YOU!!! – have a GREAT B’DAY!!!
Sep 29, 2010 – ARRIVING IN KIRUNA
Ronny & a friend drove the band back to Lulea. BIG THANKS! Then it was a beautiful, most comfortable & relaxing train ride 4 hours north to Kiruna – the ore mining town – also home to the famous Ice Hotel & FAR MORE IMPORTANT, THE WILLY CLAY BAND!!! We arrived just past 2:00 PM.
YVONNE (Orjan’s wife & my dear friend since last year), picked us up at the train.. so GREAT to see you, Yvonne!!
We are staying at a very cool place, THE ARCTIC EDEN.. cool & perfect – with it’s authentic local Indian décor & artifacts (each room a design treasure) – except… I can’t open a window… a big thing for me – & NO controlled ventilation!!!! Ouch!! It’s a good thing I have my fan. John would say later it was a problem for him as well – otherwise this place is AWESOME!
VENUE – THE TRADGARN
So good to see Bjorn’s wife SARAH & 2 year old son (HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLAF!!!!). He is soooo cute!!! I loved watching him run around during sound check – Mostly running to poppa Bjorn!!
BIG THANKS FOR YOUR HELP WITH THE EQUIPMENT, JOAKIM.. & thanks for the kind words later!
Great to see my old friends, Arthur & Louise, who own & operate this warm, great place.
I’ve been looking forward to this for a while. Hope to see the boys, 4 year old twins, Emil & LEON, next time. They can run around during my show, anytime!
As Simon was opening I was outside taking care of some NY business by phone, but from what I saw, he made his usual VG connection.
Then we began – again, with a short 50 minute set, followed by a long one. The band was great tonight. Orjan & John played some awesome solos, & the audience showed their appreciation, erupting in applause here & there. And Bjorn & Tony were so soulful all night.. & their solo on Wild Thing was so fun & cool. THE NEW UKRAINIAN’S (The band’s new name), were on fire tonight!!!! Way to go boys!!
I loved playing all the stories & songs of YONKERS NEW YORK songs, BASTARD BROTHERS & HEY JONNY & all. The stories are what totally connects me to the audience & they change from day to day as other things creep into memory. And I loved singing the “best of” songs, like I NEED SOME HELP WITH THAT
But this was MEAN BASTARD night!!!! I’ve been waiting for this for a long time!!
Here’s the story:
Orjan asked me to write a song in preparation for the dark days. In case you don’t know – there is about 2 months of total darkness from mid-Dec to mid-February but the dark creeps in strong starting in November. So, at Orjan’s request I wrote “I KNOW DARK”, which, from now on, – on NOVEMBER 1st – will hopefully welcome the time of year when the sun starts to disappear.
Note: this was among the 15 songs we recorded 2 weeks ago in Halden, Norway.
The song has a serious “La, La chorus”. I rehearsed it with the audience. Then the song began – and it was chilling from top to bottom – and the chorus sounded like we all were in church – and that’s where we were – in Arthur & Louise’s church.
Here are the lyrics:
I KNOW DARK
I know dark – I know that dark
He’s a mean bastard – uh.. huh
When he comes to town – he don’t make a sound
He just sneaks around – He’s a mean bastard
Singing .. la, la, la, la, la – la la – no, no, no
La, la, la, la, la – la la – let my people go
I know light – I know that light
She’s a sweet sister – uh..huh
But she’s gone again – (when) her flame went dim
That’s when Dark slipped in – He’s a mean bastard
Singing .. la, la etc… no, no, no
La, la etc – let my people go
As the shadows fell – on the Ice hotel – dark cast his spell
He’s a mean bastard
Let the candles burn – let then shine so bright
“Till it’s day for night – for that mean bastard
Singing .. la, la, la, la, la – la la – no, no, no
La, la, la, la, la – la la – let my people go.
Aside from “I KNOW DARK” and the YONKERS songs, I loved THE WAY OF IT tonight. There is a total connection again & again with this one.
At the shows end, Yvonne requested HOLY SHIT – which I performed in solidarity with the prisoners. Thanks Yvonne, this was so reverent & chilling – I loved playing this tonight. A rockin’ I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE ended it.
Great to be back in Willy Clay territory. I LOVE this place & the people. I look at it as the Swedish YONKERS. There is such good “heart” here.
See you all soon!
BIG HI TO:
SO GOOD TO SEE YVONNE & BIG HI TO BJORN’S mother, Marie.. so good to see you again!!!.. hi to Johana.. & LOVE.. nice to see you … good luck with your music, LOVE… best with your awakening Johana.. OK … let’s see what tomorrow brings…
BIG HELLO TO TONY, lead singer & songwriter of the WILLY CLAY band … & lovely girlfriend, Malin… thanks so much for coming by, Tony… Malin… look forward to seeing you again.
Note: C’mon Tony .. the world needs the Will Clay thing… get to work!!!
HI ASTA.. (front row!!) .. great to see you tonight!!! .. see you soon!! ..
HI REINE & MATTHIAS.. don’t forget the train song!!! .. look forward to that.. not sure about the BIG SPEAKER REPEAT.., or whatever that was.. it’s probably good & cool .. but I’m pretty sure about the TRAIN thing .. so get to work .. & count me in!!
Hi Kent .. good to see you!!! .. hope to see your dogs .. & more important .. your kids next time!!!
HI ROBIN… great talking to you!! .. best with your graffiti art .. and all else .. you’re a great guy!!
So sorry friends Arne & Cecilia couldn’t make it .. hope to see you next time!!
Thanks JOAKIM for helping with the sound… great to see you!! … Hi Pelle (with the George Strait T-Shirt).. nice talking with you.. & you AKE .. thanks to both of you for the kind words..
Hi Freddy, Reine (& friend & songwriter, Matthias).. good luck with your songs.. see you soon!! ..
GREAT TO SEE REETTE & JONNI (soo pretty) & “friend” , MAGNUS… what a great guy!! .. so good to talk to you!!! .. thanks for the nice words!!
So good to wind down with you, Louise .. & Arthur.. best with your renovation.. hope to welcome in the dark with you next year!!!
And to all the others.. big thanks from me & the boys for a special night!
See you soon!
Sep 28, 2010 – HEADING FOR PITEA
We are picked up at the hotel at noon by a two-car caravan for our short (less than one hour) journey – slightly south along the Baltic sea – to the friendly, warm (not necessarily in temperature) sea town of Pitea.
I ride in the shotgun seat, with the ruggedly handsome and graying booker / proprietor of our Pitea venue (KROKODIL), a guy named Ronny. The conversation with this stoic – seemingly very shy fellow, goes as follows:
After 3 or 4 four minutes:
Me: “So you booked us at the venue tonight?”
Ronny (almost whispering): “yes.”
Then a minute or two of silence – then
Me: ” Is it your place?”
Ronny (slowly): “Yes”
Then silence for another few minutes.. then
Me: “Are you by any chance a musician”
Ronny (several seconds later -still almost in a gruff whisper): “Yes… A singer-songwriter” .. then continuing after a delay of another several seconds, “I don’t play an instrument”
I digested what he said for a minute or so (thus far, about 20 minutes have passed), & then I responded
ME: ” Is that how you make your living?”
After several seconds pause he answered.
Ronny: “No” … then after another several second pause he said ……….
“I’m a comedian.”
Oh man! I about fell on the floor! That was one of the strangest and most enjoyable (and finally funniest) conversations I’ve had in recent memory! And for the rest of the journey, I got a fuller look at the life and character of Ronny Eriksson, who I find out rather quickly is a rather famous and loved political comedian in Sweden.
ARRIVING AT “THE CITY HOTEL: in Pitea.
What a wonderful place to stay – old character, with elegant living quarters, dining rooms, bars etc. And a great, kind staff!! This is our favorite hotel of the trip, thus far.
SOUNDCHECK at the KROKODIL
Ronny and wife Ulla’s venue is only a few-minute walk from our hotel. What a great place. Housed in a very old smallish corner structure on a walking street two blocks from the Baltic sea, the venue has two main rooms – one for the music (holding about 125 people) – and one, a little store that sells – aside from coffee, sandwiches, candy and cakes – the most interesting precious merchandise (baskets, miniature moving vehicles cars, wagons, trucks etc.), hand bags etc. – all made from scraps by the poor folks in third world countries.
What a warm, wonderful vibe surrounds this place, managed by new friend, Ronny, his wife, Ula & young son, Joseph.
BY THE WAY: THANKS TO AN AMAZING ARTICLE IN THE MAIN PITEA NEWSPAPER (PITEA-TIDNINGEN), by journalist ANDERS SANDLUND the show is totally sold out! HUGE THANKS ANDERS!
The stage is small, but large enough to just fit the band in comfortable fashion. A good guy and pro soundman, Hakan, has us sound checked and ready in minutes. BIG THANKS HAKAN!
DINNER AT THE CITY HOTEL
Oh, was this awesome. Tony Leone and I had the salmon. The rest of the band had meat dishes or pasta. Everyone raved.
Again Simon opened and connected and we were on stage right behind him for our first set.
This was an amazing audience – totally with us from the start. I felt so comfortable, that I went deeper into the YONKERS NEW YORK stories than ever before. I can’t remember having a better time on stage. And the band felt the same thing & played so inspired tonight!
We totally connected with BASTARD BROTHERS, SWEET TEQUILA BLUES, HEY JONNY and the new Jill Johnson duet FOREVER GOING UNDERGROUND brought big, long applause. ANGEL OF THE MORNING, at the end of the set, was totally chilling.
But the thing I remember most was somewhere in the middle of the set.
I told the story of meeting Ronny – similar as I told it above – and the audience roared! At that point I felt like I was totally, “one of them” And that’s the way I felt for the entire night.
We started with the audience singing along with DANCE WITH JESUS, then shifted gears to a prisoner favorite, I NEED SOME HELP WITH THAT. The boys played so killer on this one. I had total chills.
Then it was off to THE CHAT & CHEW (the nightclub in ARDSLEY, NY back in the 50’s) with SAW MILL RIVER ROAD – with it’s BIG RIVER and ENDLESS SLEEP interludes – then the full BIG RIVER which felt so good and country and cool. I think Johnny Cash would have loved it.
Next came the song that Johnny Cash recorded of mine, CLEAN YOUR OWN TABLES – inspired by last night’s request from my journalist friend Rolf Nilsen from Lulea – which had the audience singing along & brought great response. THANKS ROLF – thanks to you, I think that song may be a permanent fixture from now on!!
After that great fun, came another one of the major highlights of this tour. It was a performance (with total audience participation & reverence) of a song that I recently wrote – at the request of Orjan Maki – which “celebrates” the coming of the ominous dark days. The song is “I KNOW DARK”, and tonight it was so, so chilling.
This warm audience quickly learned the “La La” chorus (not such a simple one) – and for three plus minutes it was like we were all in church somewhere in the north & I didn’t want to leave this place.
A similar chill-connection continued with THE WAY OF IT, always one of my favorite moments in the show. After a rockin’ “I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE”, we closed in solidarity to prisoners with a touching, NORTAJA PRISON.. which had several openly weeping.
TONIGHT WE PLAYED FOR WONDERFUL NEW FRIENDS. IT WAS THAT WAY FROM BEGINNING TO END . The band was so awesome & so right “there”. I’ll never forget this celebration!! Hope to see you all soon
Said hi to several, including:
Annelie .. so good to see you & friend Ingrid (and you later) .. hope you enjoy the CD… Hi GERTRUD WESLEY! – my namesake .. thanks for the solidarity hug! See you soon!! .. Mats & son Jacob .. so good to see you!
Hi Christoffer & Marcus.. nice meeting you guys!! .. BIG HELLO TO LENNART .. big thanks my friend for making the long trip!!! .. hope to see you soon again… Hi Margareta (with the beautiful penmanship) .. thanks for the kind words!!!
Hi Anders & Anna-Lena.. Hi Mats!! .. great to see you … I’ll send Kendel your regards!! Hi Enar… so good to see you!!
BIG HI to Helen .. Bjorn’s teacher … back to work! – you’re too young to retire! .. AND BIG HELLO to THE YOUNG JOHNNY CASH of Petea, FREDERIK .. great to see you my friend .. best with your own music!
HI LARS!!! GREAT TO SEE YOU AT THE END – thanks for coming by right after work!! I’m in solidarity with you – you know that!!! So glad NORTALJA PRISON moves you as it does me. You look healthy and great – keep up the good work…. NOW…. BEHAVE!!
A HUGE HELLO TO MY NEW FRIEND, STEFAN, who manages (owns?) the biggest and certainly one of the best record stores in Sweden, BURMAN’S MUSIK in UMEA.. Thanks for the support over the years! I’ve never signed so much vinyl and so many CDs for one person.. was it about 40 or so … AMAZING!
Wonderful talking to you, Stefan.. yes, I’ll tell Kendel how much you love her stuff – referring to her ALRIGHT DYNAMITE as “the most sensual CD in your store!” Yeah… she is amazing!
It is now a dream of mine to one day play at your CLUB LENNART (named in honor and memory of Lennart Perrson) – hope we can figure that out.
Again.. big thanks ANDERS for setting the table here. It was great to see you at the show. Hope we can have dinner or something next time! AND RONNY .. good to get to know you a bit on our drive and loved playing the Krokodil. Big thanks to Ulla .. hi to Joseph. Best of luck with your tour!
Sep 26, 2010 – STOCKHOLM – VENUE – THE AKKURAT
We check into a very nice hotel, The Park Inn, at the airport (we are heading north by plane in the AM), then head for one of my favorite places, The AKKURAT – the best scotch/ beer bar/restaurant on the planet – which is just south of The Old Town & looking down on it. My old friend, owner Stene is there to greet us and help us unload. SO GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN, STENE!
OUR HERO TOUR GUIDE PETER’S FIANCÉ, PERLINNA ARRIVED – So good to finally meet you!
After waiting a bit for the back-line (amps etc.) to arrive from Nortalja, great soundman Jona checks us rather quickly. Good friend Anders and new friend Kristin (from Orebro) make the trip to support us!!! So good to see you both– big thanks for making the trip!! Friend Per from Nortalja & his friend Jesse are there as well. Good to see you!
We all sit down in the back room and enjoy one of Stene’s magical AKKURAT meals. Thanks Stene and to all who put that together!
THE LOOK OF THE VENUE
The AKKURAT has a good-sized stage that overlooks the an open area about 30 feet deep. Off to the right is the large bar that wraps around to the right. And on the far right is a large area for standing and further right is an area for about five tables. On the far left there are a few similar tables So the audience you play for is fairly deep in front but quite spread out to the left & right.
During the show, because the stage is at a decent elevation, I had no problem seeing and connecting to the audience in all areas.
FULL HOUSE PLUS
Tonight the AKKURAT is absolutely packed. An area that you might think would hold 100 comfortably is holding well over 200 tonight. AND IT’S AN AWESOME BUNCH – 98% comprised of huge fans. I can’t remember ever feeling more connected to an audience. And that connection started from the minute I got on stage, until the show ended.
Simon did a fine 3 song set to open and we quickly followed, dividing our show into two sets.
SET I –
Again, the connection was immediate. We ripped through the story and song of THE REAL THING. The band was awesome – and they stayed on fire for the whole night. The stories and songs from YONKERS NY, BASTARD BROTHERS, and HEY JONNY all connected – as did the Chip & Carrie hit SWEET TEQUILA BLUES and the JILL JOHNSON duet song, FOREVER’S GOING UNDERGROUND.
Magnus Olsson, the brilliant Swedish drummer that played with us during our Norway run, was attending tonight. We invited him on-stage to take over the drumming for Tony Leone (Tony shifting to shaker) and played TOO DYNAMIC – a song written in response to a strange review of our live show by reporter in Upsala, Sweden some two years ago – which the audience seemed to love. Then, with Magnus still drumming, we ended the set with a chilling version of ANGEL OF THE MORNING, which had that special thing from beginning to end.
This was inspired set – the musicians were on fire, and the audience was on fire – and I fed on all that.
Then the big fun started! We all went to church with DANCE WITH JESUS – what a great call and response thing it was. Then it was back to a YONKERS connection with WITHOUT HORSES/ And then SAW MILL RIVER became a special art piece tonight as a talkative table on my right became part of the story – as the character in my song, JOE (leader of The Hudson Valley Boys at the CHAT & CHEW Bar) chastised the noisy ones as he “called me up on stage” to sing BIG RIVER and ENDLESS SLEEP.
I should hire those “talkers” for the next show as that additional “annoyance” led to something very special for the band and the audience. This was huge fun! And when the noisy ones realized they were now part of the show, they took it in good spirit and were reverent from there on. Never before have I felt so “at the Chat & Chew” in a performance of this song.
We paid tribute to our friends in the far north with a special new song I KNOW DARK (in which I call DARK a “mean Bastard”, which we just recorded in Halden. This was extra special, when many in the audience started singing along to the “LA, LA’s” in the chorus. Bjorn & Orjan may begin an annual New Years like celebration on NOV 1.. to welcome in the “MEAN BASTARD” .. calling it The “MEAN BASTARD DAY CELEBRATION” – I love that!
Then the band (now called the THE NEW UKRAINIANS) & I made a special presentation to our new great friend & tour manager Peter Soderlind – a proclamation, making him an “HONORARY NEW UKRAINIAN” – This was actually a touching moment filled with great appreciation to a wonderful guy!
After a few others and a warm and special CHARCOAL SKY, we totally rocked with WILD THING – and thought we’d ended with I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE. But the audience kept applauding and clapping in unison, which led to request – which led to my favorite show ending – EVER.
The request was by a lovely girl named Anna, for DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE, which I dedicated to those behind bars – as that song was a favorite during last year’s prison tour. The band helped create a chilling atmosphere & the audience response was overwhelming.
On the heals of that I played the song I wrote especially for prisoners, “NORTALJA PRISON”, which brought misty eyes (including mine) and the most amazing response ever – as cheers of compassion and solidarity with the prisoners erupted at several points of the song.
What a blessing it was to be part of this spirit tonight. I’ll never forget this one!
AFTER THE SHOW – SAID HI TO SEVERAL, INCLUDING:
Great to see my old friend Runer’s nieces, Annelie & Emilie who are here with there friends, Jonas & Victor & Robin..- BIG THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT! – great talking to you!
Great to see Mia, Stene’s sister! It’s been 6 years. So glad you were here tonight! It was great talking to you at the end. Hi to BENGT! I’ll tell Carrie you sent regards.
Hi to Goran, Leffe & Hasse .. thanks for the kind words… Hi to Orjan’s fiancé Yvonn’s cousin Marie – great to see you after the show! – HI MAGNA .. big thanks for the clear message of support – I liked that! .. Hi Alexander .. good to see you! .. Hi Bjorn .. thanks for the support.
Good to see old friend, ESA .. BIG THANKS FOR THE DISC WITH PICTURES – I put them safely away this time!! Hi Ola .. GREAT to see you .. big thanks for your comments – much appreciated .. Big hello to my old friend (and God-spirit), Torgny (THUNDER & LIGHTNING) .. good to see you all these years .. I think you own EVERY CD .. & the vinyl (new & old) as well.
GREAT TO SEE OLD FRIEND & FAMOUS ACTOR, LENNART & HIS FRIEND, EVA after the show — so good relaxing with you – I’ll look forward to our “magical” performance – whatever that will be!! BIG HI TO MY OLD FRIEND CRISTER (HAKAN’S BROTHER) .. great talking to you as always .. glad to see you made news! Here’s a toast back at you!! – NICE PICTURE! .. love to Marianne! GUSTA! – Hope you enjoy the vinyl! Great to see you!
ANNA .. so glad you asked for “DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE” .. one of my favorite moments on stage – ever! Hi Malin.. so glad you were there to feel the Nortalja Prison vibe .. you as well Charlotte – Big love to all of you!
Hi Anna & Malin. & OVE .. THANKS SO MUCH FOR THOSE HEARTFELT WORDS!! They touched me! Hi Holding .. so good to see you again & again .. thanks for your support with all the CDs!! Hi Jens!! – nice talking with you at the end!!
Hi to my terrific wedding friends from Nortalya – Leffe, Lotta, Andreas & all .. and friends Ann & V??? .. so good seeing you before and after the show. Hope the Portugal “honeymoon- sort – of” trip goes well – wish I could have seen you in Nortalja!
BIG THANKS TO STENE and GREAT STAFF.. MANJA (BIG LOVE TO YOU!!), Ida (GREAT TO SEE & TALK TO YOU!!), thanks Emily, .. Anders & Andreas .. big thanks!
See you all soon!
LATER AT THE PARK INN
Hi Ida – so good to meet you – thanks for the pillows and the good talk. I loved that! I’ll look forward to seeing mom (Eva) tonight – and you if possible (not counting on that)- then you or you and your boyfriend sometime soon in New York.
Sep 27, 2010 – HEADING NORTH TO LULEA
We took a 11:30 hotel shuttle to the airport. I must say the SAS check and the security was simpler and smoother than any in recent memory, which left me time to relax at the gate and work on my tour notes.
We arrived in Lulea at about 2:45. I was surprised at the weather and the terrain. We waited outside – 60ish degrees with the sun shining warmly – with upper New York State-like pine trees surrounding us.
A nice guy named Hans, drove us to our comfortable Quality Hotel and I was checked in and down in the lobby at 3:30 – all smooth and painless!
MEETING WITH ROLF NILSEN (LEGENDARY MUSICOLOGIST)
I had heard about this great guy in this town – often in the same breath as the late Lennart Perssons – the brilliant and much-loved musicologist from Malmo.
For the better part of an hour, Rolf & I traced my footsteps from the time I first heard country music on the radio until – talking about old heroes (his & mine) and friends such as Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, Guy Clark, Lucinda Williams and the like.
Note: A few years ago, Rolf lost one leg due to doctor’s error. But he feels great – and now in his 50s, still does his work with the passion of a man just out of high school. This is a wonderful, honest spirit to be around.
GREAT TO BE WITH YOU MY FRIEND!
THE VENUE – THE KULTURENS HUS (The Culture House)
The venue is a pretty little theater in a large complex that seats 250 or so. After my interview with Rolf, the band and I did a quick sound check with Jonas (“Jonny”). Nice work Jonny – sounded great!!
Note: Since Rootsy (Hakan & Bjorn) booked this venue on their own they were hoping to have at least 100 tickets sold to profit. But due to a Monday night show and press (all great) running a bit too late to influence attendance (though awesome for the big picture), the attendance was slightly below that. But a wonderful group they were!
We did one long show tonight with many of the YONKERS NEW YORK stories and songs being among the highlights ( i.e.: BASTARD BROTHERS, WITHOUT HORSES, SAW MILL RIVER ROAD).
Aside from a totally warm/fun audience interaction with DANCE WITH JESUS and an amazing interaction with JOE FRASIER – which found me telling more personal reflections of Frank Sinatra than I anticipated – the big highlights for me were dedications to our new friend Rolf Nilsen – BIG RIVER and two songs I hadn’t done in years, CLEAN YOUR OWN TABLES – the song of mine that Johnny Cash covered – and the song my brother Barry & I wrote in tribute to our grandfather (THE COALFIELDS OF SHIKSHINNY), which seemed loved by this warm group of folks and gave me chills
We ended the show with a beautiful ANGEL OF THE MORNING, a rocked-out WILD THING, saying a final good-bye with our tribute to prisoners, with the song NORTALJA PRISON.
I loved tonight. It was extra special that new friend Rolf Nilsen was here!
SAID HI TO SEVERAL, INCLUDING:
GREAT TO SEE ORJAN’S SISTER, ANITA … Big love to you Anita – I loved your smile!!! Hope to see you soon!!!
GREAT to see new friend Ida’s mom & grandmother as soon as I left the stage!! Hi Eva & Britt Marie – I WAS HOPING YOU WOULD BE HERE!!! So nice talking to you. I can see where Ida gets here warmth & good character from – hope to see you soon again!!
Hope Lars-Uno enjoys the CD, Britt-Marie, send him my regards!!
Hi Peter (mainstay of the ROOTSY FORUM) .. so good to see you again and again – appreciate your support! Hi Maria from THE SWINGING DOORS .. I’d love here your versions of any of the C & C songs .. send them if possible!
Hi Lilla ,, great to see you MAUDE .. thanks so much for the kind words! .. hope to see you soon again..
ROLF – GREAT TO SHARE THIS DAY WITH YOU – SEE YOU SOON!
Sep 25, 2010 – OXELOSUND
BIG THANKS TO TOUR MANAGER, PETER SODERLING!
The entire band is so appreciative of the efforts Peter has made. To be clear, Peter offered his services for these few days as a friend and fan – not for compensation. And the truth is he’s as good a tour manager as we’ve ever had. He’s a safe and solid driver of our van, helps with all loading and unloading, advances all the shows and hotels and sells CDs. In other words, The New Ukranian’s don’t have to think much about anything except making music! WHAT A BLESSING!! HUGE THANKS, MY FRIEND.
BY PROCLAMATION, Orion, Bjorn, John, Tony, Magnus (in abstention) and I – hereby officially name you – PETER SODERLING – an OFFICIAL member of THE NEW UKRAINIAN’S
CONGRATULATIONS ON THIS LIFE-CHANGING EVENT!
Back to our travels:
It’s about a 3 hour trip from Orebro to this seaside town. With Peter at the helm, we arrived at our destination – a Best Western Hotel set back in a humble shopping square – approximately 500 yards from the theater complex where will play tonight. What a blessing!!
VENUE – TARNAN STRAD
The venue is a mid-sized theater in a large simple post war structure. Our show is part of the TOWN CULTURAL FESTIVAL.
Again, it is an appreciated perk to have our hotel only minutes from the backstage door. When we arrive, we are greeted by a great team – Malin, the young kind stage manager with the sweet smile and her assistant friends, Annallee, Veronica, Lina. All great girls! Good to meet kind host Marie a bit later.
Soundman, Anders, a very proficient and kind guy, had us sounding very good in short order. After check, we were served a very nice dinner in our spacious downstairs dressing room area.
BACK TO THE HOTEL
Then it was back to the hotel where I could get on the Internet and do a bit of work on organizing THE FIRST AMERICANA LIVE IN NEW YORK mini-festival, which I am hosting from Oct 20 through the 22 in New York – at the Rodeo Bar and Hill Country – two awesome venues!! My friend Jon Langford, a brilliant paintings and sketches artist, as well as an awesome performer, just sent me a “Langford” poster for the event. It’s AMAZING! BIG THANKS JON!
Also had a few minutes to refine a new song, “SCREW ALL THE (US) PERFECT PEOPLE”, which I may perform for the first time in the Willie Clay hometown of Kiruna.
I loved this show. The band and I felt a very warm vibe from the audience from the very beginning, which enabled us to “live” the Yonkers NY songs and stories and not just perform them. Again, as has been the case throughout this tour, the stories were met with as much enthusiasm as the songs. What a nice thing.
It was Orjan Maki’s birthday today, so his pedal steel playing was featured throughout the show and his (and John Platania’s) solos were revered by this warm audience.
BASTARD BROTHERS, WITHOUT HORSES, SAW MILL RIVER ROAD and CHARCOAL SKY all connected with this audience in a special way. And the JILL JOHNSON duet song, FOREVER’S GOING UNDERGROUND (these folks obviously LOVE Jill Johnson!) sounded so chilling to me and connected big time.
But probably my favorite moments of this “lived in” show, was a chilling “BLACK and BLUE AMERICA”, a requested ” MICHAEL’S SONG – written for a homeless friend from NEW YORK. And after soulful versions of ANGEL OF THE MORNING and WILD THING , another big highlight for me, a sweet and touching THE WAY OF IT, ended the show.
This was a VERY special night! Big thanks to all who attended!
SAID HI TO SEVERAL AFTER THE SHOW, INCLUDING:
Special hi to our old friends Lars and Marita and Anders and Maria, who made very long distance journeys to join us at the last two shows. BIG THANKS! See you soon!
And special hello to Ander’s brother and his wife, Arne and Inge. So good to meet you! Hope to see you soon again.
Hi to Tomas and Katharina, Anna, Kristina .. such nice, warm people with kind words – much appreciated!! Hi LASSE, who has all my albums except “… JUKEBOX”. It’s so good to finally meet you!! Hope to see you soon again!
Hi Agneta.. so nice to see you. And hi Inge and Anders .., hope to see you both soon. Hi Gunilla and Mariette and Suke! and Peter – good to talk to you.. thanks so much for your kind words. They mean so much to me.
Special hello to Sirkka (originally from Finland .. many years ago) .. so good to meet you and GREAT to meet your daughter Helena.. Helena, it’s hard to believe that you have a daughter 15!!! – and a vinyl-loving one at that! Hope daughter Fanny likes the album. Please tell her I will look forward to seeing her one of these days!
Again.. big thanks to Anders for the great sound tonight.. and host Marie.. nice to see you! AND SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR NEW FRIEND, MALIN! – and our other great new friends, ANNALEE, LINA and VERONICA! The entire band thanks you all for your efforts and kindness.. hope to see you soon!
Note: Hi to proprietor Mats at the local pub, who served us decent scotch and a good local brew at a private table downstairs – a very good way to wind down after a terrific night.
Also.. good to see reporter Anders and kind photographer Helena in the AM. Thanks for the good questions and warm spirit. See you soon.
Sep 24, 2010 – OREBRO
We left Torsby at about 9:30 AM, heading for our next venue in one of my favorite places in Sweden, Orebro. It’s the home of a now good friend and awesome booker/promoter/record store owner, ANDERS DAMBERG – who earlier in the month hosted a hugely successful festival here where 150 bands (all sorts of music) plated over a period of one week. In the van I did an interview promoting our Saturday show in Oxelosound – a seaside place I’ve never been to.
I stayed in this town for a few days about six months ago, using it as a hub for some prison shows and a show in this town at the Skandic Hotel, hosted and booked by Anders. We arrive at a the Clarion hotel at around one PM.. I stayed here at this warm, upscale hotel last time. A kind fellow name Johan has our keys ready and we’re resting in our rooms in minutes. BIG THANKS JOHAN!
SOUND CHECK AT THE VENUE
KLUBB 700 is a little theater-club located in a large theater complex. It holds about 125 and Anders says it’s been sold out for a few days. It’s only a ten-minute walk from the hotel. We pass Anders amazing record store on the way, where there is a large “arty” display of several of the posters advertising our show in the front window.
We arrive at about 4:30. Soundman Christofer and helper Emil have good sound for us in minutes, so we’re able to head for an early dinner at a an excellent Anders-suggested restaurant that has seating in an outside area along a rather wide, trendy shopping-row cobblestone street. It’s about 75% outside – a perfect setting to relax with the band and have a special dinner before relaxing at the hotel in advance of our show.
This was special from beginning to end. The band (now known as “The New West Ukrainians”) was firing on all cylinders!!
Just for reference, the band is:
JOHN PLATANIA – lead guitar
ORJAN MAKI – pedal steel
BJORN PEDDERSON – bass
TONY LEONE – drums
Note: since our awesome recording sessions in Halden, Norway, where the boys played with such uninhibited passion, this band has become known as THE NEW WEST UKRANIAN’S – in honor of some passionate young freedom loving Ukrainian friends of mine from New York … see previous notes for a further explanation.
Again, this band was on fire tonight.
Back to the show:
The Yonkers NY songs and stories flowed through the show in a sort of magic way. I’ve wondered why these behind the scenes stories of my family history and the history behind the hits and other songs play as well here in Sweden as in the US. Later, Peter (our friend and tour guide from BOX WHISKEY) told me that Swedish people want to go deep into all that stuff – they don’t like brushing over stuff they’re interested in. When he said that it all became clear and seemed so, so true!
And so the stories were treated with as much reverence as the songs with applause and cheers breaking out for not only the songs, but the stories of BASTARD BROTHERS, WITHOUT HORSES and SAW MILL RIVER ROAD, with its BIG RIVER reprise.
We played lots of songs tonight, including new ones.. JOE FRASIER (lots of cheers and interaction on this one) and SOMEWHERE IN SOME TOWN with it’s tribute to real home grown towns, that as of yet – have not moved out to the highways.
Two requested songs, BLACK and BLUE AMERICA and I AIN’T LEAVING WITHOUT YOU were definitely favorites – as was the final songs, THE WAY OF IT (which is far more touching and reverent in person than the fun album duet version with John Prine) and I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE – which rocked big-time at the close of the show.
On the day before his birthday, Orion Maki stood tall tonight. He and John Platania got several deserved ovations for brilliant solos. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY FRIEND!
What a great return to Orebro –
My GREAT friends Lars and Marita and Anders and Maria – so good to see you again. Looking forward to relaxing and catching up!!
My young friends in the front row – Mettias, Stefon, Emil, Aders and lovely Lina – a very inspiring group!! I was hoping to see you all at the Clarion later – next time I hope we get a chance to wind down together. Lina, if you send your address to email@example.com, I will send you the latest CD. Look forward to hearing from you.
Hi Nina – great to see you and Håkan. Thanks to all of you for the kind words. Hope to see you soon.
Hi to friends Peter (in the wheelchair) and Aleta – who were off to my left during the performance – great to see you again. Big thanks for the kind words!! Hi to Krister (very tall!), lovebirds Kristin and Anders, Lars and Lars and Lars again.. all nice guys with much appreciated kind words and good spirit .. big thanks for that! Hi to Anders’ cohort and friends BENGT LENNART .. great spending time with you later.
Hi to Mats and Jack – Mattias and Marcus and Håkan – I’ll play “7 DAYS IN MAY” for you next time! – that’s a promise! – Hi to Inger and Irene .. and Hans and all the rest!
This was a special night! See you soon.
BIG THANKS ANDERS! – see you soon!
PS great to wind down with Anders, and friends Christine, Bengt, Simon, Peter (from Box Whiskey) and Bjorn at Bishops after the show. Anders plus – see you in Stockholm!
Sep 23, 2010 – HEADING FOR TORSBY
With Bjorn at the helm, the band left Halden at 8:30. I did a warm, VG interview with a journalist from the Stockholm area, Magnus, which pretty much covered the inspirations of the road .. current & future music .. an covered for the first time thoughts about the new recordings & the band, including thoughts about the naming of the band, THE UKRAINIANS which has created some Internet buzz. I think Bjorn Petterson & Orion Mackey haven official “band” picture floating around some place.
RADIO SHOW .. we stop an hour short of Torsby, in a town called Karlstad so I can do a cool little interview with an informed host, Per. Big thanks my friend. We arrive in Torsby at about 3:00 PM
VENUE – STJARNAN
We are greeted by Bo Willebrand..and soon meet his other co-workers Anders and soundman, Michael – all warm, GREAT guys! What a team!
The Stjarnan is a cool, pretty little theater with a full stage. We sound-check fast and find an AWESOME meal waiting for us! BIG THANKS TO KERSTIN .. This is one of my all-time favorite meals.. Oxen steak, mushroom laced potatoes, wild vegetables and common ones.. just awesome flavors.. WOW!
WELCOME TONY!!! – First, a big salute to new drummer Tony Leone who now takes over for Magnus Ollson, who will continue with pop star, Melissa Horn. GOOD LUCK MAGNUS! BIG THANKS! Tony has played with great artists, including Levon Helm .. we’re so fortunate to have him join us.
Oh, I loved this!
After a fine opening set by Simon, we’re on stage by 8:35. Again the time flies by.
This audience seemed so in-tuned to the Yonkers stories. All those were highlights for me. One of my favorite moments was when we played HEY JONNY , which tributes ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK as being the start of Rock & Roll – and off to the back right aisle was a five year old boy that started dancing with reckless abandon! That IS what this stuff is all about.
BASTARD BROTHERS, SAW MILL RIVER ROAD, BIG RIVER, DANCE WITH JESUS (AWESOME TONIGHT!!), WITHOUT HORSE, ANGEL OF THE MORNING .. the therapeutic chorus of WILD THING was as awesome as I ever heard it .. GREAT JOB! .. these were all major highlights.
But probably the biggest highlight for me was a touching version of THE WAY OF IT.. where I felt a total connection with these great folks! WE finished with a slammin’ version of I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE – WHAT A NIGHT!
AFTER THE SHOW
Said hi to several, including:
The five year old dancer, Sixten & dad Richard … so great to see you guys! Thanks for the kind words Richard .. so glad you made the trip! ALSO SPECIAL HI to JONATHAN .. a young guitarist who was attending his first concert with great mom, Maria .. hope to see you both again!
Hi Göte – great to see you .. hope you enjoy the listen!! Hi Gtoren .. thanks for the kind words.. Hi Kjell! .. good to see you! .. Hi Lars! .. hope you like the CD.. see you soon… Hi “L.P.” .. great to see you.. Hi Rolf .. good to see you after the show .. Stephon.. big thanks for the GREAT safety guitar!
Hi to the able assistants, Thomas, Erik & Simon.. hope to see you boys soon!
THANKS BO & ANDERS & MICHAEL .. you boys are some kind, warm & totally professional team.. my entire band & I, appreciate all your efforts!! BO.. special thanks for the wonderful GLENFRARCLAS 15 year old single malt. This stuff is AWESOME!
NOTE: Along similar lines, my great friend Peter from the amazing Swedish single malt company, BOX WHISKEY, arrived in time to sell CDs .. of course he brought a special cask strength bottle of Laphroig .. seleceted by legendary head distiller, John McDougall.. this stuff will be well enjoyed and appreciated – THIS IS AWESOME STUFF AS WELL! And so.. the finest whiskey in the world will accompany us for the remainder of our journey .. and I will certainly savor my “allowed” two full sips a day! Big THANKS to Peter, John & Bo (and Bo’s friend who made the Glenfarclas selection!)
Note: This tour has been booked by old friend Håkan Olsson & partner, Bjorn Petterson. The plan is to rehearse for two days in Halden, Norway, then play two shows on southern Norway. After that, we are to return to Halden to record songs I’ve written on the road these past years. After 3 days in the studio & one show in Halden, we’ll cross the border and play several shows in Sweden – first heading north.. then winding down several days later with our final show on the southern tip.
September 20, 21 & 22, 2010 – RECORDING IN HALDEN NORWAY
The idea for this album began two years ago. In response to a review of my first show with my new friends – musicians from Sweden – in which the main criticism was that our show was “too dynamic.” When the comment was read, the band broke out laughing.
But the truth is, I wasn’t laughing – and that night I wrote a song in response, called “TOO DYNAMIC”. We played the song to great response throughout that tour. Many other songs, inspired by thoughts and episodes from the road, followed, including “Outside The Human Condition”. And when played, they received similar response. My Swedish friend & bass player (from the great Willie Clay Band), Bjorn Petterson suggested I record these songs with the band that shared many of those memories.
So here in Halden (again, a place where I feel very comfortable), we recorded 15 “road inspired” songs with Bjorn Petterson on bass, Orion Maki on pedal & lap steel, brilliant young Swedish drummer, Magnus Olsson with the addition of the soulful John Platania on lead guitar and an amazing Norwegian keyboard player, Goran Grini. WHAT A BAND!
We recorded at Athletic Studios in Halden, which has the rep as being the best studio in all of Scandinavia. After recording there these past few days, I would put it at the top of the list of all studios I’ve recorded in EVER/ANYWHERE. Aside from the warm and soulful main room, the wonderful analogue recording decks and antique state-of-the-art sound board, which are meticulously maintained, the main asset to this studio is it’s owner/engineer, Kai Anderson. Not only is he as proficient as any engineer I’ve work with, but his above-and beyond qualities – his passion, his warmth, his honesty and his kindness – coupled with the great vibe of these heartfelt musicians, put this is at the top of the list of any studio experiences I’ve ever had.
ALBUM TITLE – “All The Perfect People” – featuring some humorous songs like “TOO DYNAMIC” and “I USED UP ALL MY SICK DAYS, SO I JUST CALLED IN DEAD”, combined with some serious ones like “ME & ROHILLIO” and “NOTHIN” and warm, sensual ones like “WEAKER MOMENTS” – all with an uninhibited spirit.
BAND NAME – Sometime during the course of the sessions I told the band about some new Ukrainian friends of mine from New York. These are young girls (early 20’s) are filled with humor and energy for learning new things and a love for music including mine. But all are dead serious when reflecting on Russia and Ukraine and the tragedies and horrors that have been part of Putin’s rule (i.e. his control of dissent with threats of imprisonment and death – acts he continues to carry out).
Although this album is not a political statement of any kind, it is a total celebration of free spirit with its no-holds-barred lyrics and subject matter as well as the organic interaction among the musicians. At some point the band contributed the passion and spirit of my New York friends by calling themselves THE NEW UKRAINIANS. After a while the “NEW” was dropped, and CHIP TAYLOR & THE UKRAINIANS seems to have settled as our moniker.
RELEASE SCHEDULE – We have been planning a first quarter of 20011 release of “ROCK & ROLL JOE” by Chip Taylor, Kendel Carson & John Platania (a sort of sharing the spotlight and lead vocals thing like THE HIGHWAYMEN did) – which is a tribute to musicians who never got their just “due”.
But this Halden-recorded album seems so immediate, it seems like it would be a shame to wait too long for its release. It will take a month or two to mix and finish, but when that’s done I don’t believe it will stay hidden long.
Sep 22, 2010 – HALDEN – VENUE – ERLANSENS CONDITORI
This is a magic little sandwich / cake shop hosted by now good friend Tomas – that turns into a venue on certain nights. This is one of them. Old friend & engineer , Obal does a great job getting rich, warm, sound in this charming room. By show time, the place is packed. It’s great to see old friend Eric, new friend Per & wife Gretta – and VERY special to see my friend from our hotel (THE GRAND HOTEL), lovely Maria and very inspiring new friend Malin! The truth is, I sang many of the songs tonight with my focus on the second-tier area, where the inspiration was coming from.
After Simon Lynge does his as-usual solid set, which shows off the virtuosity of his guitar playing and his clear, warm voice, we hit the stage at 8:15.
As usual, I kind of lose myself in the spirit of Yonkers NY and Hakan’s “best of” selections.. With all the Yonkers stories and great solos by John & Orian, the time passes quickly. Highlights for me were ALL those stories, BASTARD BROTHERS, SAW MILL RIVER ROAD, HEY JONNY, SWEET TEQUILA BLUES, FOREVER’S GOIN’ UNDERGROUND, BIG RIVER, WITHOUT HORSES (total magic tonight!)
After soulful versions of ANGEL OF THE MORNING and WILD THING and a loose version of a new song, “I USED UP ALL OUR SICK DAYS, SO I JUST CALLED IN DEAD” (the audience seemed to totally get into the fun of this one) dedicated to our friends at the great local bar “THE LAST JOURNEY” – which has a sticker on its wall with that slogan – we finished with my tribute to the prisoners with NORTAJA PRISON – which brings tears to many eyes – including mine – every time.
The show lasted over two hours, but with the great interaction with this warm audience, it didn’t seem nearly that long.
AFTER THE SHOW
It was very good to wind down with Eric, Per & Gretta and say a close good-bye to Maria & Malin. I wish you guys all the best. Would love that picture of Maria, Malin & me.. can someone send it?
Big thanks to friend Tom Skejekleseter, who handled the booking of the show, the hiring of the studio, the hiring of our new friend and awesome keyboardist, Goren ?? THANKS FOR ALL TOM.. YOUR SPIRIT IS ALL OVER THIS ALBUM!
Thanks Tomas for having us.. good to see brother in law Torbod.. please say hello to wife Camilla & dad Torbin .. wish they were here!!
Halden, the sessions and this show will be warm memories to keep. Thanks to all who have been part of that!
WIND DOWN AT THE BAR (THE LOST JOURNEY)
Great to wind down with friends, several who attended the show. Great to see Eric , Chris & Rich.. bartenders from this great place .. and good to hang with proprietor Magna, who is finally back from tending to family matters. See you next year in Austin!
Kai.. so good talking to you .. look forward to that dinner with Oscar & Heidi & John, next time we’re in town! Hi to Kai’s best friend “Big Daddy, “Thomd???” – was that it?? .. hope to see you next time… Hi & best to Eva.. thanks for the kind words.. best with your own music!!
Thanks to all said hi .. can’t wait to come back!!
SEPT 19 – OSLO – VENUE – HER NILSON
This is a VERY cool place to play. It’s like a small jazz room that wraps around a corner building in a little city square. It reminds me a bit of The Turning Point in upstate New York. Except it has a city vibe. I LOVE PLAYING HERE!!
The bartender/ booker, Chetill, greats us – manager Martin arrives soon & great & kind soundman Hans arrives at 6:00 & we are very happy with the sound in seconds, allowing us to quickly head for a needed bite to eat!
Just before show time I said hi to a couple of nice folks.. Terill & Jan who had seen us last year when we were in town with Kendel Carson – & a very nice guy Blorn who said some very nice words about my YONKERS NY CD. That set a nice tone for me to take the stage
The opening act — a talented artist named Simon – who is also distributed by Håkan Olsson’s Rootsy Record label – is opening for us on this tour. He’s from Greenland & sounds a bit like Paul Simon – sings & plays great. He does a fine job warming up the audience – we’re on stage at about 9:45.
Well .. you had to be there! This was as intimate a show as I’ve done – many are these days – but this room & this audience certainly brought out the best of the “living room” vibe.
AND THIS BAND WAS SOOO AWESOME!!! .. John Platania KILLED.. as did Orion & Bjorn & Magnus…. What a band!!!
There were far too many highlights to mention .. the whole damn show was a highlight for me.. I just loved being on THIS stage .. playing for THESE GREAT FOLKS tonight!!
The Yonkers NY songs totally connected .. as well as the “best of” selections .. we played so many tonight.. a couple of great memories might be .. a requested TRY JUST A LITTLE BIT HARDER (my Janis hit)… & DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE.. & THE WAY OF IT.., & SAW MILL RIVER ROAD .. & JOE FRASIER .. & SOMEWHERE IN SOME TOWN.. you see .. I could keep going.. it was just one of those amazing special shows
Said hi to several after the show, including:
Øystein – Great seeing you front & center .. you have such a great way about you .. I’d love to see you at my shows anytime!!
Big hello to my Rotterdam new friends, Lou, Thea, Els & Anton… so great to see & talk to you … & SPECIAL CONGRATULATIONS TO GRANDSON JASPER ON HIS CHRISTENING!!!!!! What a special day!!!! .. hope to see you all soon!!!!
Hi Liv.. so glad your dad, Leif suggested you come tonight (we saw Leif at the Protest Festival last night)_– you were a great addition!!! Hope you enjoy the CD hope to see you & dad soon!
Hi Knut .. great to see you .. thanks for your comments about the band!!! I’ll pass it on to them!! See you soon!! // Hi Magne .. & Tom .. & Bjorn.. so good to see all of
Hi Jon & Inge .. so glad you were here tonight. Wish I had more time to talk to you. I loved seeing you from the stage!!
Big thanks to now old friend .. venue mgr, Martin.. Chetill (thanks for your nice comments.. hope your friend enjoys the CD!)… HANS … GREAT SOUND!!!! HUGE THANKS!!
And to all the others that were here .. Big thanks.. this was special.. see you all soon!!
Sep 15 2010
John I arrive in Oslo .. met by old friend & great Norwegian music tastemaker, Tom Skjeklesater. We arrive at our hotel in Halden in mid afternoon. For the next few days John & I battle the jet lag thing.
Sep 16 2010 The Band arrives!
Orian (pedal steel), Bjorn (bass) & Magnus (drums) arrive at about 4:30 PM.. after traveling from the north of Sweden for the better part of the day.
REHEARSAL – Håkan & Tom have secured rehearsal space for us at the studio where we will record in a few days. We work for a couple of hours, then head for a relaxing good dinner at a new restaurant that’s housed in the confines of the newly built, The Thon.
The next day we rehearse back at our modest, but warm & homey hotel, The Grand Hotel – we like this humble, soulful place. Håkan arrives at mid day & after rehearsal, we have a great sit-down meal at a terrific Indian restaurant near our hotel.
Sep 18 2010 – The PROTEST FESTIVAL – KRITIANSAND, NORWAY
It takes us about 6 hours – including an hour ferry ride to reach this city in the southern tip of Norway. This is a charming place. Much of the town is geared toward accommodating the Protest Festival – devoted to better understanding of social issues. Music is only a small part of the festival. There are lots of panels & discussion groups.
PANEL – discussing humor – topics & attitudes.
I’ve been asked to start the panel off with a few songs. I enjoyed weaving hints of the topic with THE WAY OF IT, ANGEL OF THE MORNING & WILD THING. This was a surprisingly fun thing for me very kind & warm folks to play for & talk to. After the songs I head for sound check with the band.
Note : Big thanks to Nilmi, a writer in her own right, who was our escort to & from the event. Nilmi wrote a recent syndicated column in the newspapers referring to the importance of family values, in particular referencing the blessings of not-so-politically correct stay-at-home-moms. All the best Nilmi .. big thanks!
MAIN VENUE – ODDEROYA IDRETTSHALL
REHEARSAL FOR THE MAIN SHOW
After the panel, we went quickly to the main auditorium on a hillside on the outskirts of town. Soundman Chatill & Maris had us sounding good in seconds! GREAT JOB BOYS! This allowed us to head back to the hotel for a bit of dinner & well needed rest before taking the stage.
Loved this!! We played for several hundred enthusiastic folks. THE BAND SOUNDED AWESOME!!! .. Håkan has released a BEST of called CHIP TAYLOR – JAMES WESLEY DAYS. – a very cool double CD. Most of our show draws from those songs.
When we played a new song, FOREVER’S GOING UNDERGROUND for the first time, there was absolute silence and the applause after went on for quite a long time. That was a wonderful feeling for us on stage & set the tone for the rest of the show. As well as dancing & moving with all the fast ones, these folks got the sensitivity & warmth of the ballads as good as any audience in recent memories.
And the Yorkers NY songs seemed so revered. , SAW MILL RIVER ROAD, HEY JONNY, CHARCOAL SKY… folks here really got the passion of these. This was a great group to play for!!
We played for the better part of an hour & a half – & because of the warmth from these new friends, it felt much shorter. I hated to leave the stage.
We ended with a soulful WILD THING & a chilling NORTAJA PRISON.
SAID HI TO SEVERAL, including
Hi KARI.. great seeing you at this show & the panel. Thanks for the interview & the enthusiasm .. & byes, I would very much like to hear from you regarding your movie Johan & would love to be involved with Johan II. And I’ll look forward to listening & discussing your music with you. Hi to camera man Tom?? (is that right?) .. tell him big thanks!!
Hi to MC Lasse, & wife ??? & Friend??? .. great to see you.
Hi Tine .. thanks for the SEVEN DAYS IN MAY request.. hope to see you soon. Big hi to WALTAR.. thanks for waiting for me to sign.. big hi to your dad, Gunner, .. tell him I wish him well.
Thanks to Håkan’s new “find”, Simon who did a fine job opening for us.
SPECIAL THANKS TO SVEIN INGE for inviting us to be part of this important event! Would be honored to do it again next year!!!