Chip Taylor's Road Journal

Read Chip's words about life on the road, recording in the studio and much more...
Older Road Journal Entries are in the Archive



Taxi to the Britannia hotel.. meet festival reps .. nice folks .. Jens & Karin, who has offered to drive great folk singer Ida Jenshus, her boyfriend / guitarist Alex & me to a church service for the victims in Ida’s home town of Steinkjer – some one & a half hours away.


This was tough & beautiful. We met some of the Labor Party reps & some of Ida’s old friend & did a brief sound check.

As the service began, we sat on the side facing the first three rows filled with families of victims. A sad thing to see. But the beautiful service & gathering seemed healing for several.

Six artists, most home grown, played & sang. Ida did a warm song with Alex to start our little performance. Then Ida & I sang Could I Live With This.. then ended with THIS DARKEST DAY..

We said hello to some of the labor party reps & some of the victims & friends later. And said our good-byes. Again.. tough.. but there was no place I’d rather have been.


No pressure today .. rehearsing is the only thing on the agenda & Ida & her band are totally ready for me. GREAT THAT MY FRIEND HAKAN OLSSON ARRIVED TODAY.. so good to share all this with him & have his support as I go.

The band:

Hakon – guitars & banjo
Adros – bass
Stein – drums
Alex – guitar
Ida – vocals, guitar, tambourine

Ida had a wish list of songs for us to sing together .. loved her choices/… COULD I LIVE WITH THIS, DON’T SPEAK IN ENGLISH, RED DOG TRACKS, WILD THING .. & THIS DARKEST DAY .

The boys are so ready .. we play each song twice .. with hardly any adjustments. This was more like a spirited performance than a rehearsal .. thanks boys!!!! .. & IDA!!!! .. for your great preparation .. WE ARE TOTALLY READY

JUL 28, 2011 – SOUND CHECK

.. we are playing at a very cool space that holds about 500 people .. we hear it will be sold out .. .. it’s a big room with very high ceilings .. & a great sound system.. have several hours to sound check .. Ida’s soundman, Ketil is great .. I’m happy with the sound in minutes .. we play the songs down again .. a total pleasure to play with this band.

JUL 28 – 10:00 PM – THE SHOW


I watch Ida’s show from the audience .. she’s just great .. honest & energetic & her songs are from a good spirit & honest .. she’s only 24, but she’s seasoned on stage .. has a bit of Lucinda’s spirit… she’s got a huge future!

About 12 songs into the set, she introduces me .. & I feel so connected to her on stage right away .. & I felt so at home with the band & this great audience.. I talked about being here before at CREDO with my friend Tor .. & how connected I felt to this town..

This was a total love-in.. CAN I LIVE WITH THIS was chilling .. DON’T SPEAK was so much fun!!! .. Red Dog Tracks was swampy & so good .. WILD THING, with it’s guitar, pedal steel & BANJO solos totally rocked .. Ida was so loose and great & SO, SO inspiring to sing with!!! .. After WILD THING, Ida did a few more & we closed with a reverent THIS DARKEST DAY .. Ida was so ready for this.. I had chills from start to finish!


Great to see old friend Tor (from Credo).. & good to say hi and thanks to Arvig, Karin, Biret, Eric (Ida’a agent), Per (Ida’s mgr), Malin & all the rest.

Håkan, Eric & I relax at the hotel for a drink .. we’re joined soon by Alex & Ida .. what a good way to wind down.. this was a great night from start to finish!




Note: The venue today is a beautiful little church, in the square minutes from our hotel. The town council, with efforts from the pastor & others, have turned the church into a refuge for the less fortunate & others.. “ANGELS, BANDITS & ORDINARY PEOPLE” The pastor is a great guy named OD .. he & festival rep, Yens meet with Mary, Tania & me at the hotel to tell us the importance of this, once a month, two hour open mike & about the relationship of the church, the less-fortunate & the community at large.

First.. the church is a total open shelter for the homeless on weekends .. for sleeping etc.. and serves coffee & some food to the homeless on a daily basis. THEIR BIG EVENT EACH MONTH IS THIS OPEN MIKE .. where homeless & other folks perform. One of the great blessings is that OD is an amazing & soulful pianist as well as pastor – and accompanies those who perform without an instrument .. be they vocalists or readers of poetry.


So, so great to see the soulful & brilliant – & old friend MARY!!!! (it’s been too long!).. & her oh-so-talented accompanist, TANIA ELIZABETH.. another old friend .. & a lifetime friend of Kendel Carson. Tania is a brilliant fiddler & harmony singer.. also does this small, nuts/ soulful percussion thing with her feet as she plays & sings .. she is AMAZING!!

I LOVE MARY’S SONGS!!!! .. so this is a blessing for me to be around them. We play three of hers, including the great CHRISTMAS IN PARADISE & the soulful & beautiful MERCY NOW… I join in with acoustic & a bit of harmonica & background vocals

My first is COULD I LIVE WITH THIS .. with Mary so soulfully on the second verse. Then, encouraged by Mary & my friend Håkan, I play FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE.. from my soon-to-be released album of the same name.. MARY joins in with a verse & all choruses.. & though their is a gasp of sorts as the title phrase bounces off the church walls for the first time, the folks seem to LOVE this… happy I took the chance!!

We close with my new tribute to the families & friends of the victims, THIS DARKEST DAY.. with Mary & Tania joining in.. so warm & touching to hear this song .. in this place. I had chills from start to finish.

LOVE YOU MARY & TANIA!!! .. & loved this!!


The open mike continued with the locals performing.. IT WAS AWESOME.. a women who, like my mom, yodeled.. another read poetry .. a mom, dad & daughter performed JT’s “YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND” .. a homeless fellow played an awesome rock/ art passionate guitar piece that would have fit a soundtrack for a Jim Jarmusch film .. he was awesome .. our festival guide, Karin, sang a lovely song!! .. well done Karin!! .. then another poet/ singer .. a few others & then:

TWO FUTURE STARS!!! .. a 12 year old (I’m guessing) who sang a pop-soul song a capella (without accompaniment) .. she didn’t miss a note .. & sang with awesome power & passion .. a winning American Idol type performance .. amazing!! .. then. My favorite .. a lovely young girl (16??) .. “Eddie Johanna” sang GOD BLESS THE CHILD guess is that if she gets a YouTube clip out, shell be signed by a major label… she’s special & so soulful!!

Note: to dad John Dahls .. John get in touch with my site with your email & phone info.. keep me up to date!! ..send a big hello to Eddie..


said hi to a kind festival head-rep & wife .. then wound down with Håkan at the hotel bar .. said hi to old friend (& GREAT GUY!!), Steve Cropper.. who was playing his STAX REVIEW earlier ………. Got two hours sleep .. then off the HALDEN by way of OSLO.


At the request of many.. for the purpose of recording, “THIS DARKEST DAY” .. to make it available to the Norwegian people.

With accompaniment from Goran Greenie (piano), Farts Kaplan (fiddle) , Terry (bass) .. with Paul Flaata on vocals .. the plan is to send the tracks quickly to Ida Jenshus to add her vocals ..

WE TRACKED YESTERDAY .. it sounds great!! … mixing today

Jul 21, 2011 – RADIO STATION – RADIO WEST (Udavalla)

Hakan & Monica pick me up at my amazing hotel around 11:45 and we head to our fist stop in Udavalla – on the Swedish side of the border – to Radio WEST – for a quick interview before heading to the Down On The Farm Festival. I was at this station last year .. these are very good folks, promoting worthwhile stuff .. so glad to be part of it.

A very kind DJ / host named Jimmie does a fine job guiding me through talk about the importance of the theme of R&R JOE (promoting unsung heroes) .. & some info re: the DOWN ON THE FARM festival .. I play a couple of songs live .. R&R JOE .. then I KNOW DARK .. & after some good-byes we’re on the way to the festival

Jul 21, 2011 – 4:30 – ARRIVING IN HALDEN

We arrive at about 4:30 .. check into the Grand Hotel .. I love the spirit of this place!! A great lady named Eva checks us in .. happy to have a bit of time to go over some songs for the festival .. & to continue learning The Highway Kind .. a Townes song that Norwegian folk singing star, Ida Jenshus suggested we learn for our duet performance in Trondheim in a few days.

Jul 21, 2011 – 10:00 PM – GUEST APPEARANCE – at a great EVENING SHOW


Tom Skjcklesatther (the music impresario of Halden), Hakan Olsson & Bjorn Petterson are hosting & organizing this festival. Tom has set up a show at cool venue on the water to introduce the festival. The band is AWESOME .. Fats Kaplan – fiddle / guitar, Goran Grini – keyboards (THE AWESOME MUSICIAN THAT PLAYED ON THE SOON-TO-BE-RELEASED ALBUM I CUT IN HALDEN, “FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE”, Freddy – lap steel plus guitars/ Omar – guitar, & a terrific drummer & bass player.

The band plays tons of known, cool rock/blues & country anthems. The place is standing room only & is loving every song. These guys are so, so spirited & good!!! .. then the headliners of the festival make guest appearances, singing one or two songs .. they’re all awesome .. including Hege Brynildsen & Fat’s wife, Kristie Rose .. then toward the end, Deadman does, THE WEIGHT” .. I do BIG RIVER & ANGEL OF THE MORNING .. the band is AWESOME on both … LOVED THIS!!! .. The great pop/soul Norwegian singer PAUL FLAATA does two & kills this audience .. actually we all do .. it’s a great night!

We get some late night takeout food & all adjourn to the hotel for a great relaxing night at the spacious bar area .. great to see Sanna & Eva .. what nice folks!!

Note: stopped by my favorite bar, “THE LAST JOURNEY” to say hi to friends, Magna & Eric .. but it was too crowded .. so we finished up at our hotel bar.


My big show is tomorrow .. but tonight I have a short “Camp Fire” set .. so Goran has offered to accompany me. We have a great rehearsal in the hotel bar area – an empty place except for us .. loved this .. We played a few from my current set list & others from the “PERFECT PEOPLE” album. From just this short rehearsal, I can see how great it’s going to be to play those new songs ..

Jul 23, 2011 – 6:00 PM – THE DOWN ON THE FARM FESTIVAL

(held on the prettiest little farm, 20 minutes from Halden)

It’s raining pretty hard during the day, and a decision is made in the morning to move the stages to barn areas..

BAD NEWS FROM OSLO .. a bomb went off in a government building. And in another location, at a youth camp, many high school students are brutally murdered. With this bad news slowly breaking, there is a bit of a numb feeling & sadness on the Festival grounds.

On the main stage, the performances are awesome .. starting with the great DEADMAN band from Austin, then Hege Brynildson, The Salmon Smokers & then the amazing Paul Flatta .. with his amazing voice & Elvis-stature charisma…. on stage & off, Paul’s a gem!

On the campfire stage .. known as the barn-bar area.. it’s me, with Goran Greenie on keys & Fats Kaplan on fiddle – and later, the great Kim Richie & her band This was loose fun for me & the boys .. & Kim was total magic!

Norway’s great young folk singing star, Ida Jenshus arrives at the camp at about 6:30 from Oslo.. she was only blocks from the bomb blast earlier in the day. We spent much of the night getting to know her & her boyfriend Alex & his band-mates in the revered Norwegian band THE SOUTH. Ida’s a breath of fresh air – so talented & so real – love getting to know her.

Toward the end of the night, Anna Stradling followed Paul Flaata on the main stage past midnight.. not an easy thing to do .. but her energy with her husband was so honest a true on stage – she was so special in her own right.

Ida, the boys in THE SOUTH & I left before WHITEY MORGAN & his 78s wrapped up on the main stage. But I hear they were awesome!!


With the news from Oslo getting worse .. 91 confirmed dead, several missing – some of the dead & missing are from Halden – Hakan, Bjorn & Tom did the proper thing by canceling. There seemed little heart for proceeding with any event that was somehow partly a commercial venture.


But it felt so empty to me do just sit here with all the sadness floating around. So I proposed that we do a free concert somewhere in Halden, in solidarity with the Norwegian people – particularly those directly affected by the tragedy unfolding.

I asked each band member & artist – they were 100% up for it – NO questions asked. The great GRAND HOTEL folks, Eva & Michael said they would TOTALLY handle all logistics – ie: venue, sound system, engineers, getting the word out to townspeople & music lovers. . And that was it!!! Within minutes, the ball was rolling.

Each band & artist’s mission was to pick a few songs to perform that in some way could be in communion with the emotions of the day. The plan was to be ready to do a sound check of some sort at 5:00.

I scheduled a rehearsal with Goran Grini & went to my room, picked up the guitar & wrote a song, THIS DARKEST DAY. Goran & I rehearsed that song & a few others.


It was amazing how quickly & efficiently Eva & Michael put the logistics together. With their efforts, we had a few options. Then Michael had a meeting with the Town Council folks & it was decided that our event would be held at KULTESALEN, the new & beautiful theater located only a few blocks from our hotel.

Michael then called a revered local engineer, Espan who agreed to offer his services free of charge. Thomas, the heralded engineer from the Center was already on board in the same manner, And what an amazing job they did!


The bands were ready at the hotel at 5:00. We loaded in at 5:45. I’ve never seen a sound check handled in a more efficient manner. There were 7 different stage set-ups. Each set up – including two full bands – was handled within minutes, with minor adjustments. There were NO prima donna’s here. No band members asking for excessive amounts of time or soundmen showing off their knowledge – Everyone was simply on a mission to make this work. The back & forth with the engineer’s & artists was totally confined to getting that result. I loved just watching that unfold.

The result was that THE SOUND WAS AWESOME!!!! We were finished & ready to go by 7:15 – show time wasn’t until 8:00. to put it mildly, Aspen & Thomas did one hell of a job!


A half hour before the show started, I stood outside and watched the audience arrive. The people just kept coming & coming. I got chills just watching. There were many families and many, many high school kids. Most seemed shaken & sad but so, so warm & comforting with each other. I was moved to tears.


There is no event that will ever be closer to my heart than this one. Revered Halden musicologist, Tom Skjcklesatthe, hosted the show. Each band & artist performed heartfelt songs that fit the occasion & played them with honesty & passion. And this packed house appreciated every effort & cheered every performance. In the middle a preacher said a few warm words & a Town Council representative said an appropriate welcome – neither interrupting the flow of the magical performances.

DEADMAN opened with two band-like or U-2-like passion pieces – the last with a “Hey Jude”-like ending that had the audience cheering.. then Kristi Rose & Fats did a sad folk song & one with hopes of coming sunshine .. then a wonderful jazz-soul singer from the Cultural Center troupe, performed a beautiful version of “Somehere Over The Rainbow”.. with amazing jazz-guitar accompaniment .. just beautiful!

Then the great WHITEY MORGAN – with Bret Robinson on pedal steel – played a couple of old time country songs he once played with his grand dad .. so, so touching. Then Hege Brynildsen added her unique & honest magic.. then I performed with Goran & Whitey & the 78s .. a song from my Black & Blue America Album, “COULD I LIVE WITH THIS” .. then my tribute to those who’s sun disappears for long periods .. from my soon-to-be-released album, FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE – “I KNOW DARK”, with the audience singing along.

Then the amazing Paul Flaata performed three songs .. with such simple passion & magic.. he had the audience (& me) totally mesmerized.


Then Tom introduced me, telling the audience that I had written this song this morning .. for this occasion, THIS DARKEST DAY. I had played the song for Paul just before the show started. We decided I would start singing it & he would join in here & there – as the spirit moved him.

Paul walked on stage with me. I expected him to stand next to me at the mike designated for him. Instead he took the mike & wandered toward the rear of the stage & sat on a sound monitor. I looked back at him. He just smiled & offered his hand .. like “go to it .. the stage is yours”

I started singing the song.. Goran played piano- with a steady warm gospel feel & Fats touched it every so often with his soulful fiddle sounds .. I sang the first verse alone .. then started the second .. & there was Paul’s magical voice .. every so often caressing the song .. very untypical.. but very, very beautiful. The words brought tears.. I had a chill throughout the song.


(chip taylor)

On this darkest day, Lord – we will stand together
Can’t you hear their voices – rising from above
On this darkest day, Lord – evil can’t divide us
Shine your light upon us – on this darkest day

On this darkest day, Lord – a distant bell is ringing
I hear children singing – it’s part of his plan
Sounds that break the silence – soft & warm around us
Will bind our hearts forever – on this darkest day

A mother’s cry, a father’s tear – some of that pain Lord
Please bring it here
What is a man, if (he is) not a friend – then he has nothing
In the end

On this darkest day, Lord – we will stand together Nothing can divide us – on this darkest day


On our knees, heed our call – if you hurt one (of us)
You hurt us all
Bring your thunder, bring your rain – the son (sun) of love
Will shine again

On this darkest day, Lord – we will stand together
Can’t you hear their voices – rising from above
On this darkest day, Lord – evil can’t divide us
Shine your light upon us – on this darkest day

When it was over, the audience would not stop applauding. So I gathered all the performers to take one last bow.. then I asked Paul to please play one more..

He played a lonely blues .. then it was done. When I walked outside several in the audience had waiting to say hello – several teenagers & their parents were in tears.. shaking .. holding each other close.. children from the town were missing .. injured .. and worse. It was tough to be part of. But I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. We all felt that way.

Jul 16, 2011 – BEAT THE JET LAG!!

Took an AM flight to London .. only 2 hours sleep that night.. arrived at 8:00 in London.. tired .. settled in at the HILTON HEATHROW .. a nice dinner just before midnight.. a good whiskey .. a decent sleep.

Took a mid-day flight to Malmo .. checked into the great SAVOY HOTEL .. then an evening with Håkan & family .. watching the British Open.. then an awesome dinner prepared by Håkan & wife Monica with daughter .. & my great friend, Elin

Jul 17, 2011 .. MEETING WHITEY & THE 78s

meeting with the band who will support & back me up, Whitey & the 78s .. just in from a show at the great AKURATT in Stockholm.. nice guys.. we’ll rehearse tomorrow



First, what an amazing place this is!! .. a manor estate in the country side. Straight out of a Steven King novel .. artistic.. not fancy .. very cool .. great food from in & around the estate.. .. meet owner/ magician Sven & wife Eva (liked them right away), the kind & great chef, Jakob.. hosts Joakim.. so nice .. lovely hostess Liv.. sound guy Johan..

Rehearse in the restaurant for a while .. so much stuff for the boys to learn in a short period .. but I LOVE their spirit .. a country garage-band thing .. like my band in high school .. & kind & terrific guys!


Whitey & the boys did a solid 40 minute set .. cool sound .. Waylon-like delivery .. great stuff! Loved listening.

Then it was our turn .. this was loose, passionate fun .. we were surprisingly tight on some.. like the tough-to-play BLACK & BLUE AMERICA .. & ROCK & ROLL JOE .. & very loose on others.. we train wrecked a few times .. but it didn’t matter .. the spirit rose above everything .. and the audience totally GOT THAT .. there was a huge connection there..

Ended with ANGEL, WILD THING, TENNESSEE & HOLY SHIT .. great stuff!! Then encored with my Waylon hit.. SWEET DREAM WOMAN .. in duet with Whitey .. loved that

Closed with CHARCOAL SKY .. which the band learned as I played it .. humble .. but magic!! .. what an awesome group to play for!! .. see you all soon!


Great to see old friends – Lars & Marita .. great to see you!! .. & Jan- Ake .. so good to see you.. & Runer & Irena & Anders & Maria .. wonderful to see you … I think of you guys often!! What a blessing for me

Hi Borje & Anki .. so great to see you all .. Borje .. hope Rolf likes the CD..

Hi to Lars .. my great friend from the Malmo hair cutting salon.. so good to see you & your wife.. wish I had a chance to talk to her a bit .. tell her big thanks for coming.. big hi to Guunar.. Gunilla Bengt & Karin.. & Eva & Thomas ..

Sorry I missed saying hello to many .. next time!!

Big Thanks to the staff .. host Joakim, Chef .. Jalob.. sound man .. Johan.. hostess, Liv .. & ..oh yes.. owner, Sven & wife… great to see you all!!… & HAKAN & ELIN .. huge thanks


Whitey & the boys – with great road manager Stubbs picked me up shortly after 11:00 AM at the Savoy in Malmo .. about two hours later, we arrived in Valberg .. at my now-old-friend, Ulf’s place.. on the water

THE VENUE _ Mayas Vid Havet

A hot place for the 6 week summer season .. we’re in the middle of that now

Great to see owner / mgr Ulf & Sophia .. a revered restaurateur & music guy from these parts. .. & great chef & friend-from-the- past Sarah .. BIG THANKS SARAH!! .. and new friend Karin .. who handles the place at night .. normally handles the same for cruise ships .. she does this a part of her vacation!! good to see you Karin.. been coming here for several years now – ALWAYS LOOK FORWARD TO THIS!!! .. This is a top of the line, acclaimed restaurant./ music venue .. featuring their own garden.. w/ home grown veggies etc.. .. just amazing food!!

With Stubbs at the controls, sound check .. we use some time for rehearsing my songs .. love playing with these boys .. lot of heart & a great work ethic! .. big thanks boys!

Then we have an AWESOME meal .. like from the best trendy NY restaurant .. just better . w/ homegrown stuff .. BIG THANKS!!


Ulf has me staying at an AMAZING SPA!!! .. located a few miles from the venue .. right on the water as well!! .. this place is a palace!! .. big thanks Ulf!!


Whitey & the boys were here a few weeks ago.. & killed them playing their up tempo country Waylon-like songs .. .. several of their fans are here.

I’m not sure how many are here .. I’m guessing 40 or so .. I’m in the back listening when Whitey & the boys play their first song (I can’t see the stage from there) ..and the place goes NUTS!!! .. it’s sounds like there’s 500 in the room! .. with hootin & hollerin like you’d expect at a Texas dance hall ..

And that’s the way it is for their entire set .. the place is going nuts!!! .. I’m so happy for Whitey & the boys .. but I’m thinking .. how the hell am I going to follow that .. will I dare play my sensitive slow ones?? .. I hit the stage wondering .. saying “fuck it … here we go”


Well.. as soon as I look out at the audience.. I feel comfortable .. like I’m with great friends who are there to take a journey .. and that’s what it was like.

There was no issue at all about attention or enthusiasm.. I held back nothing .. I spoke as stories and words came to me .. with nothing planned .. and sang songs as the spirit took me .. AND WHITEY & THE BOYS WERE AWESOME!!! .. the afternoon rehearsal & their own efforts put them musically right with me .. and so this great audience cheered us through the entire night.. WHAT A RIDE!!

From THE REAL THING to ROCK AND ROLL JOE .. total reverence .. and you could hear a pin drop with BLACK AND BLUE AMERICA .. it was so, so chilling & MALMO NIGHTS .. oh.. did that sound so warm & honest tonight ..We rocked with DANCE WITH JESUS. HOT ROD CARSON & BIG RIVER .. and I KNOW DARK tribute to the folks who live with the darkness (my friends in Kiruna) had everyone singing the La..La” choruses with us .. it was so magical & “healing”..

After a chilling ANGEL OF THE MORNING, a totally rocking WILD THING .. we ended with I WASN”T BORN IN TENNESSEE .. with the audience clapping and singing along … we encored with a totally reverent (& irreverent!) and viby HOLY SHIT .. but folks were still wanting more .. and so I played (for the first time for these fans) the title song from my next solo album.. which will be released first in Sweden on NOVEMBER 6, “FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE”.. with people singing along..and with that… finally said good-night.

Oh man .. this was something

Then a great thing happened .. with some die-hard fans still around, WHITEY AND THE BOYS played the coolest 4 song set .. that had everyone.. including me .. cheering this humble, great band .. I love these guys!!.. man what a special night!!!!

Special thanks to STUBBS .. the tour mgr for the boys.. who had my back at every turn!! .. Thanks my friend!!


My great friends KAY (“KAI”) & KICKI, first saw my friends at the “other? Ulf’s place on the sea, where we played several years ago … great to see you guys!!! Send the other Ulf my best regards.

Hi Peter .. so GREAT to see you.. love to Pernilla & huge love to SAGA .. Saga .. I LOVE the picture!!! .. you and the cat & the sun & sky & the tree.. BIG LOVE FROM ME .. hope to see you soon!!

Hi to Runer & Irena.. thanks so much for the photos!!! ,, so good to see you always.. now give me back my pens!!! .. Anders & Maria .. you were certainly here in spirit.. see you soon!! ..hi to great friends Lars & Marita .. and FAMILY .. Malin 14, Daniel 19 & Andreas 18 .. so great to see you guys…. ALWAYS!!

Big hi to my great friend, Leif .. revered DJ from Goeteberg .. & friends,.. loved seeing you all!! .. Hi Leanart .. & friend Magnus.. so good to see you again

Big hi to Jonte .. & Agneta (AND PER OLOF) .. thanks for asking for Michael’s Song .. I hope next time.. I LOVE that one .. it’s about all that’s real important to me & in me.. Hi Michael .. Hi Per & Matilda** .. great to focus on you tonight!! .. a special couple !! .. lucky guy!! .. & I think in the reverse as well!! .. Hi Toby & Roger.. & SIMON .. I’ll tell Kendel you said hello!! .. & friend Jens .. thanks for the kind words .. you too Magnus!! .. HI CONNY ,, nice talking with you!!

Wish I remembered all the names.. what a special group. See you all soon!



C.T. & THE GRANDKIDS performing! Our new album (released on Smithsonian Folkways), although not officially released until October, will be available at the festival! Huge thanks to Mary Monseur & all the great Smithsonian folks for making this possible.


This amazing free arts festival is held every year over two long weekends on The National Mall in Washington DC.

Each year the festival has a special concert to honor the co-founder Ralph Rinzler and a key person with whom he collaborated. This year’s concert pays tribute to his wife, Kate, who devoted the last years of her life to children’s causes through art.

We’ve been invited to perform songs from our soon-to-be- released album GOLDEN KIDS RULES. on the World Stage at 6:30PM


WE’VE BEEN SO, SO EXCITED AND NERVOUS ABOUT THIS FOR MONTHS. The girls and I have been practicing and rehearsing every so often, in between my tours and their activities – swimming, softball, soccer, cheerleading etc, etc.


Huge thanks to Eileen Wayner for organizing all the logistics – flights lodging, rehearsal info, practice rooms.. you name it, Eileen handled it .. nothing was left to chance.

And so, when we – the girls, Kelly & Frank (their mom & dad), my Joan, the band .. Tony Mercadante, John Platania, Tony Leone & me – arrived, Eileen was there waiting.. with two vans and drivers, soon to be new friends – Fernando & Andrew.


Stayed at the Keybridge hotel .. loved this place! Eileen had secured the Ballroom for us for a brief rehearsal, then we were off to the Festival


Met friend and label VP/music historian, Richard Burgess with singer/songwriter son Blaze .. then we met Dave, another Smithsonian staffer, in charge of the filming of the interview … in short order I discovered that Dave was quite a music historian in his own right. It seems that whatever their specific responsibility, most of the Smithsonian folks know SO much about music and its history.

Dave & his crew sat the girls and me down in chairs in the shade, with a mike over our heads. Richard, facing us, fired away some great questions about the making of our album and my career. Whatever the question, the response always had some interaction with the girls… this was SO, SO special! I LOVED EVERY MINUTE, and from their reaction, SO DID THE GIRLS!


Two great Smithsonian Children’s music artists – ELIZABETH MITCHELL with Daughter STOREY, guitarist dad, DANIEL, and SUNI PAZ (know Brazilian folk singer) did a warm and charming opening show, with lots of interaction with the audience. It was so good to see so many people having such a good time! And after a few speeches about revered Kate Rinzler it was our turn.

Note: THE BAND is JOHN PLATANIA – guitar, TONY MERCADANTE – bass and TONY LEONE- drums


Well .. OK .. it’s true .. this was my favorite show ever! The girls were partially facing me and partially facing the audience with me sort of singing to them, as well as the audience .. sort of in a Ray Charles gospel show.. I started the first song, GOLDEN KIDS RULES, and this awesome band kicked in … and then it happened!

THE GIRLS ENTERED! And when I heard the sound of their voices .. so clear and precious and warm & good .. I was on FIRE!! And that’s the way it was until the end of the show. We traded vocals.. we sang in and around each other .. AND RILEY, KATE & SAMANTHA WERE AWESOME.. and so, so ready! And the audience LOVED THEM! Riley’s flute solo in MAGICAL HORSE brought cheers .. as did Kate’s poem that started that song .. … as did the awesome solos from John & Tony .. and oh .. I loved Sam’s smile when I looked at her as she remembered her words on the third verse of Magical Horse! She had practiced so hard to do that!!

Every song was felt by us and the audience.. I could see the look on the faces in the audience .. they got it .. this wasn’t a bunch of kids singing “down” to kids – this was kids and a granddad.. a proud one.. singing songs that move us .. that make US feel special things together!!


At the end, we blasted WILD THING and waved good-bye as each of the girls names was met with cheers .. and we were in heaven as we left the stage!!


Eileen, Mary, Richard (& Blaze & Ace), Jeff Place & son, Dan Sheehy, DAVE & crew, my friend Atesh, Richard (Kurin) & all the rest … what a special & great bunch.. Riley, Kate, Samantha and I can’t thank you enough!!! .. Hi Liz, Daniel, Storey & Nancey & Sini Pas .. what a great experience to be together.. thanks so much for the kind words & encouragement .. what great support!!! .. can’t wait for more of that .. Hi to old friend, Jim Fishel & wife Barbara, son Parker & friend Charlie .., GREAT seeing you again!! .. Thanks Peggy for those kind words!! .. and hi to sis-in-law, Amie. .. Hi Marni!!! .. so good to meet you after the show!!.. And huge thanks to NANCY SULLIVAN BALLRAD & husband .. for making the long trip .. so AWESOME to see you .. & MICHAEL .. so, so great to talk to you!! Hi to our new friends, drivers Fernando & Andrew .. hope Angelique enjoys the CD!! .. Hi Heinz!!!! .. you were with us in spirit here!! .. none of this would have happened without your efforts!!

And big thanks to all the kind people that said so many sweet things at the end of the show that brought such smiles to the kid’s faces!! I just loved seeing that!!

At the airport, SAMANTHA said to Kelly, “Mommy, I wish we were treated like this everyday!”.. Riley, Kate & I agree! .. What a memory this will be!