January 30 – 31, 2012 – Norway
HALDEN – JAN 30 – VENUE SISTE REIS
This another one of those magic nights in Halden, where the personal connection with the folks is every bit as important as the music. These are the kind of shows that I wish my family could see – as it’s just like playing for family. They’d love that!
The venue is just a humble bar .. with no stage .. it seems an awkward fit with the band pushed in the left corner, with the bar extending beyond eyesight .. but somehow it works big time.
The band, The New Ukrainians (Bjorn, Orjan. Magnus & John), was awesome tonight .. with John’s magical solos and Orjan’s pedal steel bouncing off the walls in our enclosed area in such a chilling way .. and Bjorn & Magnus were so solid and inspiring ..
Note: The name, The New Ukrainians, comes from the great freedom-loving spirit of some new Russian & Ukrainian friends in New York.
We played F**K ALL songs and mixed them with a few from Yonkers NY .. and some past hits .. I think there was a certain spark for me knowing that Kai Andersen was in the room.. Kai is the revered engineer who recorded our new album, right here in Halden.. he was an inspiring part of it and is certainly, in our eyes, an honorary “New Ukrainian”.
THE REAL THING, DUTCHMAN BLUES (this was magic tonight), ME & ROHILLIO (I loved this) .. HEY JONNY and CHARCOAL SKY from Yonkers were big favorites .. we ended the first set with a loose and killer version of PHONED IN DEAD where several audience members became the stars .. then came a HUGE highlight of our show as young Norwegian folk star – and now my friend – IDA JENSHUS – joined us on stage for a duet with ANGEL OF THE MORNING… this was total chill time!
More F**K ALL songs, including NEW THINGS .. a highlight for the last two shows, by the way .. BE KIND .. this was such fun .. a hilarious TOO DYNAMIC. BIG RIVER rocked .. then somewhere past the middle, Ida joined us again .. for a beautiful amazing versions of COULD I LIVE WITH THIS, DON’T SPEAK IN ENGLISH, RED DOG TRACKS. We ended with a killer version of WILD THING .. then encored with a spirited I KNOW DARK .. with the audience along with Ida, joining in .. special stuff!!
We closed with the song I had written in solidarity with the families & friends of the victims of last year’s tragedy, THIS DARKEST DAY .. it was special to sing this with Ida as we had done a few times shortly after the tragedy occurred.. our voices sound like they belong together on this. There were lots of tears tonight with this one (including mine) .. the right kind
I won’t forget this show (special thanks to IDA!!) .. look forward to seeing you all soon again! God Bless.
Big hello to my old friend Eric & his friends at the first table .. thanks for the offer to let Ida sit there.. special hello to Kai Andersen .. owner/ revered engineer of Athletic Sound where we made our album .. so good to see you Kai .. always good to see good friend Tom Skjcklesatther (the revered music impresario of Halden).. simply put, if it weren’t for his support, I wouldn’t be here, Hi Obal .. great to see you again! .. special hello to Eva & Michael .. my great friends who organized our tribute show back in July with such special kindness .. thanks for my special after dinner scotch and the good & kind words .. love to the kids.. Hi to Bamse .. my friend & dentist in these parts .. and great son Peeer .. so happy to see you both!
Hi to Big Daddy (Thrond) .. wish I’d have seen your Christmas shows with Obal .. heard they were great! .. hi to Torn .. and Harvath .. and Anne .. (nice to see you Anne ) .. hi Borge & Vidar .. and Moton .. and Martin .. my bartender friend from a few years back.. Hi Denise .. best of luck with your shows! .. Hi Terje & Hege .. and all the rest
Big thanks to Webecca .. for booking us in Oslo and driving us to Halden and for your great friendship. We’ll miss you! .. Lots of love!
What a special night!!
PS .. great to wind down at the hotel with some good scotch and good friends .. compliments of my friends Eva & Michael .. big thanks! .. see you soon.
JAN 31 – FALKENBERG – THE GRAND HOTEL
It’s great to be back in this area again!
I’ve played in this area before, but not this town. The hotel is kind of upscale .. sort of a resort place and the venue room is quite large Usually we play this area at a warmer time and I wondered if folks would come here to a show like this in the dead of winter. But come they did! The kind folks that booked the venue, Anders & Ulf did a great job. It’s pretty much a full house by the time we hit the stage.
Opening Act – Old friend Anne ? opened .. she has a great gravelly voice .. I liked listening to her off stage. Thanks Anne!
Although Ida is a star of some sorts in Norway, she is not known in Sweden. I introduced her so that folks would understand that and know how special I think she is. She opened with a simple two song set. But it was powerful and there was a great connection with this audience immediately. Then it was the UKRAINIANS & ME . I loved this show! It was so loose and so vibey .. with lots of stories and great solos by John & Orjan. For an hour and a half it was F**K ALL material plus .. PASSPORT BLUES was killer tonight .. as was DUTCHMAN BLUES and TOO DYNAMIC (Maybe the highlight!).. and PHONED IN DEAD rocked with awesome solos by all the UKRAINIANS!
Then Ida joined again for several duets, including a soulful “Could I Live with This” .. then a vibey and rockin’ “Don’t Speak in English” and a chilling “Red Dog Tracks”.. After the hits .. ANGEL OF THE MORNING and WILD THING .. which were so powerful in duet with Ida, we closed with a reverent F**K ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE .. then the great audience sing-a-long on I KNOW DARK ( a hell of a version!) .. ending with HOLY SHIT .. a new Ida favorite!
What a special night!! .. It was so great to talk to folks after the show .. thanks to all!
First, huge hi and thanks to Anders & Ulf for presenting the show! .. what an awesome job you did! .. big hi and thanks to Marcus .. our kind host who thought of everything to make us comfortable! .. including having a snack ready for us after the show .. how thoughtful! .. special hi and thanks to chef, Tomas! .. much appreciated! .. and thanks for those late night kind thoughts Marcus.. see you at breakfast! Special hi to old friends Anders & Maria.. Marie & Bodil.. Ola .. Hi Agneta! .. thanks for the kind words! .. see you in a couple of days! .. Hi Anders .. Kalle & Monika.. and Kalle again.. hi Hacke .. see you soon .. hi Andreas! .. & Tobbe .. and big hi to artist Mohamed Ali.. & friend ?? .. sorry I forgot your name .. great seeing you guys! AT BREAKFAST .. so good to see lovely Freda, the hostess .. thanks for the kind words Freda .. so glad you were able to see the show.. hope your dad, Hakan, enjoys the CD. Look forward to seeing you next time.
See you all soon!
January 28-29, 2012 – Sweden
KIRUNA –Second Annual “MEAN BASTARD FESTIVAL”
John & I arrived from London sort of on Euro time. I’m fighting a cold that hasn’t broken yet, so I’m holding up OK. It’s great to see Bjorn at the airport, then Magnus Olsson & Orjan Macki later. We got some sleep and rehearsed at 10:00 AM till noon. Lots to learn, but great being with these by now – great friends and soulful players. Goran Grini will join us later in the tour .. we’ll all look forward to that!
NOTE: I love coming to this town. It reminds me of my home town, Yonkers, new York. We had our carpet mill and elevator factory – they have their iron ore mine – the biggest underground mine in the world. These are hardworking family folks. I feel at home with them. It’s great to be here!
REHEARSAL AND SOUND CHECK
The venue is right outside our hotel door.. what a convenience. We meet there at 11:00 for a bit of rehearsal.. then at 4:00 for a sound check. We’re ready!
BIG THANKS TO GREAT SOUNDMAN, STEINE! .. wish we could take you with us! .. perfect sound tonight .. well done!
THE SHOW ..the first half of the show headliner is Arlo Guthrie (a great guy and most talented hero from the past and present). The audience LOVED him . After a brief intermission, Freda & The Coolants did their warm wonderfully subtle thing .. with Reigne & Freda trading vocals and singing pretty harmony with great backing by Matthias on guitar & Matthias on drums – great and talented guys. Then local hero Tony Byorknvall – from local heroes, the WILLY CLAY BAND, sang a couple of new songs. Then we hit the stage. By now Kiruna feels like a second home to me – the spirit reminds me of where I grew up in Yonkers, New York – good hard working people. What a great audience .. totally with us from the start.
There was lots of fun interaction between the songs tonight.. it was good singing them for the first time with these friends. Highlights for me were ME & ROHILLIO .. with it’s cool groove set by Magnus and sad solos played by John with Orjan vibing in, FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE, with the audience singing the chorus with us .. PHONED IN DEAD was totally fun ..After a chilling duet with Freda on Angel and a soulful rockin’ WILD THING, Arlo, Freda & all joined in on an awesome version of I KNOW DARK .. the festival theme song .. We closed with a requested HOLY SHIT, then said hi to many in the upstairs café and signed some CDs.
HI TO: hi Cecelia.. good to see you always .. tell Arne we’ll look forward to seeing him next time! Hi to lovely Sara & Mikaela .. so good to talk to you.. thanks for the kind words! .. Hi Joel & Gun-Britt .. Hi Robert .. big hi to Reima & ASA .. didn’t forget you ASA!! .. best wishes to you folks .. thanks for the nice thoughts.. Hi OVE.. & Jan & Mikael & all the rest … great to see you Malin .. keep Tony thinking good .. he’s great! . .. missed you Hanna .. wishing you all good things .. good to see you Mia .. and soul-singer friend ..hope to see you soon.
Stopped by TRADGARN to see friend Louise .. Arthur was in Ireland doing his bodyguard other job.. so good to see Amanda there as well!!! .. a special one to me .. .. and so many kind folks I’ve seen there from time to time .. definitely “my” hangout here in Kiruna –I LOVE THIS PLACE!! .. See you all soon, I hope! .. Good luck to my new friend at Tradgarn .. who was cooking a Sunday meal for his new friend.. hope that worked out!
Note: Bjorn Petterson did all the leg work producing the festival. Great job!. Arlo Guthrey took a night train ..got here mid- day for rehearsal… with NO complaints. Freda & The Coolants were on just before our show.. Freda Snell with the great band REINE, MATTHIAS & MATTHIAS & BJORN PETTERSON on upright bass.. ..all artists were terrific. Packed house at the 400 seat theater, part of the Scandic Hotel – great venue!!
JAN 29, 2012 – OSLO
At about 1:00 PM we left Kiruna, driving our rented van 2 & ½ hours west across the border to Norway, past several little villages built on beautiful bodies of water .. all part of the Gulfstream — to Harstad airport. Soon we were on a flight to Oslo. We were met there by a great lady, Webecca, .. who – along with her friend – had booked us at our venue in Oslo .. a cool little cavernous bar-club called, Buckleys. We arrived just in time to plug-in, tune up – on stage at 9:00 PM.
ONE OF MY FAVORITE SHOWS IN RECENT MEMORY
The place was packed with music lovers – all soon our friends. When it’s like that you can go by the spirit of it all, rather than a set plan. And that’s the way it was. We weaved in and out of the entire FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE songbook, adding a few from “Yonkers” and some of the hits .. There were far too many highlights .. as every song connected on a most human level .. we played an hour ..including songs THE REAL THING, BE KIND, ME & ROHELLIO, PASSPORT BLUES. PHONED IN DEAD.. ending the set with ANGEL OF THE MORNING. then, after a 15 minute break came back for another hour and a half .. with NEW THINGS, DUTCHMAN BLUES, my Dutch #1, SAME OLD STORY.. then HEY JONNIE and CHARCOAL SKY from the YONKERS NY album,, then OUTSIDE THE HUMAN CONDITION.. BIG RIVER .. after Wild Thing, Angel of the Morning and I know Dark –with it’s total chant like sing-a-long .. we played a chilling Nortalja Prison.. in solidarity with my friends behind the wall.. .. then encored with our tribute to the victims of the recent killings, THIS DARKEST DAY.
Thanks to all who attended – this was one we won’t forget. We will see you here again soon! That’s a promise! God Bless.
Said hello to so many .. including:
Old friend Johnny Borden & lovely daughter, Celia & boyfriend .. ooops .. forgot .. a tall handsome guy .. Hi to Heidi & Bord.. great to see you .. hi to Per .. great soundman & and lovely girlfriend Tonje .. all the best with the new one .. much love .. hi to Preben .. & Svein & Jan & Elizabeth .. great to see you all… thanks for the kind words Preben .. see you soon.. hi to Oystein! .. great to see you again & again! .. Hi Aina .. nice to talk to you at the end .. see you in exotic places!! .. Hi Arng… and Agner?? .. that’s wrong .. sorry … Hi Lill .. and all at the club .. loved being here … what a great night .. said hi to so many .. nice words from the fan (in black) with the 7 DAYS IN MAY CD .. what nice words … thanks! .. see you all soon!!