Sep 5, 2015 – Kristianstad – Venue – KULTURKVARTERET – for the Krisitianstad Bokfestival
( a Literary convention)
With Jonas at the helm, it was about a 3 hour drive from Falkenberg to Kristianstad .. to our extremely comfortable FIRST HOTEL which was within walking distance of culture center that’s hosting the Literary Festival. We rested for an hour or so, then headed for sound check. As we were talking to our very able and kind sound man, Micke, the last poetry reading was being done in the lobby area. We were in a back room and didn’t witness it, but the host of the festival, Anders and the host of our show, Jorgen, said it was brilliant in its anger and loud interaction of the three readers.
Jorgen, owns a successful record shop near the venue. It seems he is extraordinarily respected as to his taste in music and the type of shows he put on in this town.
We were to be the final performance of the day to end the festival. The sound-check with Micke was great and quick. The soulful conference room are where were were playing that holds about 150 comfortably, was overflow tonight! And what an awesome fans to play for. I’m guessing the audience was made up half fans some interested folks from the literary conference and several of those that simply respect Jorgen’s taste.
This was definitely one to remember. I told the story of my family and my love of music and the blessing of the Motorola radio in the Voight house-hold.
Dan & Jonas were awesome right from the start. We totally rocked my tribute to country music and the blues with THE REAL THING .. then the tribute to my Scandinavian friends, Block Out The Sirens Of This Lonely World … with it’s visit to a prison.. brought chills. The start of rock & roll, with song Hey Jonny brought cheers in the solo section with lots of in time clapping. A visit to the train station with me family with the song, Charcoal Sky, brought chills as well
Track 224 again brought in time clapping and cheers for Jonas’s solos. Again, Dan & Jonas were on fire tonight! Jogen and the boys had asked if we could play SOLITARY tonight .. which we did .. with it’s visit to a room of prisoners. This seemed to touch allot of folks.
A song for Martha, who patched up my wounded hand on an island in Norway two years ago, .brought long applause (I love this little song) as did Trying To Let The Angel’s Know. Again DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE with it’s visit to the displaced from Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia at our show in Skebo connected again on a high level;
Then a tribute to Johnny Cash with his Big River brought the house down. CZECH HEAVEN with its invite to Parnell’s bar brought laughter, a lot of warmth and a lot potential customers for me to buy drinks for!
Then the story of The Brill Building VS 1650 Broadway where I wrote Angel of the Morning & Wild thing .. led to chilling versions of the former and a cool sensual rockin’ version of the other! I thought we were closing the show with my song for the prisoners, FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE.. but after long applause, we encored with a beautiful version of a new song for my wife, SAINT JOAN.. this was so special everyone singing the chorus .. with an acapella chorus ending it!
When we left the stage the clapping continued .. so we rocked I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE and said good night.
Thanks Jorgen & Micke all who assisted..what a way to end this magical tour!
Sep 4, 2015 – Falkenberg – Venue – TRYCKHALLEN (printing hall)
The hotel/venue we usually stay in, The Grand Hotel, is under reconstruction, so we are staying in their sister hotel a few hundred meters down the road .. the venue is part of that complex.
It’s a beautiful day… maybe one of the last great days of summer. We arrive in Falkenberg at about 2:00PM. Before checking into the hotel, a nice guy named Johan shows us to the venue – a large complex that seems to have a good sound system.
After, we check into our hotel only 30 meters away. The rooms are small, but very comfortable. I like that I can open the widows wide to the pretty patio area which separates my part of the complex from the venue.
Then Jonas, Dan, Peter & I walk a few blocks up a hill to a main town street, where we sit outside in the beautiful sunshine and have a bit of tasty Thai food.
After lunch, we rest a bit, return to the venue at 4:00 where we meet a good guy and VG sound man Magnus and old friend Ulf, who along with Anders & friends host these Americana/ Roots venues. Their teem does such a great job promoting this music in this area. There are beautiful posters all through the town. HUGE THANKS MY FRIENDS.
We get good sound rather quickly and head back tour rooms to rest and/or catch up on email etc.
Our show is not until 9:00, so Ulf, Anders & Jolo (a friend of theirs from Malmo) take us out to dinner at a newly opened Indian food restaurant. It’s terrific! .. Big thanks!
A LATE START
We push the show back till 9:15 as several are biking to the venue from reasonably far distances. A good portion of this audience arrives just as the show starts.
Because of the late start, Ulf, Anders & I decide we’ll do one long show. Anders does a very nice, simple introduction and we begin.
I don’t have a written script for my stories, I just tell them as I remember them. And I often remember different things.
I told the Yonkers story tonight focusing on the Motorola Radio in the hall way between the boys bedroom and the kitchen.. and told how I first heard country music on that radio and how that changed my life. And tributing my love of country and the blues was THE REAL THING from my Last Chance album on Warner Bros from 1973.
Jonas & Dan are so great on that song and that set the stage for the night .. Loved our tribute to my Scandinavian friends with Block Out The Sirens.. and the star of Rock & Roll with HEY JONNY .. and a visit to a train station with my dad, mom & brothers with Charcoal Sky. Another Train Station inspired song, Track 224, featured two amazing Jonas solos & the audience broke out in huge applause after each … loved that!! Next was a glimpse at tough prison life with SOLITARY from the Little Prayers Trilogy.
Then came our tribute to our road manager and my dear friend, Peter Soderlind. This is Peter’s last night with us as he has a family gathering in Goteberg tomorrow and business at BOX Whiskey in Nyland to return to. He helps me when I’m on tour totally for the love of the music.. a true friend!
I asked him from the stage which two songs he’d like to hear. The first one he chose was a brand new one I Woke Up This Morning With You.. this sounded so soulful and lovely .. Jonas & Dan were magic… Peter’s second choice was a song inspired by a Russian female prisoner, SLEEP WITH OPEN WINDOWS .. this was chilling.
DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE was an audience favorite again tonight.. with its sing-a-long chorus and story about the kind and appreciative refugees we met in Skebo and my memory of their smiling children fishing in the small brook next to our venue…. After a prayerful TRYING TO LET THE ANGEL’S KNOW .. we rocked Johnny Cash’s Big River.. then invited folks behind the red door .. to my Parnell’s bar in New York (SEVERAL ARE COMING NEXT WEEK!) … with the song Czech Heaven.
We ended with Fuck All The Perfect People .. my tribute to the prisoners ..then encored with the brand new audience favorite, SAINT JOAN.. again the audience kept clapping in rhythm.. so we closed with I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE from Last Chance.
What a night… again, Dan & Jonas shone bright!
GREAT TO SEE MARIANNE & MARIANNE, wives of Ulf & Anders who will soon join me at Parnell’s bar.. so good to see you tonight!!
So great to see old friends Agneta & Per-Olof.. so good talking to you .. thanks so much for your support in Malmo and here! .. I’ll tell John you were asking for him, Agneta… I’m sure he’ll appreciate that! .. Hi to Helena & Tobias .. who i met just after the show.. thanks for the kind words.. I’ll sing Angel Of The Morning for you next time Helena.. Hi Hacke (“woody”) .. see you next time!! .. hi Tobbe .. & Anita & Ander & Ulf .. good to see you all.
Hi Patrik .. and dad Alf .. great to finally meet you Patrik .. happy dad could come .. happy b’day to him & me!.. Hi Marie .. good to talk to you .. l liked hearing your energy for the displaced! .. good stuff!! .. Martin .. enjoyed talking to you.. NY vs LA.. no comparison ..see you in NY.
THANKS MAGNUS for the VG sound .. hope the kids (13 & 11) are great!
OK ..Ulf, Anders, Jolo, Marianne & Marianne & Martin… SEE YOU AT PARNELL’S
Big Thanks! .. loved this!
Sep 3, 2015 – TOLLERED, SWEDEN – VENUE – SMEDJAN
Peter & I leave our very comfortable Malmo hotel at noon, pick up our new band members, Jonas Swan & Dan Unglang and drive about three plus hours .. a bit northeast of Goteberg .. to our next venue. The boys are sort on the hot seat here. This will be our first full show playing together. But from the few songs we played last night and our short rehearsal, I’m not at all worried… just looking forward to see what magic happens!
Love this town, this hotel and this venue!
To give you a feel of this great town.. here are a couple of facts.
1) The town’s population is approximately 1,000 people.
2) The town’s movie theater is the smallest in Sweden .. there are 23 seats. They show the same movie three times a week.
3) In a few weeks the theater will show Amy .. the great English documentary about the oh-so-soulful and underrated artist Amy Winehouse.
4) The town’s boys choir will perform Amy’s best known song, Rehab.
THE TOLLERED HOTEL
We arrive at our small B&B-like hotel in this tiny town at about 4:00 PM. We love the feel of this precious little place .. we meet kind owners Elizabeth & Mats. The first thing I see next to the check in counter are several sets of golf clubs.. Mats informs me he’s been a teaching pro in the area for 28 years! How about that!
The rooms are charming and comfortable .. there’s a lovely terrace in back.. with tables, chairs & awnings.. and a comfortable den-like area downstairs where we can relax after the show.
The venue is walking distance. To get to it, you walk down a steep grassy slope behind the hotel. In 50 yards you’re at the front door of one of the vibey-est venues I’ve ever played. The room is a small former blacksmiths place .. with a fireplace in the back, and a stove for cooking next to it. There are various old benches along the walls with tables and chairs in the middle .. at show time, candles will be on all tables and various other place with the kindest staff serving awesome food and good drink. And the large fireplace will be giving out haunting light and a bit of kind crackling from time to time.
I guess the place holds about 80 .. it’s overflow tonight! The reason this place is in existence is simple .. all involved in this sort of communal effort .. are first and foremost music lovers. Most have have young families & can’t go out to see the music .. so they bring the music to them!
We’re greeted by Stefan, Lars-Olaf & Heikki .. all good guys. Heikki & Lars get us good sound rather quickly which allows us to rehearse a few songs.. As we do the great young ladies, who are cooking in the back area, Emma, Cecilia & Maude & Maria.. are sort of moving to the rhythm and cheering us on a bit .. what a great and helpful spirit.
After sound check, kind and spirited Emma serves us an awesome healthy meal .. steamed vegetable “stew” with red rice to add to it.. with a coconut paste and fresh lime on the side to add as taste dictates .. quite something.. and so healthy!
Huge thanks Emma!
ABOUT THE BAND
Jonas Swahn & Dan Ungland are two of six members of a great bluegrass band called The Original 5 (hope that made you smile .. it’s true). They agreed to help me finish this tour when my great friends and brilliant musicians Goran Grini & John Platania were scheduled with other shows.
What a blessing. I love playing with these boys. They are simply terrific guys and great musicians. It’s like playing with a young super garage/bluegrass band.. with hints of Bill Frissell floating over a warm bed of good feeling bass notes.. .. all moods sensitively fitting my songs. Big thanks to Dan & Jonas for being so prepared.
THE SHOW – SET I
Well .. this was something!
The first set established the story of growing up with my brothers and mom & dad, loving music and somehow becoming a successful songwriter … all in story and song.
From the minute we played The Real Thing.. this band was on fire! .. the audience cheered for the longest time.. then came a tribute to my Swedish and Norwegian friends with Block Out The Sirens .. which felt so, so moving… then we rocked start of Rock & Roll .. with a blistering HEY JONNY and chilled again at a train station with mom Barbara & dad Elmer and my brothers Jon & Barry with Charcoal Sky.
Then we rocked Track 224 from The Little Prayers Trilogy. Then a tribute to prisoners with Solitary .. with it’s story about talking to prisoners .. then came the story of how Chet Atkins and Willie Nelson were so instrumental and supportive in my landing a staff writing job at CBS’ first publishing company …. which led to my writing hits behind the oval widow just above the 1650 Broadway sign .. the building that housed many of the greatest song writers on the planet… this led to a chilling version of Angel Of The Morning, written behind that window.
Dan & Jonas were heroes of this night.. this was a great emotional set.. they were a huge part of bringing that to the table.
Lots of Little Prayers songs in this set .. again, the boys were so sensitive on the soft ones and so rockin’ on the up-tempo ones.. Martha.. Martha, Tryin To Let The Angels Know and Nothin Comin Out Of Me That I Like were so soulful and honest… But again the one that seems to be connecting on a huge level is Dance With A Hole In Your Show … which toward the song’s end, I stop and tell the story about the refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia taking over our former hotel residence in Skebobruk .. how kind and appreciative they seemed .. and the joy we witnessed with the children fishing with their friends and brothers & sisters in the brook next to our venue ….what a blessing for those families.
The entire audience joined in on the ‘War, war.. what the hell for” chorus’ .. and at the end it seems like we’re singing for a common purpose.
Then it was on to a rockin’ Big River .. the “bluegrass” boys killed this .. then an invite to Parnell’s bar with Czech Heaven.. Then.. a totally rocked out WILD THING .. with the audience so into it and the spirit of it amazing .. sort of haunting , dark whispery soul finally blasting into the night.. then a chilling song for the prisoners, FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE.. with all singing the phrase at the very end.
Then… always a highlight .. Saint Joan .. for my wife Joan.. with the audience singing along… so special! I was thinking the show was over but the audience kept cheering .. so we stayed and did I Wasn’t Born In Tennessee .. the cheers continued after we left .. and wouldn’t stop… so we finally ended it with another song for Joan .. Time Goes By .. this was so, so beautiful.. although the boys had never played this .. except for a brief rehearsal between sets .. they were so magic.
What a special night at a special new venue .. because we played so long, several had to leave quickly for transportation..but got a chance to say hello to several… including:
Great to see Mats & Lars .. nice to talk to you .. you as well, Markus.. Hi Kalle & Ulla .. & Lennart .. so good to talk to you at show’s end.. thanks for the info about the theater & the boys choir.. Hi Magnus .. good to meet you & Tormod at the end of the show..
Emma.. thanks so much for your kindness and the awesome and healthy dinner! .. you and your friends & co-workers have such a welcoming vibe ..much appreciated.. Hi Cecelia .. so good to see you before and after the show.. hope to see you again!.. hi Maude .. so good to see you & Maria .. you’re all great!
Stefan, Lars – Olaf & Heikki .. great to see you guys .. Heikki .. hope your daughter has a great first day in school!
SEP 2, 2015 – Malmo – VENUE -The Victoria Theater
We actually booked the tour around this venue. It’s one of my all time favorite places to play and past shows bring back great memories. To start with .. one of my favorite things about playing here is I get to see my great friend Hakan Olsson, his wonderful wife Monica and great kids Elin, Anton & Yens (sometimes, not tonight, the bastard!).
Hakan was in charge of the roots division of a record company, Playground Music, when he first invited me to play in Malmo in 1997. We’ve been great friends ever since. In 2001, Hakan spear-headed a promotion effort that resulted in making my Black & Blue America album quite a success story in Sweden. Part of that success was with college students who have stayed part of my fan base all these years.
Because of Hakan’s efforts, now with his own revered company, Rootsy, he continues to promote and sell my records and book my tours. The specific booking is done by Hakan’s great cohort Bjorn Pettersson.. who is great at that! Thanks Bjorn .. this has been an awesome tour!
We arrived at 5:00 PM.. new venue host .. a great guy named Edin.. welcomed us .. then we met friend & terrific sound man, Matts. Goran & I sound checked rather quickly, then were joined by two great local musicians, guitarist Jonas Swahn and bassist Dan Ungland.
Because Goran has to leave tomorrow to play shows with Grammy winneres Tommy Tokyo & Paal Flaata, Jonas & Dan will be my new “band” for the remainder of the tour (three more shows). This “sound check” is a chance to rehearse the songs with them. But tonight we’ll keep the candle light feel of the show Goran & I have been doing … and then invite Jonas & Dan on stage at the end of the show for the last three songs.
ABOUT THE VENUE
The Victoria theater is special in many ways. First, it is actually an old theater, built in 1912 with great acoustics. There are typical cushioned theater seats in the small balcony, but the main floor has table seating. They charge a reasonably good price for entrance (about $35) but the very special thing is that the room is treated like a picnic area, where you are allowed and in fact, encouraged, to bring food and wine & whiskey to your table!
All that being said, the patrons treat the venue with great respect and when the show was in progress, you could hear a pin drop. This is simply an awesome place to play. We have a comfortably full house tonight. Most have been fans for a while.
THE SHOW – SET I
Loved this.. Just Goran & me .. a lot of stillness .. and a great connection with this magical audience! Goran was brilliant and so soulful all night!
We played the Yonkers story in the first part .. starting with a look at how the Voight Boys grew up and the influence of the Motorola radio in our humble Yonkers home… which led to my listening to a far away (West VA) station which spawned my love of country music ..that led to us playing a rocking version of The Real Thing from my 1973 Last Chance .. Goran’s solo was met with huge applause … then it was the start of Rock & Roll with HEY JONNY .. then a Monday at a train station with the family with Charcoal Sky, then SOLITARY for the prisoners from The Little Prayers Trilogy.. Then a new one, “St Christopher’s”.. which felt so simple and reverent .. then the story of how I got successful as a songwriter.. with a look at the 1650 Broadway sign and the oval window behind which I wrote the final song of the set, Angel Of The Morning… which felt so chilling.
On stage, the warmth the audience showed at every turn was so moving for Goran & I .. we loved the feeling of this set.
Lots of Little Prayers songs in this set and a couple of new ones. Loved Dance With a Hole In your Shoe .. with the audience reverently singing along. Included in the song tonight was a mention of our recent visit to Skebobruk.. where our beautiful living quarters of previous years was now housing refugees from Syria, Afganistan & Somalia .. and a mention of the joy we saw in the faces of refugee children fishing in a nearby stream.
I loved singing the Little Prayers songs, Trying To Let The Angels Know, Nothing Comin Out Of Me That I Like and Track 224.. Goran, in different ways, shined bright on all of these. I played a new one, Woke Up This Morning With You, for our friend and tour manager from Box whiskey country, Nyland… which the audience seemed to like a lot. Then it was Czech Heaven.. with its invite to Parnell’s Bar in New York.. AND THEN WE INVITED JONAS & BRAD ON STAGE WITH US… AND THEY WERE GREAT!
We played a rockin’ version of WILD THING with a cool whispered and reverent sing-a-long of the chorus.. then a totally reverent, FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE with a beautiful choir-like ending of the title phrase…then came the absolute highlight for me… an amazing version of SAINT JOAN .. with the audience singing along with joyful reverence .. like you might on an old German Drinking song.. It was something! I thought that was the end .. but the applause continued long after we had returned to our dressing room ..
So we came back and encored with I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE from my 1973 Last Chance album… with several in the audience, including old friend Tommy, singing along from word one! Amazing!!
This was a very special night!
Said hi to many .. including
Hi Steen & Inge.. great to see you again & again.. As always.. thanks for the kind words. Hi Benny & Chris & Johan & Per.. Hi Lennart..thanks for the Gasoline reminder.. Hi Boje .. nice to see you.. Hi Hakan (sorry no dot on this US computer!). Hi Lilla – Britt .. good to see you
Hi Lotta ..great to see you again .. thanks for the album .. I’ll listen on my way home .. love to you and the culture club.. slumming tonight .. mom, Britt-Marie & Marie & Vera .. so good to see you all! Hi to my great friends Lars & Marita, Jan Ake & beautiful Malin (you’ve grown up so quickly.. it seems like yesterday when we first met!). Hi Remie & Mona.. good to see you after.
Hi Tommy .. GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN.. loved hearing you sing, I Wasn’t Born In Tennessee!.. hope to see you soon.. Hi Martin & Ava Maria.. & Roland & Anneli.. so good to meet you all!
Good to see my friend who serves us at our late night restaurant/pub .. and Lasse & Richard.. thanks always for your kindness
And my “family” .. Hakan, Monica, Elin & Anto .. love you guys!
SEP 1, 2015 – GOTEBERG – VENUE – DAR KAM (Owned and managed by two oh so nice singing sisters)
It’s about a 2 plus hour ride FROM HALDEN to our hotel in Goteberg.. a simple great hotel.. with a good ”common’” room where good coffee, fruit, cookies and waffles are there throughout the day.
After a bit of rest, we head for the venue, ONE OF OUR ALL-TIME FAVORITES. We arrive at 5:00 Sister Karin meats us..with friend Ari.. both were busy organizing the room as Goran & I sound checked. After, great Chef Anthony, prepared us a terrific meal.
Then we headed back to the hotel.. rested, showered and changed .. on stage at 8:30.
The place reminds me of an upstate NY club, The Turning Point. It comfortably seats about 65 people. It’s packed tonight! The food is great! Congrats Anthony! Most eat just before show time, but some during.. but all seem careful not to disturb the show with extraneous noise. Although the show started out with the Yonkers Story with story and song, in short order the songs took different turns… where they had never been before…like when i stopped in Dance With A Hole In Your Shoe and started talking about the refugees being “gifted” our former palace of a hotel at our Zebo venue – where we normally would have stayed… and how happy and kind they seemed to be… and how we were so happy for them and watched some of the children fishing in the local stream and smiling with each other… somehow it worked in DANCE WITH A HOLE IN MY SHOE.. with the audience singing along …I loved that.
A similar thing happened later when I talked about the wonderful plaque that was given me at the Indian restaurant in Halden, which seemed to fit the message of some song.
My favorites of the night were Charcoal Sky, Hey Jonny .. then the prayerful songs from the trilogy .. Tryin’ to Let The Angels know and Nothin’s Coming Out Of Me this seems to connect to all audiences…. and the brand new ones, I Woke Up This Morning With You and then two for Joan, SAINT JOAN… with the audience joining in on the chorus .. like we were in church.. and TIME GOES BY (which ended our show)… the audience seemed love these!
Our friend and tour manager said today that the songs in this simple setting were connecting to him on a very high level. He said he heard that from many as he was selling our CDs .. that’s nice.
We closed the show with Fuck All The Perfect People .. with the audience singing with us.. then we rocked I Wasn’t Born In Tennessee and said goodnight .. but the audience kept clapping, so we do TIME GOES BY for Joan and said goodnight.
SAID HI TO MANY
Nice to meet Karin & Maria.. the singing proprietors!… such great girls!! .. Maria.. tell Nils I said a big hello!..Tell Gjermund I said hi to him as well…. Hi Anna .. nice to see you… Hi Lisa … hi to Molly .. I’ll tell Carrie about your Saturday morning “Let’s Leave This Town” listening thing… Hi Bo.. Mille & Anita.. great to see you… hope photo is OK .. Hi Goran!.. good to see you.
LIEF .. wonderful to see you again and again..Thanks so much for your support over the years!! hope to see you soon… Hi Thomas .. great to see you as well .. hope things go well with your new house!! .. It looks great!
So good to see Agneta & Per Olaf… again & again! And at another one in a few days!.. Look forward to that! Hi LALLON.. hi Lennart GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN.. Much love back home to Veronica & Nellie .. hope to see them soon!
And a big, big hello to my forever friends, Daniel & Celine .. I’ll see mom & dad tonight Daniel .. then maybe you guys again at the last show! .. that would be nice!
LOVED THIS SHOW .. KARIN.& MARIA … Huge thanks!!!!.. You’re so kind and so amazing!
AUG 30, 2015 – HALDEN, NORWAY – venue – HONAN Micro Brewery
It’s a six hour drive from Skebobruk to Halden. We arrive at the venue at 5:30. Friends Omar & Doug Erik have us sounding good in a few minutes, which allows us to go back to our hotel for a bit of rest before show time.
ARRIVING AT THE GRAND HOTEL IN HALDEN
Proprietor & friend is in Greece on vacation with family.. (I’ll see her tomorrow!)
A kind, lovely young lady, Vivian, checks us in. This is my home away from home.. old fashioned in the nicest way.. extremely warm & comfortable!!
I have many kind friends in this town, so this audience is totally with us from the beginning. And they know & love their fellow Norwegian, Goran. His great solos bring huge applause all night.
It’s one long set tonight .. the Yonkers story & songs mixed with the Little Prayers Trilogy songs ..loved all of this ..but the big highlights for me… aside from Charcoal Sky, Hey Jonny, Dance With A Hole In Your Shoe, Tryin to Let The Angels Know, Big River etc, … were three new ones which we will record tomorrow at Kai Andersen great Athletic Studio… I Woke Up With You This Morning.. & two for my loving wife Joan, Time Goes By & SAINT JOAN.. I decided to call Joan from the stage & the audience & I sang the chorus to Joan back in NEW YORK!!!! THAT WAS SPECIAL
After Angel of The Morning & Wild Thing, we ended the show with FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE, I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE.
And did a final encore of Joan’s TIME GOES BY .. loved this audience.. thanks to all!! .. see you soon!!
SAID HI TO SEVERAL
Sorry to say my notes with all the folks I said hello to are missing, so.. from memory
Hi Tom & Turid, Hege & Omar.. great to see you !!!! ..Hi Doug Erik.. see you tomorrow in the studio!.. Hi Michael .. great to see you again.. & GREAT to meet your dad, Arnold!!! .. Howard.. & nice waiters.. sorry I forgot your names.. & a kind lady whose second name is Britt.. & another great guy whose second name begins with “R”… & Stig.. big thanks to all the kind folks who met me at the CD table…hope to see you soon!
BUTTS INDIAN RESTAURANT – A SPECIAL PRESENTATION
Again.. I have a very special connection to this town, from playing here often since 1997. But my connection deepened a few years ago when I was in town when the terrible tragedy in Utoya occurred & so many children were killed. I wrote a song for the victim’s families & played the song at various tributes to the families & friends of the victims in different Norwegian towns, including Halden, where a few of the children were from. Whenever I’m in Halden I stay in the same room (Room 209) at the same Grand Hotel that I stayed in the day of the tragedy.
The other thing that remains the same is where I eat, At the time of the tragedy & whenever I’m in Halden, I eat at Butts great Indian Restaurant. Butts, a former Indian Opera singer/ musician is a warm, kind guy & his food is special & revered. I love that a beautiful selection of Indian music plays softly in the background as his food is served.
Butts has a special table in a back alcove where I am always seated. I think it to be the most private & special area in the restaurant. After our show tonight, many of my greatest friends from Halden were gathered at that table when Goran & I arrived…. It felt great & not that surprising to have so many friends there to say hello & relax with some awesome Indian food. BUT THEN SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL HAPPENED!!!
Just before dinner was served, Norway’s most revered & loved music, guru, TOM SKJEKLESATHER, made a kind little speech of tribute to me .. then he pulled down a cloth from the wall, that was covering a plaque on the wall which said:
“We sit at his table”
I was so touched! Tears filled my eyes. It meant so much to me.
Thanks Tom, Goran, Omar, Kai & all who dreamed this up!!!
PS .. regarding the reference to the quote on the plaque. “He Sits At My Table” is a song of mine that Willie Nelson recorded years ago. It was also recorded recently by revered Norwegian artist, Paal Flaata in an album called, “Wait By The Fire… the songs of Chip Taylor”
Aug 29, 2015 – SKEBOBRUK – The Skebo Pub
The big news is that from now on my great friend, Peter from Box whiskey, will be our tour manager & chauffeur for the rest of the tour..what a blessing!!! Goran, Peter & I arrive from our 6 hour plus journey at about 5:30.
THE REFUGEE “HOTEL”
I have played this venue before. Aside from it being one of the coolest venues on the planet, adjacent to it there is the most beautiful palatial old & quite large, three building complex called Skeboherregard.. that is sort of an elite hotel/ conference center. In the past, when I played this venue, that is where I’ve stayed. I remember thinking that it felt like I was staying at a beautiful old wing of The Westchester Country Club.. or a small suite at at the old Plaza Hotel in New York City. Not a stuffy establishment .. but one with a true, old school, high class vibe.
It is/ was awesome!
So, when we arrived and saw & remembered the complex, I guessed that would be where we’d stay for the night. As we drove along the immaculately kept oval gravel road that connects the three buildings, we saw several young, dark skinned young men sitting & talking & smiling & waving at us. At the front door a middle aged woman .. I’m guessing from Sweden .. wearing a apron, informed us we were not staying there. She explained the entire complex was now housing only refugees from Syria, Afghanistan & Somalia.
Twenty yards from the front entrance to the complex was our venue .. & running perpendicular and between them, was a dirt road leading in thirty yards to a little bridge, beneath which ran a little 20 foot wide stream that channeled over rocks into a pretty natural waterfall, before continuing past our venue. Several young refugee children with brothers, sisters & parents were fishing on the bridge .. and seemed quite happy.. always smiling at us. A few of the young men, were walking in fields nearby.. all talking on their cell phone.. all seemed dressed in simple but nice clothes.. it wasn’t a group that looked homeless, poor or unhappy.
The Swedish government seemed to be helping give these folks quite a nice place to re-group. And they, in turn, seemed to give off a nice vibe of appreciation.
HEADING BACK TO THE VENUE
We headed across the road to our amazing venue.. a quaint, music-lovers pub, built in 1626, — old friend Leif .. who wears many hats at the venue .. host, sound man etc.. arrived shortly after, welcomed us, got us situated inside and when we got our instruments situated on stage & hooked up, got us very good sound rather quickly.
Leif’s kind wife, Anette, provided us with an excellent taco pie & salad .. just great…. thanks Anette!
Instead of staying at the large complex mentioned above, the folks from the venue have made arrangements for us to stay in houses in the area. I checked into my little cottage, with hosts Gunilla & Soren .. such kind folks.. Goran & Peter are guided to another small house where they share an upstairs floor.
we all meet at 8:45 in our spacious back stage area.. I noticed that the venue was half full, with no one sitting in the balcony area. But when we hit the stage .. the place… including the balcony area.. was full. Amazing how that can happen.
A nice guy named Bengt makes some announcements & kindly introduces us.
This was an amazing & surprising set to me. First.. since there is a bar, I expected that there might be extra noise to deal with. But that was not the case at all. We played the Yonkers story .. with the story & songs about growing up in the Voight household.. with stuff about mom & dad & my brothers & added stuff about my strong Scandinavian connection, with accompanying songs like THE REAL THING, BLOCK OUT THE SIRENS, HEY JONNY & CHARCOAL SKY… The audience was so “with us”… on the serious message songs, you could hear a pin drop.. on the fun ones, we all got loose together.
NOTE: on Block Out The Sirens, we always talk about the song writing prisoner who wrote a song about our great friend & heroic guitarist John Platania (Van Morrison / Moondance, Domino, Philosopher Stone etc). Folks love this story. John is with me on most tours. He’s touring the US now.. with another good friend, Professor Louie. Hi John!! Hope it’s going great… see you soon!
Back to our show..
From the opening piano notes of the real thing Goran was on fire .. absolutely brilliant & .. long story short .. a huge star tonight!!!
We have a day off in Halden in two days, so we taking the time to make some simple recordings of some new songs there .. so tonight we decided to rehearse a couple for the audience.. So.. just before our last song of the first set,, we played a new one, Woke Up This Morning With You.. which the audience seemed to love..we closed with a chilling version of Angel Of The Morning! .. this was special!!
Again.. the story of my wounded & bleeding hand from a show on a little island led to a tribute to my nurse for that night with the touching & gentle song, Martha, Martha.. then it was
the cool groove sing-a-long of Dance With A Hole in your shoe .. other highlights were a tribute to Johnny Cash with BIG RIVER .. again.. Goran solos brought the house down on this one.. then Sleep With Open Windows totally connected to all of us.. as did Nothin’ Coming Out Of Me That I Like.. which has become an audience favorite.
Later Czech Heaven gave the audience the invite to my Parnell’s bar.. and a chance to get to know my wonderful wife Joan.. then, maybe the highlight of the night was a new song for Joan .. called Saint Joan.. which had the audience reverently singing the chorus.. so beautiful!!!
We closed with our tribute to the prisoners, with FUCK ALL THE PERFECT PEOPLE.. with the audience joining in at the end .. like we were in church .. we encored with I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE & when this great audience kept the applause coming .. we stayed for a reverent GETTIN OLDER LOOKING BACK & said goodnight
Note: because we played such a long set, some folks had to leave quickly for transportation.. but I did get to say hi to several,, including:
Hi to old friend & fan, Bjorn, & wife Britt Marie.. great to see you again..Hi Hilding!! .. good to see you again & again.. hi & love to Eva… Hi Sarah & mom Maria.. so good to see & talk to you.. Sarah.. thanks for those warm & special words..
Hi Ingvold.. so good to see you on the way out!… Gunilla & Soren .. so good that you were there. Thank you so much for your kindness.. loved my little home! … Anette .. so good to meet you on the way out … THANKS LEIF!!!! .. tell Lila I sent my love!!
TONIGHT WAS SPECIAL.. I LOVED MEETING SOME NEW AND OLD FRIENDS, BUT THE REAL STORY OF THE DAY WAS THE REFUGEES .. AND THE KINDNESS SHOWN BY THOSE RESPONSIBLE IN SWEDEN FOR GIVING THESE FOLKS A PLACE TO REST THEIR HEADS. WHAT I TOOK FROM THAT IN THE BIG PICTURE WAS: THE REFUGEES ALL SEEMED SO WARM, KIND & APPRECIATIVE.. AND IN A GOOD PLACE.
Sometimes you need a jolt like this to feel a part of what is really happening!
August 28, 2015 BOX COUNTRY
radio show in Sundsvall
With Goran at the helm, it was a five hour journey from Stockholm to Sundsvall & this very cool NPR – like radio station – regional Channel 4 & welcomed by a lovely young lady named Tulle Maya. A VG engineer & good guy, Peter recorded, 4 songs.. two from The Little Prayers album. Trying To Let The Angels Know & Nothin’s Coming Out Of Me That I like.. then Angel of The Morning & Wild Thing. Nicely done Peter. Then another talented & nice guy, Stig .. did a short , terrific interview. Photographer Christer, would meet us later an hour north of here for our show.
Thanks to all!
ARRIVING IN NYLAND – BOX COUNTRY!!!
An hour later we arrived at the venue, Tingshuset, where we were welcomed by my old friend & Box Whiskey rep, Peter Soderlind & his lovely wife Pernilla & terrific 9 year old daughter (& my old friend as well!), Saga. So great to re-unite with these great folks in Box Country .. which is now their home as well.
.Well known classical musician, Fredrik, handles our sound tonight. Fredrik & his kind & lovely assistant – a young opera singer, Natalie, studying with her master teacher (Fredrik) – are our hosts tonight. Huge thanks Natalie!! We sound check in minutes (awesome sounding room!) & we have time to visit our warm & amazing B&B, Lansmansgarden, owned & run by another Box Whiskey founder, Anders & lovely wife Agneta.. with assist from lovely daughter, Sofia.. who I will meet tomorrow.
After a shower & change of clothes, Goran & I return to the venue. A kind interviewer, Gregor, asks a few good questions.. then, after a VG intro from Fedrik, Goran & I are on stage at 7:30.
ABOUT THE VENUE
Formerly an old courthouse, the main room has been turned into music venue. Frederik lives in the building.. has his own studio for recording & filming there.. & books the music events .. mostly classical performances. We share our “green room” – actually a living room area next to the stage – with Fredrik’s great son Leon. This seven year old – adopted from South Africa – is about the cutest kid you could imagine! The venue holds about 80 people. Thanks to Fredrik & Peter’s promotion efforts, it’s a full house tonight.
Since I haven’t played in this area ever I’m surprised by the good turnout. I’m guessing that most everybody in attendance knows I’ve written some hit songs.. but not much more. But with this great group, it is so much fun for us all to get to know each other. They get to know me by my stories & songs & I get to know them by the expressions on their faces as the stories are told & the songs sung. And later I get to know them on a more personal basis.
The result is .. that this will go down in my memory as one of my all-time favorite shows.
We divided the show into two parts tonight.
This was mostly the story .. with accompanying songs.. about growing up in the Voight household .. stuff about my brothers & mom & dad.. and the music I came to love… and finally how I found my way into the business.. by writing songs for others.
Goran was brilliant & so soulful again tonight & the audience let him know it at every turn
There were lots of highlights for me in this set. THE REAL THING totally captured the old Sun Records spirit.. Oh was Goran great on this!! BLOCK OUT THE SIRENS OF THIS LONELY WORD felt so moving to me… The start Of Rock & Roll with Hey Jonny .. Goran’s solos .. so, so awesome!!.. then a trip to the train station with Charcoal Sky .. felt so warm & good.. The other train song from The Little Prayers Trilogy.. Track 224 .. showed off more of Goran’s magic.. Soon after there was the story of the anarchy of the 60s & the bull shit of “The Brill Building Era”.. & the blood & guts of 1650 Broadway .. ending with a chilling version of Angel Of The Morning.. which I wrote behind that “1650” sign.
I loved this set..and we were only halfway there!
Then came one of my favorite sets ever.. with it’s emphasis on songs from the Little Prayers Trilogy.. & many songs for prisoners.
We started with story of my hand bleeding at the start of a set in Norway two years back .. & my tribute to my “nurse” of the night, Martha.. then my sort of “save the planet” song .. with Dance With A Hole In Your Shoe .. with the audience helping with the chorus .. “War War.. What The Hell For…etc” .. then songs for the prisoners.. Sleep With Open Windows.. so chilling!!.. & Solitary .. so so real.. then a Johnny Cash tribute with BIG RIVER .. Goran exploded on this .. great solo here!!!.. the audience loved it.
In time we got to Czech Heaven & the invite to Parnell’s bar in New York & the rock & roll story of WILD THING.. & , of course, THAT SONG!.. & a great sing-a-long here as well… then Fuck All The Perfect People … & the beautiful ending choir of that message … then the encore of I Wasn’t Born In Tennessee.. then a good yodel.. then goodnight!
And that was it!!! .. what a great bunch of folks to play for!!!
absolutely loved this!!
Said hi several ..
Hi to Peter’s mom & dad.. Yvonne & Kurt.. so good to meet you!!.. Hi to special new friends, Kjersten & Anders.. great talking with you!!.. hope to see you in Stockholm next time around.. my prayers for a good recovery.. Hi Stig & Inger.. & Hans.. & Peter .. hope Lennart enjoys the album.. Congratulations Lennart!! .. Boy or girl??.. Hi Monica.. & Anders.. & Jim.. & Mats & Yvonne .. great to talk to all of you .. thanks for the kind words..
Hi Michael .. & Ann – Christin.. & Andreas!! .. & Christer … & Pelle…great meeting & talking to you ..
Special hello to Natalie.. so good to see you .. & big thanks Fredrik.. & Peter & Pernilla & my Saga!! .. & Agnetta & Anders .. so great to share thoughts with you back at our “home”.. & so great to meet you Sofia.. you’re special.. hope you enjoy the CD.
Hi mema!!! .. halfway home .. love you!
AUG 27, 2015 – Nynashamn – VENUE – The Ankaret
The venue is located about 50 minutes south of Stockholm along the coast. It is a rather small modern feeling pub with a small stage and a modest sound system. But despite the modest system, sound man Mike & Goran (who is VG at this stuff) have us sounding clear and good in no time.
I have a new batch of songs that Goran & I have been rehearsing for the last few days. This group is sounding more & more like they might be the follow up album to The Little Prayers Trilogy.We have decided to do a little “demo” session on our day off in Halden in a few days. So at sound check we go over a few of those. I like the way they’re sounding.
And tonight I noticed the warm reaction they were getting from our soulful hostess, Angelica. Thanks for listening, Angelica.
After our kind hostess served us a meal of chili & some sort of ham & cheese pie.. both very tasty! Goran & I waked a bit through the small & quiet town. For a few minutes we stopped outside a simple humble & modern church where i say a few prayers of thanks. Then we walked to the town’s only record store – a cool one at that – which is owned & run by a music lover & good guy, Stefan & wife Jeannette. Stefan is the one who books Americana music in the town & has booked our show. We meet another one of their friends.. a good guy named Lennart there, then do some more walking in town and are ready for the show at 8:00.
We could tell immediately that the audience for the most part new each other and seemed to be all friends with & influenced by, record store owner, Stefan. He had placed posters in his store & at the venue & despite the fact that I had never played this remote area & had only a few long time fans in the audience, there was solid enthusiasm for Goran & I when we hit the stage.
The humble sound system gave us shockingly good projection. And from the first strains of our opener, The Real Thing, with blasts of Goran’s Jerry-Lee-like riffs it was total chill time for me & this audience. Next we played my tribute to my warm Scandinavian friends with Block Out The Sirens Of This Lonely World which connected as well at a very deep level. From there on, Goran & I gave everything we had to give .. and it was easy to do that for this great group of kind & warm folks.
Then it was off to the Yonkers story in story & songs .. about family & train stations & putting coins on the tracks and the very beginning of Rock & Roll.. Hey Jonny and Charcoal Sky never sounded more “lived in”.
Highlights were so many .. Aside from those mentioned, here’s a few more.. Trying To Let The Angels Know (so chilling!), Dance With A Hole In Your Show.. there was again, a huge audience sing-a-long with this one.. Martha, Martha (so warm & chilling as well.. the audiences we’ve played for thus far, love this one) , Track 224.. Goran was awesome! Big River killed again tonight!!, Czech Heaven was so special.. after an invite during the song, I think I’ll be seeing several of these folks at my local NY pub, Parnell’s.
We ended with soulful versions of Angel Of The Morning and Wild Thing and a great prayerful sing-a-long of Fuck All The Perfect People. We encored with I Wasn’t Born In Tennessee.. with the audience clapping along.. we left to a standing ovation.
Thanks to all who attended.. this was special for Goran & I .. a great night!
Said hi to several
our host & new friends, host Stefan & lovely wife Jeannette & friend Lennart.. great to see all .. and huge thanks from Goran & I. Hi Angelica.. thanks for yur kindness!
Hi Mike .. thanks for the lighting & great sound!.. Hi Mr. Hillson .. actually Joakim.. great to see you at the end of the night .. hope you & Elin enjoy Fuck All.. Hi Stefan .. good to meet you .. hope you enjoy all the CDs .. thanks for your support.. Hi Torbjon.. good to meet you as well .. thanks for the kind words.. Hi Rolf .. nice talking to you ..hope you enjoy the listen!..
Sorry we ran out of The Little Prayers Trilogy.. You can find it at our Web Site, Train Wreck Records.. Chuck at Train Wreck will be happy to get it to you ASAP.
Hi to those who had to run to catch the train.. so good to see you all!!! Goran says a big hello .. hope to see you all soon!
Stefan .. thanks for booking us and special thanks for helping with the CDs.. much appreciated. Hope to see you soon!
Aug 26, 2015 – Stockholm – Southside Cavern
This tour is just Goran & I, so the venues need to be extremely intimate. This club was all of that. The venue is below a rather cool restaurant/bar. It’s called “the Cavern” for good reason.. A small, warm feeling room with a bar in the back a stage about 50 feet away .. It’s a standing venue (no chairs) .. sort of like the Mercury Lounge in NY but MUCH smaller. It holds about 80 people … it’s wall to wall tonight.
We were greeted by kind host, Hans who was repping the owner, Per, who could not attend. Hans tended to our needs until show time. Huge thanks, Hans! And Jason .. got us great sound and we were ready to hit the stage at 8:30. Thanks Jason .. good to meet you!
We decided to do one long set.. This show was so special in it’s humbleness. Goran was brilliant. The audience was close to us, like in a living room. The show was loose and vibey from start to finish .. and this warm/great audience were our great friends from start to finish.. .. the stories were not planned .. and I decided not to go with a set list .. so the spirit we had with the audience influenced the song selection ..which roamed around .. from the family stuff of The Yonkers story .. with The Real Thing, Hey Jonny & Charcoal Sky … with lots of prisoner. inspired songs .. like Block Out The Sirens, Sleep With Open Windows, Solitary in the mix as well.
Some of my favorites tonight were those mentioned plus Dance With A Hole In Your Shoe.. on this one we had technical issue and the mike stopped working .. as it was getting replaced, I sort of got to the edge of the stage and “busked” part of the song .. with the audience helping big time by singing the chorus with me loud and clear! This audience of great old and new fiends helped make a break down into one of the special parts of the night!
Johnny Cash’s Big River sounded so good tonight .. Again Goran was so awesome on the solos! Czech Heaven was soo so lived in.. and great .. loved bringing my first experience of playing in Belfast into the song.. on all of these there was lots of space .. more like you get from reading a good journal…. intimate and warm .. very much like we we were all in a friend’s living room .. it was like that all night.
Getting on to my favorites .. loved the story and song of Martha, Martha tonight .. it was so warm and loving .. and the ending of the show was special .. Fuck All The Perfect People.. and a gentle version of a new one from our new CD “Humans Passing Through”, I WANT YOU NOW.. …then we said goodnight with Tryin’ To Let The Angels Know .. with Goran’s beautiful and soulful interludes.. this was a special night .. a night with friends .. one I’ll remember.
NOTE: By the way..our Limited addition collection, Humans Passing Through – specially produced for this tour – contains our favorites from the last three years plus two brand new tracks .. only three hundred were pressed and no more will ever be pressed. . and each hand numbered by me. This was our biggest seller of the night .. we’re saving some for each venue and 50 or so for our web site.
Saw lots of friends.. old & new.. in the audience tonight.. said hi to many.
Hi Crister .. great to see you again.. thanks for the good words ..hope work was good today! Hi Jonas.. my wheelchair bound frien & his friend Nils .. GREEAT TO SEE YOU GUS front & center!! .. Hi Rolf .. great to see you again!!.. Hi Esa .. Thanks for your support over the years!!.. and Peter… same goes for you.. It’s always GREAT to see you.. Hi Joel & Anna (lovely singer.. sings some of the Taylor/Rodriguez songs in her show!.. thanks for stopping by & sharing that!!.. Hi Jonas .. thanks for bringing & buying all that vinyl .. so good to see you.
Magnus.. Roger (Huge thanks!!) .. GREAT TALKING TO YOU GUYS!!! .. Magnus..TORI’ll do a rain check on going down in the mine!!
Thanks Bjorn .. great to see you again!!! .. Loved meeting you Maria.. thanks for the nice words.. hope to see you soon.