What an amazing place to end our UK tour... Salt of the earth people to welcome us when we came in and the same with the audience ..just warm kind and generous folks… This was as “together” a show as you would find between an audience and the performers on stage. There was no line drawn ... we were all in it together.
Thanks to Ian who did a great job with the sound.. and as part of a folk band, with Tim and John.. the boys did a cool little opening half hour set. Thanks boys! We were on stage 8:45.
One of the great things about the show was that, aside from the fact that you had generous lighting on stage to show off Goran, John and me, it was not so blinding that I could not make out the faces of everybody in the room. And that made a difference to me ... some of the warmest and kindest faces inspired me throughout the show.
This will be our last show and before I mention anything else, I want to mention the mastery of what John Platania and Gøran Grini have brought to the station on this tour. I am constantly getting chills from what I am hearing on my left and right got it and inspires me all the time to get to truthful feelings.. huge thanks to these wonderful friends!
We blasted off with “The Real Thing”.. which introduced the audience to the energy of country music back in the mid 70s .. when I was somewhat a part of the movement with Willie and Waylon, Gram Parsons and my friends, John Prine and Kris Kristofferson .. this song was the theme song for the renegade movement on the most famous station playing this stuff, KFAT in Santa Cruz... The audience seem to love the energy of this… And seems like many of them knew the song.
From there we turned our sights on songs from the new album, “Whiskey Salesman“... and this felt like such a lived-in section of the show where the audience got to know about the little films that were part of the album’s release and cheered and smiled and clapped at the success of the film of the title song.
The next song we played, “I Like Ridin’”was inspired by my wife’s joining me on tour for these last few years… and the simple joy we have going to place to place
Not only did the audience love this song… expressing that by clapping long and hard at its end.. but what surprised me was that several in the audience already knew the song and smiled about the video when I talked about that… So I got the feeling that several had seen it and heard it .. what a nice surprise!
Next came a love song for Joan from Whiskey Salesman.. which is a favorite at every show on the tour. One part of the song finds me being locked in the bathroom of a train on my way to see her .. rescued by a traveler who hollers “pull the handicap lever on the left”... several in the audience got a good little chuckle at this part of this otherwise serious song… And several smiled at me at the end of the show mentioning that.
We interspersed the silent parts of the show with some very cool up-tempo things like Johnny Cash’s “Big River“.. ”A Sip or Two of Good Scotch”.. and “Track 224”... but it was the soft silent ones again.. that were the real magic and the real connection of the show.
From 2001, Black and Blue America.. there was a magical connection with the song “Theme for an American Hero“ .. and the album’s "big hit,“ What a Smile You Had .. brought huge response and some cheers.
By the way, just the mention of the album “Black and Blue America” brought applause throughout the room... it is nice to know that finally it has been released on Spotify and other streaming sites (only last week) and that there is quite a good reaction to that fact.
Some of my favorites tonight… Again the silent ones .. “Nothing coming out of Me that I Like“ , “Dance with a Hole in your Shoe“… Which was really special tonight.. this song just seemed to go where it wanted to go tonight and John, Goran and I just followed it its end.
“Angel of the Morning“ was so beautiful tonight… And I totally got lost in its spirit... and so did the audience… There was a total connection here and a huge response at the end of it!
The true rock ‘n’ roll spirit was all over this room ... everybody in this room showed that sort of passion in their eyes .. I loved seeing that from the stage .. and that spirit led to a magical and loose and soulful version of “Wild Thing “.. with brilliant solos by John and Goran.. and all of us singing together at the songs end! .. just great stuff!
Somewhere in the middle of the show I paid tribute to my brother BARRY.. The folks here seem to like stories about BARRY, maybe since he has always had such a love for Scotland and has a terrific, maybe Scottish–like sense of humor .. and also because he is crazy and brilliant.. and the audience now knows he invented the formula that predicts when volcanoes will erupt... The audience laughed and cheered for Barry .. who is truthfully revered among his community of scientists.
Barry and I wrote a song together.. based on a poem Barry was writing for our grandfather... for my Last Chance album.. he has threatened me, saying he would have spies at the show to tell him if I did not sing this song… And break my kneecaps before I got on the plane.. so I made sure to sing it tonight and the folks seemed to absolutely love it.
The fact is I want Barry’s spies to make sure that they tell him the truth.. that I played an amazingly great version of our song.. and the audience totally agreed it was such!
OK OK… Now back to the rest of the show!
Somewhere toward the end we paid tribute to our great friend! Tony Pankhurst, who is our chaperone for this entire tour, driving every place, selling the merchandise and enjoying the spirit of good camaraderie throughout the tour,.
I asked Tony to select his favorite song that we would play. He chose one of my favorites from 1975, from an album called This Side of the Big River. The song’s name is “John Tucker‘s on the Wagon Again”.. he speaks of a true fan from Charlotte North Carolina, who used to come to see John play at a place in New York called JP’s.The audience sung along and cheered at the end.
Then I told a story of how a song I wrote for prisoners, and eight years later, became a very big hit ... and we proceeded to play, “Fuck all the Perfect People” .. with the audience singing along al the end .. like we were in church.. which we were....... all night!
We encore with a song from “Last Chance”.. “I Wasn’t Born in Tennessee“.. with everyone clapping along and me doing some yodeling at the end… And then some cheering... and then good night!
What a beautiful night!
Got a chance to say hello to several but most it was just shaking their hands and looking into there eyes and saying their name as they passed bye… I love seeing all these folks.
Then some stopped and I got some names and signed some autographs... so let me mention a few of the folks I met:
hi Raymond.. thanks so much for your sweet words about “ I Love You Today“ .. please send best regards to Lynn from Joan and me!
Jason… Our host tonight
Huge thanks my friend! … You made us feel so at home and were so responsible to all our needs… We appreciate it so much!
Hi Andy .. thanks for those kind and encouraging words.. You as well Paul .. so good to meet you.
Hi Nick... good to see a “Last Chance“ fan.. thanks for the support over the years Nick.... Hey Stephen.. so good to meet you .. such kind words ..… Much appreciated.. Hope to see you soon
Douglas and Rochelle... so great to see you tonight .. you have such a great spirit together… And I really appreciate the words… Joan says a big hello!... hope to see you next time!
hi Warren.. Great to see you again.. I will listen… So you be assured of that.. .... please tell Douglas that I said hello and that I miss him.. and if you run into any of the Belle and Sebastian folks… Send my best regards
Hi Ian thanks for the good sound!! And for the good music with your friends Tim and John.
Special friends of Joan and mine from New York - Linda, Itamar & Betsy.. who made the tough trip from Edinburgh to here .. taking a train and a cab showing up in the wet rain to hear a few songs!
Love you guys!! Thanks!
We are staying here on our one day off and then playing a show tomorrow night at the hotel ....have never played here before… So, the concern is whether it will be a comfortable place to hang out for a few days. Our minds are eased right away when we arrive.. we like the place very much .. it is sort of like an old country club (with a golf course across the street). Very large rooms and a very very cool, refurbished dining room.. later on we would find out how good the food was.. just amazing! So all in all, we hit the jackpot here!
An old friend of mine, Dave, arrived at the front desk to greet us. Dave used to book our shows at the Bein Inn for many years .. about 10 years ago he sold his interest in that place and was hired here to do the music.
At check in, we meet a very nice person Lauren who checked us in and gives us a bit of the layout of the land of the hotel with its winding corners. Lauren, on a personal note - thanks so much for helping arrange that little doctors visit the next day.
And one of the surprises at check-in was to meet an old fan, Derrick, with his great daughter, Lisle... it was great to see them again and talk and kid with them a little bit before checking in .. we would see them several times before leaving and it was always a good thing.
We have been driving all day in pretty bad weather so this is a welcome home away from home… We relax in our rooms and our day off we have a delicious dinner downstairs.
The show at the Greene Hotel
We arrive at the little theater in the back of the hotel for sound check around 6 PM. A very nice guy named Travis seems to have the sound totally together so the check is very short one and then we return to the restaurant for another great meal and we hit the stage at 9 o’clock sharp.
The show starts at 9 o’clock… So the booker, Dave and the band decided one long show would be in order... I was shooting for about an hour and 45 minutes and missed it by about 25 minutes I think we played for over two hours
John and Goran have been amazing this whole tour… they seem to be floating in the clouds in the most beautiful places… throughout the near silent parts of the show… And there are many of those..and the audiences have been very appreciative of the magic they’ve created… And lots more would be created tonight.
We could tell right from the start when we played “The Real Thing“ that there were huge fans in this audience .. We glided through the songs of the new album starting with “Whiskey Salesman”... folks seem to connect with this song and it’s little “lessons“ every night .. then a simple one, “I Like Riding“, always brings some very big cheers and did again tonight... as did “I Love You Today“ from the same album.. this has been a sort of “showstopper” on every show … Lots of lengthy applause after the song .. Gøran and John’s accompaniment on this one is so mesmerizing.
The Black and Blue America segment of the show has been loved by all the audiences… And seemed to be again tonight. This album was an important record for me back in 2001 .. but it has just been released on Spotify and you can tell there’s some in the audience have been paying attention to that.
“Theme for an American Hero “ sounded so soulful and touching on stage and received a huge audience response.. and “What a Smile You Had “ sounded so warm and loving ... both sent chills up my spine .. again, just magic stuff from Goran and John.
The up-tempo ones were really shining tonight.. aside from the “Real Thing“ we did a very loose, but I think great ,version of Track 224 with John’s and Goran’s solos bringing cheers from the start. And when we finally got to “Dance With a Hole in Your Shoe” .. sort of off the charts with brilliant solos... The audience interrupted again.
A surprising highlight was one of the 60s hits, “Anyway that You Want Me“.. for some reason we’ve been catching a very good groove on this and although it was a 60s hit, it seems to fit in kind of a nice emotional thing with the rest of the songs we’ve been doing.. it got a sensational response tonight.
I guess the biggest highlights for me were “He’s a Good Guy as Well you Know “ from the Little Prayers Trilogy and a couple of other trilogy songs, “There’s Nothing Coming out of Me that I Like” and “Trying to Let the Angels Know”... but it would be very hard to pick favorites tonight, there were so many.
At some point we did a tribute to Joan called “St. Joan“, with the audience totally singing along. This is become one of the most powerful .. sort of fun... songs in our set for the last several shows.
After special versions of “Angel of the Morning” and “Wild Thing” ... which again had the entire audience singing along .. then we played our biggest current hit these days… our tribute to the prisoners, “Fuck All the Perfect People “.. it seems like people are singing along with almost every word of this song as it gets more popular..
so this was a special connection tonight… We ended with a song from Last Chance “I Wasn’t Born in Tennessee “ which had the audience clapping along and singing along.
We encored with the song that seems to touch everybody, “Refugee Children”
Again, this was another warm/ touching show with an amazingly warm audience... and amazingly sensitive performances by John and Goran.
Said hi to many before wandering into the bar for a quick drink
Hi to: Great to see my old friends, Violet and as soon as we got off the stage it was great seeing you guys I wondered if you had a long trip home back hone.. I didn’t quite get why you missed your Parnell’s visit last year… No excuses this year! See you soon!
Hi Ian and Dougie.. thanks for the kind words hi Sandy good to see you and Robbie good to see you as well with your kind wife .. send your song to info at train wreck… I’ll try to give it a listen
So great to see Lindsey and Ben.. thanks so much for those kind thoughts…comments like that make this touring thing worthwhile… The words were so appreciated... and Wayne… Very nice to talk to you… Thanks very much for your kind words about the music as well
You too Mike!!! I couldn’t believe you asked for some of those Norwegian songs, like “Block out the Sirens of this Lonely World”.. “ This Darkest Day” .. they are among my favorites of all time..
So good to see my friends John and Barkley again… Barkley and I spent more time talking about horses than Music… Good luck with your new purchase Barkley I sure hope you can jump!
Say hi to so many others I can’t think of their names but what a wonderful audience… Much appreciated by the entire band and Joan and Tony and me!!
Hope to see you all soon.
John and I have been looking forward to the show for a while and now Gøran, Tony and Joan have been caught up in that energy as well.
John and I look at it as one of the best rooms we’ve played. Hosts Ron and Hillary are terrific people who absolutely put the focus on playing music that THEY absolutely love and now have developed a huge following in the area .. after doing just that in Wales some six years ago.. .. normally playing shows on Fridays and Sundays. So this will be a usual off day for them as we are playing on Thursdays… But because of the vibe of the place and our fans in the area… This place will be packed!
The one problem is that the drive between Leek and Saltaire .. normally an easy two hour drive, was extraordinarily difficult due to an immense amount of rain that started falling down as we started our journey. The highways were backed up in several areas and driving was just really tough.
Tony did an unbelievable job of getting us to our terrific hotel, by around 2:30 in time to check in to our amazing hotel, the Abbey Lodge, where we are greeted by the proprietors Ashley and Eilee. We got a chance to relax for an hour or so before sound check.
Sound check went rather quickly and we had about an hour to grab a quick bite to eat before showtime at 7:30… So we gather at a very very cool restaurant in the area that has “Titus” in its title… I forget the full name. It’s hard to forget the food .. amazing fish and chips for all of us as we needed to get something that we could eat within 30 or 25 minutes and that was the one they suggested… It was delicious.
Finished just in time to get on the stage at 7:30.
This show was a special one .. It was another show where silence played the most important part in the connection with the musicians on the stage and this wonderful, wonderful audience.
After the show, there were the most beautiful comments about the show .. that these music lovers shared with John and Goran and me.. and Joan as well.. such kind and warm thoughts.. Tonight there was a very human, kind thing going on in this room.
Again, we divided the show into two halves… There was many songs from the current album Whiskey Salesman, many from Little Prayers Trilogy, and several from Black and Blue America, which was just released on Spotify this past week.
The one linking force of the whole evening was the silence and the connection between the audience and those of us on stage… It just doesn’t get better... Some of my favorites in the first show was certainly have to be “ I love You Today“ from my new album, Whiskey Salesman… And the title track - which really got the honest connection started at a high-level... “Theme for an American Hero“ was as special as it could possibly be… And “What a Smile You Had“ had chills up my spine from start to finish… Toward the end of the set came a rockin' version of one of my favorite all times Johnny Cash songs, “Big River“… And a precious version of “Angel of the Morning “ that many would talk about later. We left the stage after the first half anxious to get back and do more of the same connecting… It was on such a high level.
The second set.
We started with “Dance With A Hole In Your Shoe“… Which seems so spiritual and the connection with the audience was so so strong that it just inspired the rest of the show.. “ He’s a Good Guy as Well you Know“ just continued then spirit of human kindness and understanding..… “There’s Nothing Coming out of me That I Like“ was so prayerful… But the thing that made it so human and special is that it seemed like it put us in a holy place together.. “Trying to let the Angels Know” .. kept us in that same church… It was a place I certainly like being.
Somewhere toward the middle of the second set I reminisced about the power of one of my early rock songs, Anyway That you Want Me“… We hadn’t done this in a while and it sounded so sweaty and good tonight… At some point I called out so for some requests.. Our friend Tony Pankhurst who is been our tour guide on this entire tour… Suggested the first song I ever wrote, “Faded Blue”… What a nice choice Tony… The fans seem to love this and we certainly love playing it… The only question I had was - did I write such a song at 13 years old?
Sooner or later we got to a wonderful and crazy version of Wild Thing… And then ended the show with some powerful stuff.. a precious song for my wife Joan, “Saint Joan, which had the audience singing along… It was so precious….. then came my “hit” anthem for the prisoners “Fuck all the Perfect People”… we closed with, “I Wasn’t Born in Tennessee" which totally rocked and had the audience cheering.
We left the stage, and after lengthy applause, we returned and encored with the song dedicated to refugee children ..called “Refugee Children”, with the audience singing along with us so beautifully at the end ...it was a fitting end . The long and short of it is this will remain one of my favorite shows ever… Thanks for this kind and wonderful audience!
Said hi to so many wonderful friends… Old and new
First, very old friends who have been following us for years, Ernie and Pauline… What great friends and fans… But the friendship goes beyond all… Great to see you and to play a couple of your requests.
Hi to Mel who we met just before getting on stage and her friend Jeth who came down from North Cumberland and her husband Colm.. I think young Kathryn had something to do with these folks becoming fans… Anyway, whatever… It was so great to see you all and to hear your kind words… in the same group was Simon and Adrian.. all saying very flattering things to me and very human things… It was so great to meet you all.
Hi to David and Gary… A big hello to some friends I met toward the end of the night Richard and Steve and Collin.
Richard, your words were so so beautiful… Steve, yours as well.. and great talking to you Collin and love your take on the entire last part of my career and the thoughts about the duets with Carrie Rodriguez and I… All wonderful thoughts… It was so special talking to all of you tonight.
Special hello to Lynn and Nicholas and Dorothy and Diane and Ian and Catherine and John.. thanks so so much for all those kind words… Look forward to seeing you again
Hi Keith.. thanks for taking the pictures tonight and for making it as least intrusive as possible… Look forward to seeing some of the memories.
Hi Julian Martin ..wonderful seeing you toward the end of the night.. again thanks for all the kind words and the wonderful messages to Joan.. it was so nice meeting you
Collin… Wonderful talking with you… Hope to see you soon again..
Joan was out in the back of the room with some very nice folks that made her feel very comfortable and special… So thanks to all of those folks… Carol and Eddie and Suzanne and Arthur and all the others
It is the next morning and I am about to have breakfast with y’all at the hotel but we are going there with wonderful memories of a special special night… Thanks
Ron and Hillary… This was a special one… None of us will forget it.
After our host for the previous night's show, Owen, took Joan and me on a trip through the town over to the Caernarfon castle, the oldest Norman castle, and probably biggest one in Wales, it was good to see the sights get a feel of the town. We love this place we love the whole area … It was a bit sad to say goodbye my old friend.... but we all got in the van and headed for our next venue toward the middle of England in a town called Leek in Staffordshire.
We have had mostly misty days… Some rain,, all clouds.. today was no different but with Tony at the wheel and John working the GPS we got there in 2 1/2 hours.
Our kind host for the night is a young singer-songwriter, named Adam. He was waiting for us as we arrived and helped us get the car parked and our luggage sorted in a sort of bed-and-breakfast that was clean and comfortable and adjacent to the place where we would play, The Foxlowe Arts Centre.
We had a good sound check with the soundman named Ivan at around 5 o’clock.. met the actual booker JR and his lovely wife Julie.. and their helper friend Dave... all just great people… salt of the earth… Nice to hang around and be around that spirit.
We were comfortable with our sound check at about 5:45 and headed to a local Indian restaurant that was highly recommended. Adam joined us there. The food was absolutely great and the conversation great as well ... by the time we finished dinner it was pretty much time for Adam to go on the stage and sing a few songs before we got up to do one long show.
Joan and I got there to see a little bit of Adam’s set and sat in the back clapping with other fans for his fine performance..
We got on stage promptly at nine.., right away we knew this was a crazy wonderful audience… it seemed like such comfortable fit, with equally crazy folks playing the music!
Göran Grini and John Platania were absolutely amazing tonight. Working their magic in and out of all the songs, leaving lots of breathing room in each one. Again, the hits and the up-tempo songs seem to feel loose and good and very well responded to by this great group ... we had good fun with the opening song, the Real Thing and “Track 224“ was over-the-top good tonight. Johnny Cash’s “Big River“was raw and great with amazing solos by John and Gøran.
Buts the songs that seemed to draw the most attention and get the most elongated applause again were the silent ones .. the beautiful silent ones.Among the absolute magic ones for the night were Whiskey Salesman, I Like Ridin’. Theme for an American Hero, What a Smile You Had, He’s a Good Guy as Well you Know, There’s Nothing Coming out of Me That I Like, I’ll Carry for You and of course the biggest crowd pleaser of all these days is always, “Fuck All the Perfect People“!
This audience was just really special.. An audience like this helps make the songs like “He’s a Good Guy” more than just songs being played … More like prayerful things being thought together and communicated and felt together. Some audiences do that for you .. and so far, the audiences we have been playing for have been exceptional in this regard. Tonight, you could hear a pin drop during the performance of the songs and you could hear all the little soulful nuances being played on stage by Goran and John.
This crazy, spontaneous audience brought out the best in us and them.. it was one of those nights!
After a wild Fuck All the Perfect People, with the audience singing the chorus loud and clear very early on in the song, we ended with I Wasn’t Born in Tennessee from the 1973 classic, Last Chance.
We left to a standing ovation and got a chance to say hello to some of these crazy beautiful people:
Hi Graham and Ron and Richard and Keith… Thank you all for the kind words and hi Beth and Marie.. so good to see you after the show.. Hi Paul.. thanks for the words and the whiskey.. see you at Parnell’s .. and maybe at Tomita’s in Brooklyn!
Hi Seamus and Sue... so nice talking to you both.. Seamus, as I said before, you seem like a stage performer….. Sue told me you were extremely good singer… All the best with those sort of endeavors!
Hi Vicky and Jane… Very nice to see you in the front room before the show… Thanks for all your help! .. and smiles!
A special hello to Beth and Marie from what was it, 10 years ago? When I first said hello to Ava and Anna with Carrie... thanks for the memories… and thanks for the kind words. Great to see you both!
Hi Sally-Anne .. so good to see you and Adam together at the end of the show… I have a vague / nice recollection of meeting you a couple of years ago
Nice to see Kelly and Duncan at the end.. good luck with your own singing and writing ...that was quite a little performance at the piano… As I mentioned Duncan, you remind me a little bit of a young Jerry Ragavoy.. And Kelly, I didn’t mention it to you but, as you know, you have quite an amazing voice… Good luck with all that stuff!
To wrap it up, another thanks to Adam and JR and Julie… By the way Julie, those were sweet comments at the end of the show… Thanks for that.
Long and short of it is… We loved playing in this town… As someone in the bar said… Is the perfect place for us to play… There are no perfect people here! I totally agree with that … John and Gøran and I are totally in that mix!!
Several more said hello but I didn’t quite get their names ...just know how much I appreciated all the support! This was a special night!
Hope to see you all soon.
PS. Thanks to our special friend Tony Pankhurst who is getting us from place to place and doing all the tough stuff… We all appreciate it Tony ....you’re the best!
We arrived at this beautiful north porch Wales city at around 3 o’clock just in time to sound check with soundman Dylan. John, Goran and I did a fairly expansive sound check due to the fact that this room was such a large one, and it took some getting accustomed to. But Dylan was great and moved it along and within 20 to 25 minutes we had very good sound.
Somewhere in the middle of the sound check my old friend Owen, who booked the show, wandered by and just stood at the side enjoying the sound check… It was great to see him. He look good/ healthy ... he’s been through a lot of cancer operations and it looks like he’s come out on the other side of it .. an amazing, wonderful thing! ..
Owen has booked several of my shows in the past plus several with me and Carrie Rodriguez. He is one of my favorite people to see on any tour anytime .. He’s kind to everybody, works hard at his job and loves music … What could be better?
We are staying at the Premier which is right across from the venue , everything on the dock with the boat alongside us and beautiful countryside in the back. It’s a beautiful area. Joan is loving the view and the feeling of the place.
Across the street from our hotel is a pretty cool little restaurant almost like a Fridays … but a little bit more upscale. They have saved the entire back area for us. One large sofa that takes three or four people and a few chairs facing against them. As planned, we arrived there at about 6 o’clock.
The place was extremely crowded and despite the fact that we were a priority the food came barely in time for us to eat it and get down to the stage and ready for the show.. which started at 7:30.
Certainly this would rank for me as one of the best shows ever
“The Silent Shows”
Several folks commented after the show that the thing that made this show so special was the silence of the show… Surrounded by the gentle playing of two soulful masters, John Platania and Goran Grini... Many said they hadn’t seen anything like it and they loved what they heard and saw… songs that meant something… often having social commentary or prayerful meanings. I would say the same thing. These “silent shows“ are becoming our sort of calling card. Different from anything I’ve ever done before and, at their best and their loosest, they are extraordinarily warm and powerful.
It’s not that a song like the “Real Thing, or “Track 224" or “I Can’t Let Go” or “ Wild Thing” don’t have their power or their connection, they certainly do … The audience loved those songs. But if you could have felt the over-the-top reaction to songs like “I Love You Today”, “He’s a Good Guy as Well You Know”, “There’s Nothing Coming Out of Me That I Like“, “I’ll Carry For You“, “ Theme for an American Hero” , “ What a Smile You Had “and “Fuck all the Perfect People” you would’ve understood.
There is something going on here with the people on stage and the passion of the audience and it is working on a very big dimension.. it feels more like a special kind of human interactive church service.
So nice to be a part of that feeling with this great and warm and wonderful audience.
To end the show we played “ I Wasn’t Born in Tennessee“ which was met with huge applause .. that seemed to last forever.. so just as we were leaving the stage we decided to turn around and come back for one more. We closed with a beautiful version of “Refugee Children“ which had the audience singing with us clear and true and with such passion.
Thanks to all who were here to experience what happened tonight. John Platania was brilliant as was Gøran Grini - they added just the perfect amount of emotion to the silence… It had chills up my spine all night.
Said hello to several including:
Hi to Jane… so good to see you.. And hi to Anne… And thanks so much for the beautiful comments from a person who had never seen the show before and only knew me as a writer who had written some hits… Your comments meant the world to me..
Hi to Bryn and India and Tudor and Maldwyn.. thanks so much for the kind words and the talk about the brilliant understated playing of John and Goran.. and about the connection of the songs .. much appreciated
Hi to Ian and Chris.. Great to see you again… Chris good luck to your musician son… How could you not be with a father who is so passionate about the stuff .. thanks for the nice comments great to see the whole family last time and great to see you guys again this time.
Special hi to friend and revered DJ, Rhys and lovely wife, Nest (with a sort of upside down V over the “E“). Sorry my typewriting machine does not have such a insignia.. Great seeing you both!
Hi Garrett… Thanks for reminding me about the song that I wrote with Rosie for Rosie, ”Tumbling Down”.. I remember liking that song a lot and I haven’t heard it in a while… So I will research it again.
Great seeing you Kevin. Great to have you back... you look so good I hope you have a lot of years to go come to do the good things that you do in Music! .. hey Pete, great to see you before the show and after the show… I hear that Rhys is going to play our combo music from all those years ago on his station sometime this week… I would love to hear that.
And finally… So special to see my old friend Owen.. and to top it off his lovely daughter Gwyn stopped by at the end of dinner to say a quick hello with her amazing new nine-month-old Cadi. And one of the highlights of this entire tour so far was watching my wife Joan play with that little girl... for five or 10 minutes… it was so great to see… And John Platania kept his iPhone in film mode for much of it… I can’t wait to see it ...hopefully we will post it one of these days.
Sorry I missed the names of several who said hello… Thanks for being part of the magic tonight! Hope to see you soon!
Two great things tonight - One, being back in this amazingly warm and intimate space with my friends from last year, owner, Brett and soundman Jason and Paul and Andy … and other helpers whose names I don’t recall.
The second great thing tonight is the fact that Goran Grini, the brilliant keyboardist from Norway, and my great friend, is joining my other great friend, John Platania and I for the first time. So, from now on, on this tour, we are a trio. And anyone who was there last night will tell you how magic John and Göran were.
For me, being in the middle of those beautiful sounds coming from my right and left was just amazing and sent chills up my spine from start to finish.
We had great “kitchen” food after a simple and wonderful sound check and hit the stage a little after eight
We played two sets for a total playing time of well over two hours… And it seemed like we could’ve played for six hours more for this amazing audience.
There were far too many highlights to mention … certainly the hits sounded good ... Anyway That You Want Me, Wild Thing, Angel of the Morning, etc.. But the real special ones for me were the silent ones like “He’s a Good Guy” and “I Love You Today” and all the little songs that I wrote for my wife Joan which had such special meaning tonight and were allowed to be the simple magic that they were in this special environment.
Our album from 2000, “Black and Blue America” is just now streaming and we honored that release by playing a couple from the album including “Theme for an American Hero” and “What a Smile You Had”... both sent total chills down my spine..
We ended the show with a crazy good version of “Wild Thing “ with the audience totally singing along and having fun with us and then came maybe the highlight of the night as it is most nights, my song for the prisoners that has now gone viral several times, “Fuck all the Perfect People” with this wonderful audience singing along with us like we were in church. And that is the truth, this was like a church tonight... a beautiful church with special things floating around that meant something.
I paid special tribute to our good friend Tony Pankhurst, our tour guide for this entire trip - driving us, getting us comfortably from place to place all because he just wants to do it. He’s just a great guy. So for tonight’s special tribute to him, we played his favorite song from our album This Side of the Big River” from 1975 - “John Tucker’s on the Wagon Again“.. it was great to see the fans loving this song as much as Tony was. Big thanks for your camaraderie over the years Tony.
We ended the show with the song are used to end with back in the 70s from my Last Chance album called "I Wasn’t Born in Tennessee“ - there was lots of cheering and smiling after this one ..and saying hello after that.
Hi Bernard so nice talking to you… Thank you for the kind words and please send our best wishes and love to GILL. Simon and Tracy and Arthur and Graham and Philip and Adam from Leek… See you soon.
Hi Brian… Those were the sweetest words you said.. about “closing your eyes and drifting away“ as we played the song beautiful place... I guess sort of that’s what I was doing on stage is John and Göran we are working their magic.. see you soon Brian.
There were several I spoke to whose names I didn’t get… Thank you very much for coming it was just a beautiful life for those of us on stage and the rest .. let’s do it again.
Another great thing for me on stage tonight what’s the look out into the audience and see the smiling and warm faces and looked a little bit to the left and see my wife, Joan, there... and her beautiful smile of hers.
This was a very special night it was one of total camaraderie and a spirit that is hard to beat .. thanks for sharing this night with us. Hope to see you soon.
PS .. thanks Brett and Jason and Paul and Andy ..see you all soon.
John Platania, Joan and I arrive at Heathrow on the morning flight getting us there at approximately 7:30. It took a little bit a time waiting to go through customs as there were a ton of people ..somebody mentioned kids coming back to school, which seems true because there were a ton of kids with their families. After waiting about an hour it finally moved along and we got through and after a waiting a long time for a bus and a trying ride, we got to our great Hilton hotel at Terminal Four. I should say something before that - some kind passenger not only helped me get my guitar on the bus but also paid for our tickets when our currency was deemed unacceptable - what a great thing for us and what a nice guy .. so if he’s reading this I want to say big thanks .. you did something so special for us in a difficult situation - much appreciated!!
We were downstairs at 10:30 ready to order dinner. John and I opted for the Chicken Tikka and Joan had avocado toast.. after some good conversation and good wine we turned in for bed at around 12:30.
After a pretty good decent sleep maybe five or six hours we felt pretty refreshed and ready to go to our first show at Twickenham - The Exchange Theatre. What a wonderful little theater… we loved it. We were met by our very nice host whose name was Becky... she would take care of us at every turn throughout the night.. thanks Becky!
After a good sound check with Richard and lighting by Leslie and overall stage set up by Lysette... we went immediately to our hotel which was right across the street.. very nice very clean place that had a little dining area downstairs ..where we would grab a bite to eat before the second set.
When we first checked in I saw my old friends Jacqueline and Liam.. Jackie was in charge of the Troggs fan club for many many many years… Just a great person and I have seen her over time... she and Liam had a difficult drive to get to the show tonight as Liam was having problems and he couldn’t drive the car so they took a couple of trains a couple of buses and walked a lot.
We were on the stage at 7:45. The show was divided into two sets. We started with a look back at the 70s with the song The Real Thing which took me back to making music with rebellious sort of guys like John Prine and Kris Kristofferson. Gram Parsons and others who were changing the face of country music back in those days. From there we went into the Whiskey Salesman story and played the song and spoke about it winning the film award in California at the New Media Film Festival.
Took a break from the normal to do to tribute to the Troggs fan club president and friend Jacqueline and Liam my dear friends over the years. We played one of the Troggs big hits, my song “Anyway that You Want Me“ The song went on to be a hit several other times including Evie Sands’ version and a soulful rendition by the R&B great singer Walter Jackson.
From there we just another song from Whiskey Salesman called “I like Ridin “which is one of my favorite and it’s dedicated to and inspired by my wife Joan.
Some other of my favorites of the first show were I Love You Today, again dedicated to my wife Joan that the audience seem to love. And at some point we did a fan favorite from Little Prayers Trilogy, Track 224, suggested by Joan who loves to hear the great solos played by John... and John was magic!
I think my favorite part of the show was a tribute to my 2001 album Black and Blue America which is just now for the first time released on Spotify and all the streaming sites. We played Theme for an American Hero, one of my all-time favorites and another song, What a Smile You Had, which back in the day went to #1 on the European country charts and stayed there for seven weeks. I got chills throughout playing both of the songs.
We ended the set with a tribute to Johnny Cash and his great song Big River. I love doing it as I remember playing it on stage when I was just 16 years old and it seems so natural to me, plus the fact that it was what brought Johnny Cash and I closer together as he loved my version so much. We ended the set with a beautiful version of Angel of the Morning and a tribute to the many great singers that sang it. It was an amazing interaction with the audience and the tour had begun in a wonderful manner.. we took a quick break, went across the street and had a bite to eat and we’re back on stage by a little after nine.
The whole beginning of this set and the general feel of it gave me chills... we started out with “Dance With a Hole in Your Shoe” which totally connected with all of us.. then we went to I think the most precious version we’ve ever done of “He’s a Good Guy” The audience seemed to be so into it as well as John and me on stage.. it was special.. we played a very cool little version of the Joan-inspired “A Sip or Two of Good Scotch“ which seemed to have a spark that we all loved. Then it was a tribute to my homeless friend Vaughn in the song “There’s Nothing Coming Out of Me That I Like” .. which sounded so lived in and so warm to me on stage.
Then came a very cool version of the 60s hit by the Hollies and Linda Ronstadt..“I Can’t Let Go.” John Platania was magic… He always is. Then we payed tribute to my grandfather, in a song that was based on a poem my brother Barry, was starting to write about him that I put music to.. which became a featured songs on the 1974 album Last Chance - "Coal Fields of Shickshinny”
After a precious tribute to sisterly love in the song dedicated to a couple of golfing sisters, Brooke and Brittany Henderson,… “I'll Carry For you” .. which seems to strike a chord... we were on to certainly one of the highlights of the night… A tribute to Reg Presley and Jimi Hendrix with a rousing version of “Wild Thing“ - dedicated to Jacqueline and Liam sitting in the first row.
We were going to end the show with I Wasn’t Born in Tennessee.. a spur of the moment selection... but the audience responded in such an over the top way, that we decided to do one more… Everyone joining in the spirit of a beautiful version of “Refugee Children”
What a special night!
Said hi to several at the end of the show... including .. Friends formally from Sweden, Fria , Martin. And very tall son. Pelle.. very good to see you guys again… Such nice memories!
Hi to Paul, Jon and Pat… and Willie… My old friend it was great to see you!… Hi to Andrew (a rather famous DJ)… It was great to hear you and talk about you in the car before we saw you and hi Jan nice to meet you as well... Andrew, thanks for the interesting and kind comments… Hope to see you soon again.
A big hello to Nigel and Andy good to see you boys and Sally… As I said mom would’ve loved those glasses… They look great on you!! .. hi Merrill and Bernie.... Nice talking with you as well
Great to meet Sir Alex Allan.. A very interesting guy with an interesting history.... but most important.. a very big fan of music.. thanks for the kind words Alex… Big hello to Morten... hope to see you soon again!
Willie, my great friend!! It always brings a smile on my face when I see you were there!
Great to know that Alan Jones came to the show… Alan’s brilliant work with Melody maker and Uncut is legendary.. would have liked to have spent some time talking with you... and thanks to Peter O’Brien for coming as well.. whose magazine, Omaha Rainbow, was a legendary music magazine back in the day.
These are two great music lovers who worked their craft for the right reasons ..big thanks to them
Big thanks to our hero Tony Pankhurst... Who is our tour guide and chauffeur for this entire tour and who does it for the total reason of loving the music… Couldn’t be any nicer for us Tony.
One of Tony‘s favorite songs is “ John Tucker’s on the Wagon Again” .. we will be singing that many times for you Tony.
Great to wind up the night at the hotel trading stories and kindness with old friend Bob Paterson who has done such an amazing job booking me over the years - Bob you’re one of a kind!! Hope you have a good day with your brother tomorrow.. with thoughts of mom!
Thanks for the kind words about Heinz that was needed and very nicely said… I appreciate that so much… So would his wife Anna!
Others at this late night gathering were my wife Joan and Tony and a new fella that booked the show here in town originally from Wales… He told me I could just shorten his name to Jerry and so I will... Great talking to you Jerry thanks to all the people that helped bring us to this town… God bless
This is our last show of the tour .. approximately two hours from Halden.. this is Paal’s sister Gunn’s lovely restaurant.. we played in outside garden area.. The show has been sold out for quite a while.
There was something amazingly comfortable about playing here this evening… First the sound was really quite good for an outdoor set up… Soundman Tom Erik did a really terrific job.. big thanks!
We had an excellent, traditional Norwegian meal… Joan had a hamburger with vegetables ..And I had a special pork dinner.. just great… Thanks to Will who helped with that!
I would’ve thought it would be much more difficult to reach the audience with my stories that precede the songs… But that was not the case here.. it was just like playing for a bunch of friends sitting around in a big living room ..that’s good as it gets!
Paal and Goran were so magic tonight.. some of the highlights for me were as follows: Paal’s beautiful interpretations of “ Where No one Stands Alone” and Jim Webb’s “ The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”... The title song of my new album, “Whiskey Salesman”.. A couple of more favorites were “I’ll Carry For You“, Paal’s interpretation of “Angel of the Morning“… Crazy wonderful version of Wild Thing with the audience directing the spirit of it.
We ended with the very spirited version of “Fuck all the Perfect People“… I loved this tonight .. we were all so connected to the spirit of it.. We ended with Paul’s interpretation of the beautiful Kristofferson song “For the Good Times”.
I loved the show tonight… I look forward to meeting these people again and again.
Hi to: Gunne.. Great to see you again ! And Ralph .. so good meeting you for the first time!
Hi Frank.. thanks so much for all the kind words… So good to see you again as well!!
Hi Ingrid! ... Kari.. so good to see you and your daughter, Ann Cathrin in the front row tonight… And good to see you after the show.. and Hi Raginar.. Nice talking with you
A big hello to all the people I said hello to but didn’t get their names… Hope to see you all soon.. this was another one of those special nights!
Great to be back playing at this venue… About 50 yards from the front door of our amazing hotel that overlooks the water ..the staff here and the people that attend are the such kind. warm people. I am so blessed to have had a connection with them for several years.
We sound checked with a great engineer, Halvor.. Whom I met last year… we have great sound in a matter of minutes with hardly any effort. Big thanks Halvor!
As we’ve gotten on in this tour, the shows have gotten a little bit looser… more unpredictable… a nice thing for us on the stage… Hopefully for those in the audience as well.
There is probably no place in all of Scandinavia that Paal, Goran and I would rather play than here in Halden! So we were excited to hit the stage and start playing!
We played one long set that built to a crescendo at the end ..with the audience cheering, clapping in time. and in general showing how much they appreciated what we were doing.
There were so many highlights. I will mention a few Paal’s interpretation of “The Moon’s a Harsh Mistress” was so beautiful and powerful tonight... I love listening to it. Also ..loved the Winnie requested, “I Love You Today” .. from Whiskey Salesman...it sounded special again tonight ..other magic ones were Paal’s version of “Angel Of The Morning“.. with this amazing audience singing so beautifully in the background.. Wild Thing was so crazy-good… ..again, with great audience participation.
We did a song at the very end of the show that we hadn’t done this entire tour… “I’ll Only Be Me Once“… from my Little Prayers Trilogy album.. the audience sang along so beautifully throughout.
Another one that sounded very special tonight was the song I wrote about sisterly love, “I’ll Carry for You“… This is the song that was used on the beautiful Norwegian commercial recently… And so many people started singing along with it as soon as we started to play it tonight.
Then came my current hit, “Fuck all the Perfect People“.. All joining in from the first chorus..We ended with a beautiful Kris Kristofferson song interpreted by Paal, “For the Good Times”.
I should mention… Goran Grini was magic tonight.. amazing solos on out tributes to Sun Records, “I Forgot to Remember to Forget Her“ and then our final encore… Another Sun Records memory from Johnny Cash, “Big River“… This felt amazing on stage and the audience was clapping and singing along and cheering at the end.
This was a special night ...thanks to all our Halden Friends!!
It was so so great to see my old friend Winnie and her husband Bjorn who lived in this town until a few years ago. Winnie ran the amazing grand Hotel back in those days when it was just a magic place… So wonderful to spend some time with my old friends and great to get some good hugs!! Hope to see you soon
Also, so great to see our friends from Gothenburg, Hogne and lovely Miriam.. thanks so much for making the trip I love having your spirit at the shows. Hope to see you soon again.
Hi Nora and Betina (with the Johnny Cash tattoo).. and so great to see my old friend Hegge!.. much love to you! Wish we could’ve spent more time with you.
Hi Tor and Brit .. and Dag and Jenni .. and Ellen.. and Peter
Great to see you Osmond.. thanks for coming by to say hello… Look forward to hearing you play.
Hi Maya… Thanks so much for catering to us… Much appreciated… And a big hello to Basak.. Mr Taylor says to say a special hello to you..
And to all my friends here that I forgot to mention… Love being here with you in Halden ..hope to see you again!
This is a wonderful thing.. Heidi is the nicest person and a great fan… both of Paal’s work and mine. I love seeing her and her husband, Kjell. The last time I saw them was in New York at the Cutting Room.
Heidi’s friends, including my great friend Tom Shejekleseter and his lovely wife, got together and planned a surprise party.
They asked if Paal, Goran & I could make an appearance and sing a bunch of songs in her honor. We all said absolutely to count us in!!
Which is what we did and it was absolutely wonderful... we played for about 40 minutes.. all our favorite songs from our set list… including Angel of the Morning and Wild Thing and our latest favorite… “Fuck All The Perfect People“.. for 30 or 40 special guests and celebrated Heidi’s birthday in the nicest way. Heidi shed tears for most of the show… But I’m sure it was tears of joy for it was one of those wonderful nights .. A bunch of friends focusing their attention on a much loved friend of theirs!
Happy birthday Heidi
Joan and I send our big love that that’s so glad to be part of this celebration.