I broke in this part of the world, with an album I had out in 2000, Black and Blue America.....I came over here at the request of one of the most revered musicologists in all of Scandinavia, my now great friend Hakan Olsson.
His company, Rootsy, is now one of the biggest music companies in all of Scandinavia for booking anything that’s roots oriented .,, folk or blues or alt country ...
Hakan .. has booked this show at the Victoria theater as he has several times over the years.
Joan and I arrived at the venue at approximately 6:50… Showtime was scheduled for 7:30.
Waiting for us at the stage door were some of my most favorite fan/friends on the planet .. Runer and Irene, Lars and Marita.. and my great friend Anders.. Who comes my shows alone now as his precious Maria has gone to the heavens.. I know a lot of the spirit of Maria will be floating around the show tonight. I had felt that way before I arrived in town.
Just then, my dear friend Hakan and his wife Monica (who had picked us up at the airport on the previous day) arrived and we all gathered for a photo that hopefully will be posted on the tour notes .. in this photo are Runer & Irena who have seen me over the last 20 years .. as many and 35 times!
Note: One of the interesting things about this venue is that, although it is a proper theater, they keep the downstairs floor filled with tables and chairs and allow the patrons to bring their own food and wine and beer with them. It’s sort of like a fun evening picnic with a show.
Luck with my shows the room is absolutely still… You could hear a pin drop… So we make sure to give a substantial break between halves of the show.
Paal Flaata is a revered singer in Norway. He has won a Norwegian Grammy and has been up for several others… But the interesting thing is that being the star in Norway does not mean you will be one in Sweden. And such is the case with Paal.
So tonight I will introduce him as our special guest and let him do a few songs by himself so that the crowd can see just how absolutely brilliant he is on his own. The equally brilliant Goran Grini will accompany him .. and then we will play as a trio most of the night... this is a very special thing for me… I love playing with Goran whenever possible but to play with Goran and Paal together it’s sort of amazing to me and ... I can’t wait!!
The show. ... I took the stage first to introduce the boys and this was a really enjoyable few minutes for me to make a connection with these fans that I’ve known for all these years it was just so special to me that when I finish feeling that camaraderie with them, I told them a bit about the boys who would soon take the stage .. how amazing they were and how proud I was to share the stage with them.
Paal and Goran began their little two song intro set with a beautiful old gospel song… And followed that with a very strong country blues song .., the audience absolutely erupted in applause at the end.
Then I join them on stage and for the next hour and a half (with a short break in between) played them the bulk of the Whiskey Salesman album, which they absolutely loved. The set also included some great ones by Paal like his version of my song, Weaker Moments, and some duets which including a totally rockin' version of I Forgot to Remember to Forget Her. Paal also sang a magical version of Bless Us All by Mickey Newbury.. with me joining in for the second verse.
There were so many highlights of the show so many moments that it was such a stillness of the chills which totally went up our spines - I’m sure on the stage and off… It was just a magic show like that ..I will call attention to a few those moments.
After Bless Us All, we closed the first set with a song from the Little Prayers Trilogy, “Trying to Let the Angels Know” ...I introduced it saying that little prayers and friendship… The friendship that we share in this room tonight is all that matters.
There was such a chill in the air throughout that song. 20 minutes later we were back with the second set
We started this set off with another tribute to my wife Joan .. The audience already heard me say that if we did not call the album whiskey salesman it would’ve been called “love songs for Joan“ . The song was “Hold Her”... I had just taught the song to Paal about six minutes before we got on stage... so it surprised me that he learned the song so quickly and just jumped in singing harmony with me… And Goran did his brilliant thing and so there was a certain new magic floating around the room and it was just great!
After I did a couple more from the Whiskey Salesman, including a rockin' version of A Sip or Two of Good Scotch and a gentle still, beautiful version of “I Love You Today” .., which was certainly one of the fans favorite of the night according to many that I talked to after the show... I left the stage briefly to let Paal’s soulful magic take over again… And trust me, it did!
He killed them in his little three song set and he made friends forever ...they will never forget this night and they will never forget the soulful magic Paal brought to it!
We ended the night with an amazing version of a song Paal often sings, spiritual... this is another one of those wonderful prayer songs that list you and is certainly listed everybody tonight… And we continued that spirit with a fan favorite for sure, my current big hit that I wrote for the prisoners, Fuck All the Perfect People. The entire audience was singing this one and brought the audience to their feet.
We are on court with a Kris Kristofferson song featuring Paal.. The amazing For the Good Times. I love sitting back and listening to Paal in the room like this together and then jumping in every so often and singing harmony with him!
Oh yeah so I should definitely mention that throughout this tonight the audience was so attentive to the brilliant playing of Goran .. his great playing was acknowledged with applause several times... he always is absolutely amazing but never more than tonight… This was an astounding performance by my great friend!’
Say hi to many including;
Again, so great to see my old friends Lars and marita.. runer and
Irena... and Han Ake..and Anders.... I have been thinking about all of you and it was so great to see you again
Hi to Lassa and BO and Inger .. and old friends Per Olsf snd Agneta .. what great memories and hi Johan and Judith... thanks to all for the special and kind words.
Hi Ola and Ace. Great to see you guys… Sorry my type writer does not put the dot over the A! So happy that you were here tonight!
Hi Gertrud and Karin...and Birgitta and Tommy and Sven (what a great fan you are!!)
Hi Max thanks so much for coming please send my best regards to your son Gustav.. hope to see you both next time.
Hi Sonny.. so good to see you and was it Elin... hope that’s close..
And thanks to the entire audience who showed such support and love tonight... this was as special as it gets!!
By the way this was a very special night for Joan… Certainly about her favorable of all time..She sends her big love to all of you!