road diary - summer 1998
Entry 1. Sault St. Marie, Wednesday July 8
We made it to Canada! Everybody brought their passports and only one suitcase got lost on the way. We got it back though. After spending one night in Toronto we are now on our way to The Winnipeg Folk Festival. We´re gonna play there for three days, and do some workshops with The Saw Doctors. The weather is GREAT, and the radio is playing country music. We couldn´t ask for more. Canada is a very beautiful country and, since we´re gonna break some sort of record in car driving over the next weeks, we´re gonna see a lot of it. Looking forward to that.
Entry 2. Winnipeg, Saturday July 11
Breakfast at Robin´s Donuts. (Calories !!!) It´s noon, and yesterday we did the shortest gig in history. Our first show at The Winnipeg Folk Festival ended somewhat abruptly when the soundguy cut us off after two songs. He had to because the main stage went on a half hour earlier ahead of schedual. But the festival is realy great. (HUGE!) We´ve seen Los Lobos, Ron Sexsmith, Richard Thompson, and tonight Bosse is gonna show David Lindley how to work a fretboard at the after party. See us live on the internet Monday night (the 13:th), around 3 am Swedish time. We´re hoping for a longer show this time.... We´re playing after Stephen Fearing, and before Ani De Franco. Log on to www.wpgfolkfest.mb.ca.
/ Hugs and kisses from Jens
Entry 3. Winnipeg, Sunday July 12
Once again breakfast at Robin´s Donuts. The band is starting to look like The Blimp Family.... Yesterday we shared the stage with two other bands; The Saw Doctors and Taxi Chain. The show was called "On The Edge Of Folk". We got to play three songs and the crowd seemed to like us. I think the main stage tonight is going to be a killer! Then we´ll have time to do four songs....at least. Talk to you again when we get to Sudberry.
P.S. Björn knows David Lindley !!!
Entry 4. On the way to Sudberry, Tuesday July 14
We got to do five songs, plus two encores! Yahooo! Let´s take it from the top. We all woke up around the same time to experience a typical Canadian breakfast. Meaning; a sub and a donut. Bosse left the table early because he was going to hook up with Dave. (That´s what we call David Lindley...you know, between friends....) Me and Björn went down to the pool for a swim after seeing "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly" on the big de luxe TV in our hotel room. After that it was time to head down to the festival area. The bus was already waiting to pick us up. A little drop of sweat dripped from the drivers nose, and then we were on our way. The spirit was high and we all laughed and made jokes, with big expectations for the evening. Me and Björn did an interview while Jens and Janne prepared for transportation of our backline. The festival area looked like the evenings before, with great weather and great crowds. Everything felt great, and the interviews went well. We told the reporters how great we are, and they all understood....we hope. Then dinner. Great catering. Then soundcheck. How many have we done by now ? Impossoble to count.... The soundcheck went very smoothly.
Great sound, (though we miss our Pelle tremendosly!), and a great crew. Björn scratched his head, wondering if the thin drum heads were going to hold up for his bashing ? We couldn´t tell, but we all agreed that it would be kinda "rock n´roll" if he would break them! We all laughed. Suddenly it was showtime! Somewhere around 10.000 festival goers was sitting in front of the stage. We entered the stage. The fiddle was silent. I paniced ! But Bosse, cool as always, put his fatherly hand on my shoulder and then plugged in the cord in my pre-amp. As usual I had done it all wrong. The fiddle worked and I eased down. The presenter on stage left suddenly screamed over the PA; "HOOOVEN DROOOOOVEN!!!!". We opened with "Myhrpolska". It sounded quite alright. As the song went on the crowd suddenly got up, for the first time during the evening, and started dancing! What a sight! 10.000 people, following our every command. The show went very well and we got to do two encores. Later on, six tired but very happy band members sat on the bus on the way back to the hotel. Once there, we hugged and said goodnight. The others went to bed, but Me, Jens and Pedro wanted to stay up. After party!!! Of course the fiddle and the saxophone came to use. It was a very loooong, and relaxed night. Me and Jens wrapped the party, then went to make sandwiches for the boys. Then we woke them all up. -"C´mon let´s do some driving!", said we. -"O.K", said them. Off we went. Right now we have about 30 Swedish miles left to Sudberry. COOL!
Entry 5. Sudberry, Wednesday July 15
Hello friends. Well.....what can I say. Yesterday we played in front of 10.000 people in Winnipeg. Tonight we played at "the bar that God forgot" to maybe fifty people. But it was OK. People were happy, some were dancing and some of them came up to talk to us after the show. One guy even had relatives in Sweden. Many people over here do. On the way here we actualy passed a place named Uppsala! It´s still very hot. Pending between 30 and 40 C, and tomorrow we have about 90 Swedish miles to drive. Luckilly we don´t play tomorrow. The bus leaves in four hours. Goodnight.
Entry 6. Ottawa, Saturday July 18
One more show down the road, and an unknown amount of miles. We´re in Ottawa and we just got off stage. As on the previous shows it was a big crowd, and everybody seemed to like the show. Some confusion struck when Kjell-Erik tried to explain in English what a "Tjäder" is. The whole thing was solved with some body language and oral sound effects.... This afternoon we´re driving back to Toronto to have a few days off. There is a lot of competitions going on in the band. On this tour we have choosen to concentrate on two events; shopping and calories. So far Björn is way ahead of everybody in both events. After having stuffed himself with six and a half donut on one day he took a firm grip on the calorie competition. The shopping event is more even. Thinking about attaching my credit card to my forehead for easier access when opportunity knocks. We´ll return with updates once we hit Toronto. Your friend in the west.
Entry 7. Chicago, Wednesday July 2
On the road again! 80 Swedish miles done today. A piece of cake after three days off in Toronto. What a great place it is! Good food, good shopping and an overall relaxed feel to the whole place. (Not like where we are now...) Toronto also offers a lot of great music. We had time to catch The Smashing Pumpkins, Heather Nova, plus some encredible local talet. One band, who´s guitar played had toured with K.D Lang, blew us all away. It sounded quite like Bosse´s old band Myhrbein, so he was flying high! We just arrived at our hotel in Chicago, and we´re looking at dinner and a movie. Unless we fall asleep. Later!
P.S. That crap about six donuts in one day was NOT my fault. They are the ones that bought me TWO DOZEN of donuts because it was my birthday ! You guys would have eaten them too........
Entry 8. Chicago, saturday July 25
We´re back ! Hoven Droven continues ther triumphant travels through America. You can easily say that we´re famous....at least among the locals at Simon´s Tavern in Chicago. We´ve been playing there for two nights now. Awsome!! The bar was built by Swedes back in 1934, and before that it was an underground bar named N.N. Club. (The No Name Club). Everything still looks the same as it did then. Scott, the owner of the bar, owns a beautiful -56 Dodge. Me, Bosse and Jens had the honour of cruising around Chicago in that very car. We ended up at one of the oldest jazz joints in Chicago. It was morning when we left. I´m writing this from my hotel room. Janne just came in to start packing for tomorrow. We just got back from a very nice gig at The Navy Pier. A lot of people saw us, and we sold a lot of CD:s. Time for bed now, tomorrow it´s back in the van. But only for 68 Swedish miles. We´re going to Minneapolis! God natt..
Entry 9. Holiday Inn, Minneapolis, Monday July 25
Howdee! We´ve done two days in Minneapolis. We came in yesterday and was treated with a barbeque by our record company. A very nice evening it was. Lots of food, drinks and singing until early morning..... Today we´ve been doing some shopping down town, plus getting tons of free CD:s at the record company. (Niiiiice...) The show at THE 400 BAR went well. Not that many people turned up, maybe around 100, but we all had a good time. Time for bed now. Tomorrow we head back to Toronto to do our last show on the tour. Prince sais hello.
Entry 10. Toronto, Wednesday July 29
We checked out from Holiday Inn in Minneapolis, and checked in to our van to go to Toronto. A neat little trip of 150 Swedish miles. Tjolahopp, tjolahej, tjolahoppsansa !!! After driving all through Tuesday we decided to go all the way without stopping over night, so after 23 hrs. of driving we hit Toronto 7 o´clock in the morning. BUt since our hotelrooms were´nt available until noon we had to have breakfast, and a little nap, out in the open ..We have now driven a total of approx. 1000 Swedish miles !!!!
Entry 11. Toronto, Thursday July 30
Hipp hopp hurra! At three thirty this afternoon we were all sitting at a club here in Toronto called Bamboo, waiting for our good friend Per Dückhow to show up, tricked there by mutual friends. You see, yesterday was his 30:th birthday, and he had no idea that we were in Toronto so we threw him a surprise party! We had a good time, with lots of good food. We gave him a genuine Stetson cowboy hat for his birthday. After dinner we had time to see a killer show with Tim Finn at The Harbourfront before it was time to end our tour here in Canada. We had a great time playing at The Reverb, a place where we had played before. We hardly had any people there at all, but Per and our friends were there so we didn´t mind. Time for some days off, and 7.50 on Sunday the plane leaves for England. Talk to you then.
Final entry. Back home in Sweden, Aug 4
Hey ! We had such a tight schedual in England so there was no time to talk to you guys. We arrived in London after a 6 hr. flight, around 7.45 Sunday night. We were picked up by the very pleasant Jon Scully, our tour manager and sound engineer for the next few days. We drove on the wrong side of the road (duh ?) for about three hrs. before arriving in Sydmouth. A nice little town on the south west coast of England. Very beautiful, with an excellent little festival aswell. Jet-lag hit us pretty hard during the drive, and the hard rain of the U.K wasn´t exactly helping.... We slept until two the next afternoon. We then went to the festival area, still pretty messed up, to do the show. We had maybe 500 people and we had a KILLER show!! Everybody on their feet, screaming their lungs out! To end everything we were treated to quite a few pints of beer after the show. Not very tactical I guess, since the bus left at 4 this morning to get us to the airport. But we made it home ! After 16 shows, 1000 Swedish miles in the van, 1000 donuts, 1000 great memories......and a few Budweisers.... We´ve had a blast, and it´s gonna take some time to get it all in. We´ve been working our buts off since the German tour in June, having only a few days off in Toronto where we got to recharge our batteries and empty our wallets. (A CD is maybe half price compared to here... ) In conclusion; Janne got a cowboy hat for his birthday, and he managed to win the shopping contest. Björn got to meet The Mavericks, Kjell forgot to buy a cowboy hat, Bosse went to see the new Godzilla movie, Jens won the calorie contest, and Pedro enjoyed Chicago the most. (Don´t ask.....) Now we only have four shows left this summer before we start recording the new album. We love you all !!!!
Thank you and goodnight.
/ Kisses from Hoven Droven.