Malmo, Sweden 3 November, 2011
Another first, Malmo. We usually play Copenhagen, 30-35 minutes from this is beautiful city of 350,000, Sweden's third largest. I have a friend named Kalle Oldby who lives in Malmo and hosts two long-running shows for Radio Sweden. One, a daily news/talk programme and the other a weekly music show. I met Kalle 20 years ago in Nashville, where he'd come to meet and interview artists, musicians, writers and record producers for his music programme, and we've been friends since. Kalle and I arranged to get together for an early lunch today just around the corner from our hotel, a perfect little Malmo bistro called Sture. Waiting for us there was Kalle's wife, MajLis, a psychologist with her own practice. It was a great catching up with Kalle again as well as meeting MajLis for the first time. I had a splendid dish of beef that had been braised in beer 'til tender, the liquid being reduced to a rich, deep brown gravy, served over thinly sliced potatoes and a green leafy vegetable that resembled baby bok choy, though I couldn't be sure. In any case it was monstrously delicious. We had just an hour or so as MajLis had to return to work and Kalle was headed to the radio station to do his show. Kalle's weekly music programme is streamed and can be accessed here: sverigesradio.se/p4/country.
Didn't get much sleep last night and feeling a little hazy today, though that great lunch helped. We checked out of the hotel, drove a short distance to the venue and arrived at Malmo Arena for our usual routine... a bit of guitar noodling while Bob and band do their sound check, spin through our own sound check, dinner and the show. A great Malmo audience of 8,500+ filled the arena and we had as good a time as they did. We keep to a strict 70 minutes, followed by a 25 minute stage change from our gear to Bob's, then Bob takes the stage for a 90 minute show. While the set lists will vary from night to night the time frame does not, it always runs like clockwork. Mark played the opening 4 songs with Bob then we boarded our two band buses for an all-night haul to Stockholm. The 375 mile/8 hour journey began with a cocktail, Indian food and red wine. It was a short listening session tonight as one by one folks headed to their bunks for a few hours shut eye. Jim Cox and I being the last hold outs, and finally only me left in the upstairs lounge. I'm not a big fan of crawling in a bus bunk so stretched out on the couch watching the road, which became progressively rougher as we headed into Stockholm and stayed awake until we arrived. We pulled into Stockholm a little after 5 in the morning, checked in our hotel. Exhausted as I was, I still had a hard time getting to sleep. Finally managed it sometime before 7 and slept 'til noon.