Goteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden 14 June 2013
The room of my hotel here in Gothenburg is large, light, comfortable and open...not cluttered with too much furniture.... making it far too easy to enjoy the day alone and doing as little as possible. Though not exactly doing nothing. I found a British guitar website that answered a lot of questions regarding a style of arranging for five guitars that was popular in late '50s and early '60s. George Barnes and Al Caiola made these types of records for a short period around that time, Tony Mottola as well, his Mr. Big album from 1960 on Command is one. It's a sound that's always been so attractive to me but was never completely sure how it was done. I took a swing at it myself on a song I wrote and recorded called Something For Tina on my album Code Red Cloud Nine. While this is of little to no interest to anyone reading, it's a code cracked and breakthrough to me. Feeling pretty pleased with myself I got out and walked around the shoppes of this beautiful city on a clear, mild Friday afternoon.
Tonight's show was outdoor in the city park/garden, Tradgardsforeningen. A crisp wind had picked up by the time we arrived, fortunately the rain that had been predicted for the day didn't materialise. Still, it was windy enough that a decision was made to drop the curtain at the rear of the stage so it didn't become a sail which was a problem with our outdoor show a few nights ago in Bergen. With the stage being well above ground level and the rear curtain gone, the stage became a wind tunnel. We were buffeted for two hours and very cold. Everyone soldiered through brilliantly, though the fingers become cramped and numb in that kind of cold. The 7,000 hearty folks who packed the grounds didn't seem to mind a bit and it turned out to be a great evening. It was a relief to get back to the warmth of the dressing rooms and thaw out a little with a gin and tonic.
Just before we went on stage I'd received a letter from a guitar builder here in Gothenburg named Thomas Fredholm. When we arrived back at the hotel Thomas was there and introduced himself asking if I would be interested in playing one of his guitars which he had with him. Usually that can be an imposition but I figured as long as he was here why not? He brought a couple of his instruments to the room and I was very impressed with their sound, response and playability. He has recently begun building steel string acoustic guitars after many years of making classical guitars that are well regarded by those musicians. Both instruments I played had all the sonic qualities of the finest pre-1940 acoustic guitars in that they are much lighter in weight than their modern cousins, rich in tone and amazingly responsive to even the lightest touch. He really knows what he's doing and I'm very glad I took the time to meet him. His name is Thomas Fredholm and his instruments are worth checking out.
Met up with the boys who were holding court in the great pub downstairs called The Bishop's Arms. They were all well in progress by the time I arrived and a couple pints of Fuller's ESB went down smooth as anything. The day that was spent quietly ended being surrounded by good mates and lots of laughs.