Friday, May 04, 2007

Hello Boys & Girls from all over the world,

I have been a busy singer dude lately. On April 12th Mark Holley, John Nymann and I performed at the Saddle Rack club in Fremont benefiting one of radio’s first shock jocks; Dennis Erectus. We played a handful of songs that turned out pretty good for a little acoustic show opening for the big and badass rock band Y&T. I hope & pray Dennis recovers and that his family, friends and fans got a little solice from my music.

On April 13th most of the Bay Area’s finest singers and musicians wowed them at the Sweetwater in Mill Valley, Ca. with a tribute to the fab four. My beautiful friends Monroe & April Grisman called just about everyone in the book to perform electric and acoustic sets to honor the Beatles. Yours truly was asked to sing “Lady Madonna”, “Get back”, “8 days a week” and personal favorite, “Nowhere man”, not to mention participating in this grandiose encore medley of “Let it be”, “Golden Slumbers” (Carry that weight) and “Hey Jude.” The stand out’s were: Allyson Paige performing a killer version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” that had everybody in the house singing along; Loralee Christensen belting out “ Helter Skelter”(Damn that woman rocks); Amber Morris (and her guitar player extraordinaire husband Tal Morris) killing on “I am the Walrus;” Greg Scott doing an R&B version of “Yesterday” (making the beautiful ballad his own); and the talented Grisman’s Monroe & April starting the night off just right with “With a little help from my friends.” Monroe, Tal Morris, Adam Berkowitz, Denise Martin, Eric Levi, Uriah Duffy, James DePrato and John Mader brought the Beatles back together for a spiritually charged evening. Thanks so much to those who came to the show; let’s all do this again.

Oh I forgot “Scrap Metal” my alter band ego played at the end of March for the Nashville Songwriters Association. I love that band and hell yeah we rocked the house, but man we’ve got to play some more shows around the country. The fans of Mark Slaughter (The voice of a screaming angel), Kelly Keagy (Nightranger’s motorin’ multi purpose music man) and the dynamic duo of our fearless leaders Gunnar & Matthew Nelson demand it…….. It’s good to be demanded.

I just got back from a mini-tour of South America (Argentina and Brazil); I had a very cool adventure there. The promoter Patty Toledo and her staff (Marcelo, Natalia and Patty’s son Henrick) treated me like a rock star (Hey what can I say, its been a fricking long time). I love you boys and girls for the professional hospitality and the everyday humor (Henrick). After a long and turbulent plane flight, my first day in Argentina proved to be quite eventful. I would say it was about 3 hours of traffic from the airport to the city, when we got to area where the hotel was it was jam packed with cars and people so we decided to walk while dragging my gigantic suitcase (I always pack to much stuff…. Doh!) through out the side streets. All right the hotel (but this wasn’t just any hotel) looked like a New York/Berlin furnished Penthouse in the middle of beautiful downtown Buenos Aires and baby that made it all worthwhile. I would like to give a special thanks to my new best friend Martin Perticone (NH Hotels Big Shot) for making my stay an enjoyable one. I mean check this out, he brought me his own guitar, Playstation 2 and worked out my wireless access so I could feel right at home…. yeah in my palace. So after I splashed some water on my face, changed my shirt and knocked back a Stella Artois we all headed off to practice with the new Argentina EMB. After a few minutes of meet and greet with Christian Vidal (Guitar), Pablo Garrocho (Drums) and Charlie Giardina (Bass) I knew we were going to be great. We sat around this rehearsal space waiting for the power to turn on and Charlie picks up this guitar and starts to sing
“Goin’ where the wind blows,” than Pablo, the drummer and Christian break into “The Chain.” Man these songs weren’t even on the list. They were really good too. Anyway after I picked my tongue off the floor we all piled into a cab to head out to another rehearsal space and jam on the 18 song set list that these boys have been learning for a month and a half now. It all turned out better than I expected, I mean I didn’t think that it could get any better than my Norway brothers “Hayseed” but things have a way of working out for me lately. My fingers are crossed after that statement. The gigs in Argentina were fantastic; this club called Acatraz was amazing. It was a converted multiplex theatre with every aspect of entertainment in it. It’s hard to explain but to me it reminded me of this mega club called the Starwood in Hollywood in the late 70’s. It had a disco/restaurant/ two clubs in one except Acatraz had a mini bowling alley in it as well…I shit you not. The band played great and I was a happy camper. The next couple of days Patty scheduled some press and TV interviews. One of those days we went to lunch in the NH hotel with Adrian Barilari (the lead vocalist from the classic heavy metal band Rata Blanca), now I know some Americans don’t know who this man is but most of the Spanish speaking countries of the world are totally hip to this incredible rock singer.
This man is not only an unbelievable talent but also a real down to earth guy. We ate lunch and talked for a long while, I like him a lot. He told me that he was recording one of my songs for a new album, more on that later.

After my short and wonderful stay in Argentina it was off to Sao Paulo, Brazil. Sounds & Jams staff; Attila and Daniel met us at the airport and whisked us away to the hotel…(Ok whisked is not quite right, more like drove 120 miles an hour to the front door). A couple of interviews the next day and an awesome 3-hour record store autograph session (thanks to Animal records for that one but I can still hear Carlos yelling in my Then it was time to rock out at this place called Blackmore…yup, named after heavy metal’s master blaster guitar hero Ritchie Blackmore. It was a dark cavern type concert club with a balcony and one door to come in and go out. Yikes! Anyhow, the gig was a success and the crowd was the best I have seen since playing Brazil in 1994. But you can’t imagine how hot it was in there; I can only describe it as if you were singing in a sauna. Oh my God I almost passed out a couple of times and I could see that the fans were getting a little light headed as well. It was an experience I’ll tell you that. I was so tapped out after singing about 22 songs I think I promised I would buy an air condition unit for the club. Oh my wife’s going to kill me. After the show we crawled up to the dressing room and knocked back some liquid refreshments to revitalize ourselves. Then it became a shmooze fest with all the media and the most famous rock stars of Brazil. Members of Dr. Sin (The band that played with MR.BIG in Sao Paulo 1994), The great Edu Falaschi lead vocalist from ANGRA, Chuck Billy and his band Testament who just happened to be in Brazil the same night I was…. it was great to see those guys. (Alright Chuck I’ll sing on your new record if you and Alex write me a music track ala classic 70’s rock).
There were tons of people coming in and out that night. I’ll be back in South America soon you can count on it.

So the next day, (wait a minute actually 5 in the morning) I split back to the USA. Another long flight and sitting in the middle seat…ugh..Yee-haw it’s the whole rock & roll package. I met some nice ladies on the plane so life was good. I arrived on the morning of the 27th, kissed my wife, played with my children, crashed out and pretty much woke up on stage at the Westin Hotel in San Fransico where me and a dozen musicians gave tribute to the legendary Sammy Hagar, Linda Perry and Narada Michael Walden. That was a memorable night for sure. Ronnie Montrose, Michael Anthony, David Lauser and a 20 plus member choir called “The Voices of Celebration” and your faithful servant performed the all American rock classic “Rock Candy” and “Where Eagles Fly.” My brothers and sisters its hard to sing Sammy but its even harder to sing Sammy in front of Sammy!!!! But we rocked and Sammy was moved by our musical sentiment I could tell.

I’m off to Baltimore next week to join forces with my old friend Ricky Byrd (Joan Jett & the Blackhearts) and Jeff Carlissi (38 Special) and John Waite for an all star benefit concert. Upcoming shows: Utah in May, Canada in June, back to Norway for the Color Rock festival with my boys Hayseed in October.

I missed everyone back home very much but its great to be working again. I love my job, I love the people I work with and play for.

I would do anything for you,

This Month’s Press:
Palco Vale