Norway 2 (Oslo, Drammen, and Halden)

Tuesday, April 1 (Buckley's, Oslo) - Click here for photos

There is snow on the ground!  First place I've been with snow.  Terje and I rehearsed our song, "Till the Morning Comes".  We wrote this in 1990 and it was recorded by Norwegian artist Steinar Albrightsen.  It was a huge hit - double platinum in Norway.  English is so commonly understood in Norway that English language hits by Norwegian artists, though not the rule, are not uncommon.  We will do this song tonight!
 
Took a great walk with May Britt, Terje, and Lady the Cocker Spaniel, by a frozen lake.
 
Terje and I took the train to Oslo and walked to Buckley's.  I little hard to find because it is actually around the corner from the street it's address is on.
 
Ottar and Tore there.  We talked.  Got some stuff straight about the next few days.  The class in Halden has been cancelled because not enough people signed up.
 
Sound check was easy.  Tore started and did about 30 min.  Some good songs.
 
I did about 70 minutes then got Terje up (Jonas Fjeld of course).  Ottar came up and also Steinar Albrightsen, who showed up unexpectedly!.  We all sang "Till the Morning Comes" together.  It was great.
 
We caught the train back, arr 12:30.  Great night all in all.

Wednesday, April 2 (Songwriting Master Class, Oslo)

I took the train into Oslo again in the morning.  Not much sleep this time!  From 11A until about 3:30P I conducted a master class in songwriting based around a songwriting manual I have almost finished called "Songwriting by Hugh, A Songwriter's Toolkit".  This is a method of thinking about songwriting that I have developed over 25 years of conducting songwriting seminars and classes.

There were 8 experienced writers, more than half of them were professional.  It was a high level discussion and a very satisfying class.  I got positive feedback from everyone along with several good suggestions for making it better next time.  I want to do more of these.

Back on the train and to Drammen in time for dinner!

Friday, April 4 (Show in Halden - and another castle!)

Train to Oslo 12:17;  on train to Halden 13:02.  Arrived 14:44. Grand Hotel (Best Western) immediately by the train station.  Checked in.  

I went for a walk and immediately spotted the Fredreksten Castle.  Actually you can't miss it as the photos show. I walked across a bridge and saw the fortress.  I walked up a path around it and into it from the back. This was the sight of at least one fierce battle in the early 1700s.  It looks it.  The approach from the front is impossible and from the rear there are wide sunken roadways that are easy to navigate in peaceful times but would be impossible to fight through because of the higher ground around them.
 
Back to hotel ~4.  Shower, rest, ironed shirt and met Ottar and Tore at a waterfront bar nearby. 

 At 6:15 we drove to venue.  Sound check with Omar and Tom.  Also checked with all three of us as we will do "Old Flames" and "Till the Morning Comes" all together.
 
My last show of the Euro 2014 tour.  Small crowd but enthusiastic.  Tore and Ottar did 5 songs together first.  They are really good.  As I said before, they call it country music but they don't say what country!
 
Back to hotel and to sleep midnight.

Saturday, April 5 (Jonas Fjeld in Drammen)

Checked out of the Grand Hotel and on train 9:10 to Oslo.  Talked to a couple of older men on the platform who instantly ID'd me as American country musician.  Very friendly.  Cloudy and colder today.
 
Terje picked me up at Drammen station.  Ben, May Britt's brother was there.  He has played guitar with Jonas (Terje) for many years.  He and Terje left about 1P for the venue not far away to rehearse with the regional concert band whose 20th anniversary concert this was.  I rested a bit while they were gone.  Another late night/early morning.
 
Ben came back at to get me.  The venue is a large cultural center in Drammen.
 
I met Tove, a politician and former singer.  She was the host on stage and a great one she was.  Extremely animated and exciting to watch.  There were probably 600 people in the audience. 

The program was almost half Terje, two songs with the band, and five with just him and Ben.  The two of them are great.  Jonas Fjeld is a legend and a superstar in Norway.  It was a privilege to hear him like this. Check out the history through this link here.
 
Snowing on the way home.  To sleep 11:05

 Sunday, April 6 (The Labyrinth!)

I'm done now.  Just a couple of days before I go home. 

I had the privilege today of assisting Terje as he was recorded in his home for a special annual Easter week radio show called The Labyrinth.  It is a treasure hunt with 70 different recorded clues for locations around the world.  It is daily on the radio for the week before Easter.  There are 1 million listeners.  On the Saturday before Easter, the last three of them who have made it through the clues correctly vie for the treasure during the last series of clues.  Sounds very fun!

Today, the creator and host of the show (it's been going for 27 years) recorded a short script that Terje read and then a snippet of one of his songs, which all contained the clue to some location which I won't give away!  Terje asked me to play along with him.  1 million listeners in a country of 5 million people!  Now I'm part of it for playing the song with Terje.

I have had a great stay with Terje, May Britt, and their teenagers, Carly Maria and Sigve, and of course Lady, the Cocker Spaniel.

One more day and I'm on my way home after 8 weeks on the road!

 

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