The Return of Notes From the Road by Jeremy Mackinder: Sweden, Part 2

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April 24th, 2013 by Bloodshot

As you may recall, Jeremy Mackinder, who has played bass in Whitey Morgan & the 78s, used to check in with us from the road with some entertaining and...educational...posts. Now he's playing with Deadstring Brothers (it's all relative over here at Bloodshot Records), who are on tour supporting their new album Cannery Row, which just hit the streets on 4/9. We'll be posting a few of his stories from overseas. Here he checks in with us to regale another tale from the Swedish road...

We just hit the halfway way mark for this Scandanavian tour. 9 shows done, 9 left. And it just keeps getting better.

On Sunday we were treated to an amazing night at Akkurat in Stockholm. Whiskey is expensive as hell here, I try not to think about it 'cause on the occasion that I buy one, I don't want to be wrought with guilt over it; I just want to enjoy it. Most clubs just have a few types, and for the most part we stick to wine and beer so it's manageable for clubs. Akkurat is different, a stock full of scotch, whiskey, and Bourbon and one of the most enthusiastic audiences you'll find. The place was full, to the point that they couldn't let another soul through the door. The Sunday music series there is the stuff of legend, featuring great artists and often people show up without even looking at the schedule to see who is playing. They just know it's going to be good.

That being said, there were many people there who knew every word to every Deadstring Brothers and Deadman song. The energy was electric, and the booze was flowing. An amazing time and at the end of the night the owner threw his arms around me and told me that he would be looking forward to having us again as soon as possible. Hint hint, wink wink, nudge nudge, Bjorn! Easily one of the worlds greatest clubs.

Here we are playing "Lover, Lover, Lover" with Deadman at Akkurat:

From there we headed to Orerbro to play at Grand Hotel. Orerbro was the first town I ever played in this country. It's full of great architecture and history that I can't read on the signs, but can certainly sense. If I had the time and energy to learn another country's language, it would be Swedish, mostly so I could  understand more of what they were saying rather than communicating through a bit of broken English. Orerbro also has two of my favorite Swedish folks in Anders and Kristin, who are not only great promoters and supporters, but also wondeful friends. Anders owns a the local record shop and is a fixture at SXSW each year. His enthusiasm for music is contagious, and his dance moves are legendary in our little circle.

Anders put us onto a little secret for the next town as well. The small community of Vara has a famous cheese artisan that opened up on its day off to bless us with some history of the local cheeses, which are a huge part of Swedish meals. They shared with us a taste testing of cheeses that were aged up to 40 months to let the flavor really take hold. We bought a bit for the road, but not the blue cheese. Though it was amazing, we felt it might get a little rough smelling it in the van even after a few hours. I normally hate blue cheese, but this stuff was stunning, and I am ruined for life, for I likely will never have the taste of any blue cheese that ever compares to this.

Mmmm...cheese.

Last night we played in Malmö, at an old church that's been converted into a club called Babel. Great sound, lights, and stage, it was likely both bands best performance here so far. The crowd was geared up, many showing up with album covers for us to sign and many who couldn't wait to buy some of their own.

This morning I had the opportunity to walk through Malmö and check out the city a bit, look at the architechture and culture and take it all in.

The mix of people was very diverse, and actually a friend of Nate's said there are over 160 nations that make up the people of Malmö; it's the melting pot of the country. I took a moment on my stroll and realized once again what a young country we are back home and how we are held together by a few thin sheets of paper while most of the rest of the world is drenched in tradition and culture. I found myself hoping against all odds that maybe someday as a nation we would take a lesson in humility, but that's something for another sort of story, for now it is time to head off to the next show and bring this party to another town.  We have 9 shows left before returning to the homeland, and I wanna drink every little last bit of this in.

All for now.
JD Mack

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