'Taking The Road Less Traveled'
Louise Hoffsten is a megastar in her native Sweden. Since 1987 she has released recordings that have captured the hearts of her countryfolk and left them wanting more. As both a singer and a songwriter she has an uncanny knack for delivering pictures of the human condition in all its frailty, ambition, desire, vulnerability, and bravado. She is loved by performers from Marcia Ball to K.D. Lang to Nancy Sinatra.
'From Linköping to Memphis' is, in its own way, the story of a journey from her native village in Sweden to the heart of soul and funk, Memphis (and she records for the Memphis International record label now). Recorded at Ardent Studios, 'From Linköping to Memphis' features some of the storied city's finest session men, including guitarist Steve Selvidge, keyboardist Lester Snell, bassist David Smith, and drummer Steve Potts.
Tracks range from the gritty soul-funk of "Good for You" and the reeling "Slow Train" to steamy jazzed-up soul ballads like "Fall Like Babylon," with Spake doing his best Ben Webster imitation. But there's more. There's the acoustically flavored country-ish ballad "Make the Most of It" and the folksy heartbreaker "Rise," which is pure poetry.
'From Linköping to Memphis' is a small marvel, a jewel in the rough that deserves to be heard and embraced.
Chatting recently with the lady herself, I first wondered how one actually gets from Linköping to Memphis?! "Bob Merlis and David Less of Memphis International asked me to come and sent me a ticket so I said yes."
Was it always to be called Linköping to Memphis? "No. The name came to me when I was in Memphis."
Which of the tracks taken from the new album do you feel encapsulates Louise Hoffsten at her finest? "Rise"
And, while we're on the subject of revealing things, is Linköping Castle still standing tall and have you been there recently?!" "Yes it is and I was there a year ago when I was getting an honorary doctorate from the University."
With you musical career originating in Sweden, at what point did you realize that breaking into America was the only next logical step to be taken? "I did not think it was going to happen though I’ve tried many times and failed. Now someone in heaven decided it was my time."
Have you a funny (or inspirational!) story to tell of just one of your musical encounters among the many journey's that you have taken thus far? "I’ve got many stories but I’m saving them for my next book. What about saying: “When I write my next book, I’ll include the story of how I hitchhiked to Paris when I was sixteen and all alone.”
OK, taking some of your song titles here, please answer these quickies as honestly as possible!
'What is your Favorite Lie to tell?' - "So many are told so we can hear those famous three words. (I assume you mean that people will say just about anything to hear ‘I Love You’ or is ‘I Love You’ the actual lie that you might tell?)"
'When was the last time you asked a person to Shut Up and Kiss You?' - "Last week, I told my husband."
'Who do you Still Believe In after all this time?' - "I believe in myself, my family, my friends and fate."
What cheesy (and known to Americans!) '80s song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! "I never liked the music during the 80s so I don’t have a favorite song!"
If there were just 3 words that described your music, what would they be? "Sexy, melodic and groovy."
If you were asked to record a single for charity, and had to choose 3 other KNOWN musicians to aid you in the project (and KNOWN to Americans!), who would they be, what instruments would they play, and what would the name of the NEW song be?! "Brian Blades on drums, Bonnie Raitt on slide guitar, and Charles Mingus on bass ... "Katastrofen I Kisa” would be the title of the song. (‘Katastrofen’ means catastrophe and ‘Kisa’ is a small town in the Östergötland area of Sweden, near Linköping …“Catastrophe in Kisa”)."
Finally, I like Penguins, ... do you?! "I do!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Louise's brand new CD, just answer this easy question: What is Louise's middle name?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before October 31st with your answer and the subject title 'LOUISE HOFFSTEN SIGNED CDs' to: email@example.com
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