Tour Diary 4/6 | Monday Feb 19

Woke up early to have breakfast with Pan who was flying back to Berlin from Rīga. After the goodbyes, I went for a walk around Rīga Old Town. Incredible buildings and really monumental statues. It’s a mix of something very old and also modern improvement (maybe needs a bit more improvement).

Then it was time to drive to Tartu. Rīga’s Monday morning traffic is hard to describe with words. Best explanation would be to show the taxi chase scene from the movie Fifth Element and picture that happening in the backyard of Dr. Doom’s castle.

After the intense focus exercise described above, the rest of the drive was more boring than the way to Rīga. Kaisa and her band had to make this journey already after the show to be back home early Monday morning. But it gave me nice time to listen to some new albums. Andres Roots gave me his “Mono” and just before I left from Turku, mailman had delivered the new album from Paavo Pesonen. Both sound pretty incredible behind the wheel on an Latvian road. For the last 50 km I listened the song “Oh Where” by Kronos Quartet with Sam Amidon over and over again. It’s based in this old trad. song and has a really nice haunting feeling to it. It’s on the beautiful “Folk Songs” album by Kronos Quartet.

Arrived at Tartu and checked in at the hostel. There was a full kitchen and a shower just for me, so I decided to go to the store and cook me some dinner. The place was recently renovated; a cool place to hang in Tartu with students and backpackers around the globe.

The evening gig was part of Tartu Bluusikuu festival. I arranged to meet Andres at the Barlova. When I got there, the bar was already half full and while I set up the gear even more people showed up.

The Barlova is just the kind of place that I like to play. A unique interior and a great staff. The formula is that if the owner likes the place, the staff likes the place then the customers can like the place too. If you play in a place that has one of these “likes” missing, there’s nothing you can do about it. But if the foundation is solid and the owner, the staff and the customers are all happy, then you can bring performers in to the mix. These places are more rare than you would think. I’ve set out to find these little diamonds among the general rubble, and luckily now I can add another X to my treasure map. Sadly many of them aren’t in the business anymore, but if new ones keep showing up, we might have a chance. Keep up the great work in Tartu and hope to see you again soon!

I played two sets, got to see old and new friends and had a chance to hang out with the lovely Roots family & art collective.

It really was a unique night.

 

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