TOUR DIARY: How Swedish It Is

We left Norderstedt bright and early for the nearly 7 hour drive to Kristianstad, Sweden. On our way we passed through Denmark, where I was introduced to the French hot dog by The Mastersons. It's popular in Scandinavia (not in France, though), and it's got a seriously unsettling vibe. I promised I'll try one before I leave, but I'm still working up the courage.

Joshua James and his band joined us in Kristianstad for the first of three shows together, which added a whole new layer to the evening. I remember planning a trip down to North Carolina to visit my brother while I was in high school around going to see Joshua James perform at Local 506, so it's a fun twist of fate to be traveling around Sweden with him now and singing songs. The show was totally full, the crowd was amazing, and it was easily my favorite night of the tour so far.

This morning we drove to Falkenberg for night 2 with Joshua and his band. We're staying at a beautiful hotel right on the river that's connected to the venue, so for the first time I've had an afternoon to just relax. On a walk through town, I visited to the local musical instrument shop, where the owner has a framed photo of himself with Johnny Cash from a performance they did together many years ago.

We keep hearing updates of what's going on politically in the states (they Keystone and North Dakota pipelines being pushed forward, gag orders on the EPA, false claims of massive voter fraud, the banning of refugees from war-torn countries, executive orders that are to begin dismantling the healthcare system I and many other self-employed Americans rely on, etc). It's difficult to believe that it's actually happening, and it leaves you feeling a little helpless to be on the other side of the world while it does. On the other hand, it may feel even worse to be present for it. After all, I have the option of tuning it out here. My phone only works when I'm on WiFi. But as the people remind us everywhere we go, what Trump does to America affects the rest of the world. Many of these countries have their own elections coming up with their own dangerous figures, and Trump's success has emboldened those forces around the world. There's not much we can do over here for the moment but sing our songs and try to spread happiness and peace and love across borders. It's not much, but it's what we've got

Anthony D'Amato