Doing the Saturday streams has been a way to keep practising, learning, discovering and developing in the absence of “normal” gigs. It has been a challenge to find a theme, a repertoire and an outfit for every occasion. But also incredibly rewarding, I think I have grown in many respects and also learned a lot, both when it comes to music, tech stuff and myself. It has been the primary “anchor” of the weely routine. Something to look forward to and work towards. The community of people around the world that has formed and followed the streams is also amazing. And I am so grateful for that.
Though, I have also felt that I do need a break. To free up some time to focus on other things, and maybe actually to have a Saturday off. Don’t know about the last one though… So I decided that this stream would be the last for a while. It also felt like the time was right to do it. Summer is approaching, people spend more time outdoors, normal gigs are being booked and corona seems to be going away.
One thing that makes the last week of May special each year is my birthday on the 26th. This year it was five years ago since I had this big birthday concert and release on Katalin in my hometown Uppsala. I played with three of my bands- Trinity, A tribute to Kjell Öhman and the release concert of Finally!. One of the craziest evenings I ever experienced musically and such a fond memory. So I thought the theme for today’s stream would be reminiscing about that. All the songs I played are fetched from that night.
The Hellkvist Shuffle
One of the first songs I ever wrote on the organ, and the first song of Finally! It foten functions as a kind of theme song so I thought it would be a nice way to start this show.
So far, “Midnight Cruiser” is the only song I haven’t played on any stream. On live concerts we susually play it after “The Hellkvist Shuffle” so it was a given second song.
On the sunny side of the street
“On the sunny side of the street” is a song that has been on Trinity’s repertoire ever since the start in 2005. A perfect song for this day because it was the first real sunny summer’s day in Sweden.
Memories of lost love
This is one of my compositions that have been meaning to play on one of the streams but it hasn’t happened yet. It strikes a more serious and melancholic tone than the other songs, as the title invites you to reflect. And unfortunately, I think many can relate to lost love this past year.
Kjell Öhman was one of my biggest inspirations on the Hammond. “Alice’s fax” is one of his own compositions. A bebop blues with a brilliantly written melody.
You can’t have the cake and eat it too
One of the gifts I got on my birthday after I started playing the Hammond was Öhman Organ Grinders’ “Live at the pawn shop”. If you haven’t heard it, check it out! One of the songs, “You can’t have the cake and eat it too”, on that album is written by Claes Janson. I have listened to it so many times, I have played it many times but I have never sung it. So today was my first attempt at that. A lot of fun!
Kjell Öhman’s most iconic record is his “Kjell Öhman plays organ jazz” from 1968. On that album, there’s a song called “Feppe” which is my absolute favorite. Party jazz at its best!
The last song of the “Live at the pawn shop” record is Fats Domino’s “I’m walking” and that have always been one of my favorites, as well as my dad’s. So this one was especially for him. I usually play it instrumentally but this time I sang as well.
It’s hard not to get sentimental and there’s so much that I am grateful for. So here’s the speech
Up and away
But let’s go out with a bang! Up and away is one of the most fun and upbeat songs on Finally! A concentrated portion of love and joy. A nice way to end these 27 fabulous weeks!
Thank you all for watching! Stay tuned because there’ll be more stuff coming out. See you soon.
Pentecost used to be a three day weekend in Sweden, with the monday after the weekend being a red day. Though, after they made our national day June 6th a holiday they removed Pentecost monday. So this weekend passes quite unnoticed nowadays. I was thinking of why we celebrate it, how the holy spirit filled the apostles so they would speak other tounges. On this partcular day as well, the final of the Eurovision Song Contest was held. So I thought a theme for the stream would be voices. And more to that – Sweden’s song in the contest is named just that – “Voices”! During the week we have also celebrated the birthday of Fats Waller and Norway had its national day. So I thought that would be fun to bring in as well.
But the set started with a 50 year anniversary. It was around this day in 1971 that Marvin Gaye, one of the strongest voices of his time, released “What’s going on”.
Then a tribute to Fats Waller with “Honeysuckle rose”. Great song for some hard swinging jazz and fat block chords.
I thought it would be fun to also play the song “Voices” from the ESC.
WIth the theme being voices I also decided to fulfill a promise I made in an earlier stream, and that was to sing sonme tunes as well. One jazz standard that I have always loved and actually sang on a few occasions is “My shining hour”. But I have to say, both a bit scary and fun to do my singing debut in these streams, though I think there’ll be more of that.
The next section of the show was dedicated to Norway so I began by playing their national anthem, “Ja, vi elsker dette landet” in a version that I arranged and recorded last year. A lot more jazz and gospel chords than how it is usually played and I like that.
One of the Norwegian artists I work with is guitarist and singer Hans Bollandsås and we’ve done a few tours under the name Hans Bollandsås & Andreas Hellkvist In Concert. We’ve been playing mostly his music, some opf mine and some blues and soul standards. A beautiful tune of his is “Confession” so I thought I’d play that first. Another song of his that I really like is “Same old boogie” but we haven’t played it very much. So that became my other singing tune this stream. A bit more challenging than “My shining hour” but a lot of fun. I like the lyrics, but luckily I can’t really relate to it.
When I was starting to play the Hammond in the 90s, the Norwegian quartet The real thing was a great influence. I got all their records and listened a lot. “Waffle shuffle” is a tune that I have played and listened to a lot over the years.
I thought I’d end the set with another Fats Waller tune, this one being “Ain’t misbehavin'”. Love that song, and I think it sounds nice with a more old scholl organ sound.
During the streams, you never know what requests will come up. Sometimes you just make note of them but not play and sometimes you put them in the set. This time it was a case of the letter. A friend from Kansas requested “Purple rain” and it seemed like a nice encore to do. With that, the stream got a realy nice powerful ending.
Hope you enjoyed it and see you at the next stream!