Miss Leslie Hits Scandinavia
In case you didn’t already know it, folks in Scandinavia take their music seriously. Screw Ace of Base, or even ABBA, much as I like ’em — beyond that handful of best-known acts, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark have tons and tons of ridiculously talented bands out there doing their thing, and music lovers there really get into the music.
The one time I visited Sweden, I was bummed to not be able to check out a Viking-metal show (it was hard to escape the hotel after dark, what with a four-year-old and all), but we stumbled accidentally into what seemed to be this massive music festival in Malmö — it was literally right behind our hotel — and I was amazed at the sheer breadth of music scattered throughout.
It actually turned out there were multiple festivals, all going on at the same time; there was some more straightforward pop/rock stuff on the bigger stages in the squares, but a little ways from that was a whole area with people playing nothing but down-home, impeccably-done blues.
This is all to explain why I wasn’t surprised in the slightest to learn that Houston’s own old-school country songstress, Miss Leslie, was headed over to Norway as part of her recent European tour (she also did a date at the “Higher Bebington Royal British Legion Social Club” in Wirral, which is somewhere in England, and another date in Shetland Isles). She played the aptly-named Countryfestivalen in Seljord, alongside Billy Ray Cyrus & Tanya Tucker, among others.
Despite the fact that country music’s viewed as a distinctly “American” thing, there’s a large chunk of the Scandinavian populace that really, truly loves the stuff. (Although my wife’s Swedish cousins are a little less kindly-disposed towards cowboys, I’m afraid, following a flea-dipping demonstration at George Ranch that involved the cowboys hitting the cows with big sticks…)
Anyway, Leslie spent the last week or so in and around Norway (I believe she’s back in town now), and it sounds like she had a blast — she also wrote a moving, thoughtful post about connecting with other people through music, even when you don’t speak the same language, as well as the recent twin tragedy in Oslo and Utoya.
You can take a look at a couple of videos from her performance at the festival (with a Norwegian backing band, A-11) on her Facebook page — or look at ’em directly here and here. One’s her own “Working Girl Blues”, while the other’s a cover of the classic tune “C’est La Vie.” Very, very cool…
And hey, while we’re talking about Miss Leslie, you can check out a great, great song she’s currently giving away; see over here for her thoughts around it:
Always great to see a Houston musician heading far, far afield like this. Virtual high-five, Miss L…