RSP Live Session

A cold winter night somewhere in Amsterdam. The snowy wind is blowing through the streets and everybody is snuggled in their rocking chairs, sipping hot tea and cuddling with their beloved ones. Everybody? Not everybody. The awesome trio of Strainful Train and the audio mastermind Pietro are preparing a special musical treat for you. In the RedStone Productions Studio, equipped with high end gear and genuine exaltation, they record a live session made for posterity. Lean back and enjoy the result.

“RSP Live Session”

We love cheese!

We had an appointment in Rouen, France. Le Saxo is a pub that shares the level of coziness with many Irish pubs we’ve seen on our travels. The owner, Patrice, was eager to prove the superiority of the french art of cooking and hospitality. He did’nt fail. The whole band now officially counts as Neufchâtel-cheese-addicted. Endless wines, beers, some strange Schnaps and a concert later we left Le Saxo and headed to Elbeuf, the home town of our french patron, the initiator of the whole tour. I cannot praise this man enough: Stéphane. He has a Sean-like sense of generosity. We met Stéphane on our last tour in a rough pub somewhere in England. He barely knew us but invited us to have some gigs in France. After two days we referred to him as our tour manager. And like on a professionally organized tour, he even granted us with professionally organized concerts.  The whole thing, with a stage, technician, advertisements

throughout the city and an audience that came just to listen to our music. We even have prove, it was all recorded. And on top of all that: one of the venues was a boat. ‘Nuff said.
As a proper finale of the tour, we found ourselves on stage together with Stéphane’s Band, the High Lonesomes, and the Folk Revue at a Christmas Folk Party Concert. The venue was as good as sold out and the audience was so disciplined, you could have heard a needle pin falling. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to celebrate all this properly, since we had a 16hrs drive back home ahead of us. So we stuffed our pockets with Neufchâtel and Energy Drinks and said our farewells to this beautiful country and the musically rich year of 2017.

Can’t stop the Strainful Train!

Here we are again. The folk squad assembled anew and threw their instruments into their allegiant, yet rusty, ride. Strainful Train was heading for the Netherlands, Belgium and France to massage the ears of music lovers and roots fans. Seven days of touring, but this time, much to Bennys dismay, without the chaotic/freestyle guerilla gigging here and there like during our last tour. Every day is strictly, germanly planned, structured and prepared by our organizational talent Hendrik. And there is another difference to the last tour. The new album is freshly delivered from the CD factory and ready to be spread amongst all those who care for handmade music or simply need an awesome christmas present. Unfortunately, after three hours on the motorway, we noticed that we forgot the CD’s at home. So we were out of merchandise even before the first concert, which also sounds cool.
Nevertheless, we arrived in Amsterdam. It has changed alot since the last time we were here. Temperature-wise. Equipped with long-johns and old men blankets we made it to the freshly refurbished studio of our dear friend Pietro Rossi. With a little help from his pals, we recorded a fancy live session at Red Stone Productions. We will keep you posted about the final video-& audio production.

While we were in Amsterdam, we had to give our friends in Bajesdorp, the squatted jail, a
visit. It seems like the dutch people are easily intimidated by snow, schools were closed, flights cancelled and nobody left their house to see our concert. We still had a great night though, they do not care so much for closing hours. 
There was no time to lose, a week is short, so we set over to Mechelen. We’ve also been here before, Kafee Zapoi had hosted us on our last tour. We were greeted and hosted by two loveley Belgians Joko and Jeff. It was a nice Pub Session, even our dear friend Steven Troch jumped in and performed some magic tricks on his harmonica. Also the Zapoi is not too strict about its closing hours. The next morning we left Mechelen hungover and tired but pleased and with a trunk full of Chocolate Milk (thanks for the supplies Joko&Jeff). Next stop: France!

Goodbye my love 2. Even goodbyer.

Some of you may remember: Strainful Train was lying in despair, looking for a meaning, like Sauron for his ring. We decided, that the best way of regaining the joy of life would be at the source of joy itself:
Egan’s Bar in Liscannor. We returned to Sean’s care to have another wonderful concert and subsequent excessive beer tasting. It worked, our journey had a meaning again. (Danke-Sean! And thanks to the landlord Patrick!) Head first we started touring again. The Roadside Tavern in Lisdoonvarna, a very original pub hosted us for the next night, we had a superb concert there. First of all because Brian, the gifted percussionist, supported us. And second because Sean was cheering from the audience.

At this point I have to mention that our beloved home and ride was left horribly deserted most of our time in Ireland. We simply never had to sleep in the van. Thanks to a remarkable Irishman called Ronan. We played in his Hotel and he provided us hostel rooms in every possible location of this world. Also in Lisdoonvarna.
The next day we also transformed Brians place to a little recording studio, to take his tight rhythm vibes with us on our album.

Unfortunately, the obligations of our real lives in Germany started to manifest at the horizon, so we sadly started our journey home. Therefore we had to cross the midlands again, the wretched place everybody at the west coast warned us about. Wrongfully, as we already had found out. We headed to Newbridge, where our irish adventures began. At the west coast we already had the luck to partake in several traditional pub sessions. The one we joined that night in Newbridge with Lucy and Niecy was somehow special, it was the most euphoric and chaotic one. You barely understood, what the musicians on the other side of the table were playing, but you jumped in anyways, to contribute your solo to the sound ball.

The following night should become the complete opposite. Our dear friend and supporter Deidre organized a slot us at a concert series called “Ciúnas” (irish for Silence). A nice concept, where people really only come to listen. The audience was so disciplined; you could hear a needle pin falling. That puts quite a pressure on you, when you are used to hide your little technical difficulties behind the always present bar noise. Still an awesome concert, though. The next morning at seven, our ferry to Wales was going to leave from Dublin. We drove through the night, were able to get a 2 hour nap right in front of the check in lines and arrived early and sleep-deprived in Holyhead. We weren’t quite sure what to do with this full day ahead of us, so we climbed on a mountain.

It started raining on the top, we lost many good men up there. So now we were tired AND exhausted. Those were the perfect preconditions to fall into the strong arms of our friend and center of our Welsh comfort zone, Scott. Sadly we just stayed briefly, there was a concert in Bishopscastle we had to support. The venue, “the Vaults” is a prototype of a rough countryside pub, a place I wish I had in my hometown. The owner, Wayne the Viking, has an intimidating biker-appearance but a warm and soft heart for roots music. He instantly invited us to his Blues Festival next year, see you there, Wayne!
We spent the night at Rob’s farm. Rob is a brilliant harmonica player and his farm is one another little paradise we encountered during our tour. Fat wool sheep are strolling around his house in the Welsh mountains, and bred sprouts are swimming in the pond at the driveway.

He and his lovely partner Ingrid made us feel so welcome there, that we stayed for another day. Your own doing!
Heavy hearted we are now leaving these beautiful islands and head for the big mainland to master the last two weeks our tour.

Some bums in Bremen

To all of our many loyal followers, who consume the online adventures of Benni the journeyman on a daily base. I have failed you. I did not post anything about his madly growing facial hair or his first primate-like interactions with modern social networks, simply because of no reason. I was lazy. And I am not even sorry, since this will happen again!
Ok, here is a short update of our last two days:
In Hamburg, the “Familieneck” welcomed us with some urban electro vibes, that instantly made Benni walk backwards out of the bar again. After two persuasion beers, the rabid cutting of the setlist and the certitude of Tim’s mom in the audience, we countered the techno with full load of folk. With mediocre success, so lets not talk about Hamburg anymore.
The same night we battled the microsleep and set over to Bremen. Did you know, that Bremen is low emission area (e.g. no-go area for old diesel battleships like ours)? We didn’t. Dang. Time to travel on as a criminal.
We needed this one day off to lick our wounds and use the accumulated creative energy to make some music history (songwriting). And we found the perfect location for that. The studio of Olaf Kock. He and his pal Boris (thanks for everything!) granted us asylum in their sacred halls of creative power. Tim found some time to practice with the upright bass bow. It doesn’t emit any sound at all. Does anybody know how to use such a thing?

In the meantime a colleague of our lovely host Kathi complained about the gypsy bus in front of his house, where definitely some bums are corpulating inside. Yep, sorry, that’s us in the Strainful Train tour bus. Please come and see us in person tonight in the “Chinchilla Bar”!