Who was/is Hultsfreed Hayride - Rockabilly Weekender ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
Hultsfreed Hayride - Rockabilly Weekender
The start of the 21st century was a hell of a time!
Jonas Bjälesjö and I traveled across the country in my 51’ Cadillac trying to see as many rockabilly shows as we could. The main thing every summer was Live & Jive, Forssen’s stunning event in Ökna! There was nothing better!
In the fall of 2001 we were sitting in Jonas’ apartment (we sat around there quite a lot that fall), playing records, drinking tiki drinks, smoking and talking shit.
Late one night, after several drinks and smokes, I said:
– What the hell, why not make our own rockabilly thing here in Hultsfred?
Jonas caught on right away:
– Of course! Let's do it!
Back then, Live & Jive always took place on the Saturday after Midsummer, which is a traditional Swedish holiday with the aim to be as drunk as possible, so we put the first Hultsfreed Hayride that same weekend except on Friday. We had an awesome line-up already this first year: Huelyn Duvall (U.S.), who incidentally was in Ökna the day after, The Orbitunes with Gustav on saxophone and Micke on guitar, the madman Phantom with Flying Phantom & His Flaming Stars, the youngsters The Pipelines with Tobbe Einestad on trumpet and theremin, and The Hollywoods, who nobody knew what they looked like because they always played in masks.
And the Hot Rock Ranch deejayed!
This was in Hultsfred Folkets Park and the year was 2002.
In 2003 we had as good a line-up again, also in Folkets Park: Riley McOwen & The Sleazy Rustic Boys, The Barbwires, The Flying Phantom & His Flaming Stars came back, and we also booked Fatboy who played one of their first gigs there – it was in our Hillbilly bar and it was Micke Lindevall from the legenday Stockholm club Hot Rock Ranch who told me about Fatboy. Thanks Micke!
Hot Rock Ranch played records again this year.
In 2004 we weren’t planning on doing another Hultsfreed Hayride but the locals had started getting used to it and nagged at us so we did a DJ night in Folkets Park. Jonas and I stood behind the turntables and we played so damn loud it was heard all over Hultsfred. We had had a number of alcoholic beverages so we thought the volume level was pretty comfortable. (I know we made a poster in 2004, but I haven’t found it in my computer).
In 2005, we got back into it again and booked two bands: The Orbitunes and a band called Little Alfie & The Dices. Vigilante Carlstroem, Mike Barbwire and Reverend Billy Hill played records.
In 2006 we didn’t do a Hultsfreed Hayride at all. I think it was because it had basically rained during every Hayride so far and we were sick of walking around in the mud down in Folkets Park.
In 2007 I was at it again! Jonas had dropped out to focus on his research and the presidency of the Swedish Rock Archive. I took over and moved Hayride to the Metropol restaurant. There we could do concerts both indoors and outdoors so the weather wasn’t as much of an issue. Of course it rained like hell, or as Jungle Jim said: typical Hayride-weather, but at least we were indoors. On stage were The Hi-Winders, Miss Ruby Ann (POR), The Domestic Bumblebees, and audience favorites (at least among the male part of the audience) Knicker Kittens Burlesque Revue. This was the year that Hayride began to take on the shape it has today. Metropol was a fantastic place; you didn’t need to bring a single thing for decoration, everything was already in place. In the DJ booth stood Swingin' Sue & Lil' Linn, Jungle Jim for the first time, Hollywood Hank (Forssen) and Reverend Billy Hill (Jonas).
2008 was the second year at Metropol. Italian Dale Rocka & The Volcanos and Jackie & His Loaders were quickly booked along with Danny & The Cappers and Lil' Linn & the Lookout Boys. The icing on the cake came with the newly formed band Lil' Camille & The Rattletones right out of Hultsfred, and of course they got a slot at the Hultsfreed Hayride. I remember how happy I was that there was finally a local rockabilly band in Hultsfred. I mean, Hultsfred had a population of less than 5000 people at that time. They have been Hultsfreed Hayride’s house band ever since, and in 2011 they played both Rockabilly Rave and High Rockabilly. The Rocket Room Crew played records together with MissBehavin' and Reverend Billy Hill.
2009 was the first year that Hayride was a two-day event. Forssen and I joined forces and did an event we called Live & Jive vs. Hultsfreed Hayride. We booked Wild Records acts Omar Romero and newly formed The Dragtones, with members from Luis & Wildfires, The Hives and The Hi-Winders, who did their first gig ever. Los Plantronics were here with their Mariachi Death Surf and The Bonneville Barons from the UK. The Swedish acts of 2009 were The Barbwires, The Domestic Bumblebees, The Rock-a-bops, and of course Lil’ Camille & The Rattletones. DJs were Reverend Billy Hill, Jungle Jim, Vigilante Carlstroem, Signor Havn (N) and Soulmilla (N).
Doing two days was such a success that it was a no-brainer for 2010. I had found the Croatian band Billie & The Kids already in the fall; I thought they were fantastic and definitely wanted to book them right away. It was a fucking hassle to get them here: flying in eight people from Zagreb cost about one billion, so it was impossible. They had to drive from Zagreb to Vienna and fly low fare airlines from there to Copenhagen. We did a mini tour with them in Sweden, with concerts in Växjö and Malmö. It was worth all the extra work as they did an incredible gig. Other bands in 2010 were Ella & The Obsidians, which were basically the old Los Raw Meat with Ella on vocals, The Caezars (UK), Wildfire Willie & The Ramblers, The Go-Getters, bluespunks Five Finger Discount from Vetlanda – who played the shit out of everyone on the patio during the day – The Camtwisters, and our house band Lil’ Camille & The Rattletones.
DJs this year were Jungle Jim, Boppin' Sonny (Den) Hillbilly Heartthrob and Reverend Billy Hill.
In 2011 we continued with two days and we had more foreign bands than Swedish ones. Carl & The Rhythm All Stars (F), Jessie & The Orbits (UK), Spo-Dee-O-Dee (GER), The Mobsmen (N), Torqueflite (N), Cherry Tess & Her Rhythm Sparks, Honeyboy Slim & The Bad Habits, The Praline Sisters and Lil’ Camille & The Rattletones. It was the first year with an official car show as the Radicals Car Club along with Robban from Knights Car Club/WCCC made a Custom/Hot Rod/Bike Show. Instant success! Torqueflite did an already legendary concert on the lawn in shorts and helmets. Rock 'n' Roll at its best!
Behind the turntables were a whole lot of DJs as Jungle Jim's Dee-Jay-O-Rama took over the DJ booths: Jungle Jim, Little Carl (UK), Greasy Greg, Josefin from Enviken, Little Mae, Loco Angel, Juke Joint Julia, Reverend Billy Hill and Nico Feuerbach from Bear Family Records.
Promoter Hultsfreed Hayride
This is a great weekender with loads of potential.
It's all about great music, both live and by DJs, and having a fun party in a relaxed atmosphere.
The location in the Swedish countryside might be slightly tricky if you have to travel but the journey is well worth it – it's a nice little village and beautiful scenery.
So don't wait, get your vacation and join us for a great party!
DJ Jungle Jim
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