About Rival

Hans Larsson
A&R Manager - Producer

Sales representative for Grammofon AB Electra, Sweden (RCA, Warner, MCA, Decca, Tamla Motown) 1971-1981.

Formed Mill Records AB, Rival International AB and purchased the label Swe-Disc with partner Owe Midner from PolyGram Records 1982-1990. Formed the management company Rival Management AB for artists Louise Hoffsten and Carola 1990.

Sold Mill Records AB and Rival International AB, to BMG Sweden AB and signed a contract to stay with BMG as A&R Manager 1990-1998.

Formed the record company Darrow Entertainment AB 1999 and produced new recordings with The Refreshments and Dave Edmunds, signed contract as independent A&R with BMG Sweden (John Holm CD-production and the Elvis Presley compilation "Elvis Swedish Hit Collection"), signed contract with EMI Scandinavia as executive producer for the Christmas production "Tommy Körberg and Oslo Gospel Choir". Formed the publishing company Access To Arrow Music AB 2000.

Hans Larsson discovered and launched, among others, Louise Hoffsten, The Refreshments, Fred Johanson, Maria Marcus, and was also behind Carola Häggkvist's return to the music industry in 1990 when she participated in the Swedish Melody Grand Prix. The following year 1991, Carola won both the Swedish Melody Grand Prix and the Eurovision Song Contest in Rome with Stephan Berg's song "Captured By A Lovestorm".

In 1997, Hans was again responsible for the winner of the Swedish Melody Grand Prix with the group Blond, as in the case of Carola, Stephan Berg was composer of the winning contribution "Baby I´ll Die For You" who participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin .

Hans has worked with artists and authors such as Carola, Louise Hoffsten, The Refreshments, Blond, Tommy Körberg, Brolle, Fred Johanson, Maria Marcus, John Holm, Eva Eastwood, Nejra, Dave Edmunds, Albert Lee, Geraint Watkins, Frankie Miller, Wendel Adkins, Warren Haynes, Dennis Robbins, Black Ingvars, Jerry Jeff Walker, Steve Young, Jerry Lynn Williams, Jim Dickinson, Linda Gail Lewis, Johan "JB" Blohm, Fatboy, Henrik Åberg, Jack Baymoore,  and others.

Hans Larsson has received more than 60 gold & platinum records and is also an honorary citizen of Memphis, Tennessee, USA.

Gold & Platinum

2023 Platinum ”Hjärtat Bankar” Eva Eastwood & Larz Kristerz
2023 Gold ”Hjärtat Bankar” Eva Eastwood & Larz Kristerz
2023 Platinum ”Ooa Hela Natten” ATTACK
2023 Gold ”Ooa Hela Natten” ATTACK
2022 Platinum •  ”Miss You Miss Belinda” The Refreshments
2022 Gold •  ”A Guy Like That” The Refreshments
2022 Gold •  ”55 Ford” The Refreshments
2022 Gold •  ”Miss You Miss Belinda” The Refreshments 
2019 Gold • The Refreshments • Ridin’ Along With The Refreshments
2018 2 Million Disc, 21 x Gold, 8 x Platinum  • Maria Marcus/Composer & Producer 3 songs  •Namie Amuro Album ”Finally”
2015 2 x Platinum • The Refreshments • Melodifestivalen 2014
2014 Gold • The Refreshments • Melodifestivalen 2014
2009 Platinum • The Refreshments •  "It´s Gotta Be Both Rock´n´Roll" - Best Of
2009 Gold • The Refreshments • A Band's Gotta Do What A Band's Gotta Do
2008 Gold •  The Refreshments • Refreshing Classics
2007 Gold  • The Refreshments • Christmas Spirits
2007 Gold •  The Refreshments • 24-7
2006 Gold • The Refreshments • It´s Gotta Be Both Rock´n´Roll -Best Of
2006 Platinum • Carola • Störst Av Allt
2006 Gold • The Refreshments • Musical Fun For Everyone
2005 Gold • Carola • Störst av allt
2004 4 x Platinum • Carola • Guld, Platina & Passion
2004 Gold • The Refreshments • Easy To Pick Up, Hard To Put Down
2004 Gold • The Refreshments • Here We Are - Best of The Refreshments
2003 Platinum • The Refreshments • Rock´n´Roll Xmas
2003 Platinum • Carola • Jubileumsshowen (DVD)
2003 Gold • Carola • Jul I Betlehem / Special Edition
2003 Gold • The Refreshments • Rock´n´Roll X-mas
2003 Gold • Carola • Jubileumsshowen (DVD)
2003 Tripple Platinum • Carola • Guld, Platina & Passion
2003 Double Platinum • Carola • Guld, Platina & Passion
2003 Gold (Norway) • Carola • Guld, Platina & Passion
2003 Platinum • Carola • Guld, Platina & Passion
2003 Gold • Carola • Guld, Platina & Passion
2003 Gold • The Refreshments • On The Rocks
2003 Gold • The Refreshments • Real Songs On Real Instruments
2002 Gold • Louise Hoffsten • Collection
2002 Platinum • Elvis Presley • Swedish Hits Collection
2001 Gold • Carola • My SHow
2001 Gold • The Refreshments • Are you ready
2001 Gold • Carola • Sov på min arm
2000 Platinum (Norway) • Tommy Körberg & O.G.C • Stilla natt
2000 Gold (Norway) • Tommy Körberg & O.G.C • Stilla natt
2000 Gold • Elvis Presley • Elvis Swedish Hit Collections
1999 Triple Platinum •Carola •Jul I Betlehem
1999 Double Platinum •Carola •Jul I Betlehem
1999 Gold (Norway) •Carola •Jul I Betlehem
1999 Gold • Carola • Jul I Betlehem
1999 Gold • Black Ingvars • Schlager Metal
1996 Gold • Carola • Personligt
1995 Gold • Tommy Körberg / Carola • The Sound Of Music
1995 Double Platinum • Louise Hoffsten • Rhythm & Blonde
1995 Platinum • Carola • Jul
1994 Gold • Carola • My tribute
1993 Platinum • Louise Hoffsten • Rhythm & Blonde
1993 Gold • Louise Hoffsten • Rhythm & Blonde
1992 Gold • Carola • Much more
1992 Gold • Carola • Hits
1991 Gold • Carola • Jul
1991 Gold • Carola • Fångad av en stormvind
1986 Gold • Sven Melander, Åke Cato, Jon Skolmen och Gösta Engström • Full Rulle

Awards and nominations
Honorary Citizenship of Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
12 Grammy nominations
2 Grammy Awards
1991 Winner of the Swedish Melody Grand Prix (Carola)
1991 Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest (Carola)
1993 Rockbjörnen Louise Hoffsten
1997 Winner of the Swedish Melody Grand Prix (Blond)


The Refreshments


Very Best Of The Refreshments - 21 reasons why the party never ends!
For almost three decades The Refreshments has gone against every current trend and stubbornly delivered their very own mixture of high-energy ”rock” dosed with just as much ”roll” as needed to create a unique sound.

The proof is here, in the shape of 21 rock’n’roll belters making up the cream of their output since their debut album ”Both Rock’n Roll” 1995. With half a million albums sold (of which twelve gold and two platinum), a Grammy nomination and more than 4 000 live shows, The Refreshments without doubt has deserved the title as Sweden’s most popular and hardest working rock’n’roll band.

If you disregard qualities like talent and persistence, a big part of their secret probably can be attributed to the relentless touring. Just like most of the classic bands they adore, The Refreshments has honed their sound in front of their audience. By travelling all over their native Sweden to play their music night after night, they’ve developed a rock’n’roll sound that for more than two decades has made a steadily growing audience dance, tap their feet and pump up the volume on their car stereo – sometimes simultaneously.

By acting as a backing band for touring British rock legends like Dave Edmunds, Billy Bremner, Mickey Jupp, Steve Gibbons, Albert Lee and Geraint Watkins, they’ve also built a reputation as one of the tightest bands in Europe.

Unlikely enough, it all started in the 80’s. In a time when synth pop and soft metal ruled the airwaves, some teenagers from Gavle, Sweden, realized that they loved Chuck Berry, Rockpile and classic rock’n’roll more than anything that was on MTV or radio.

Their recording career started when former Rockpile guitarist Billy Bremner in the autumn of 1994 looked up Hans Larsson, who at that time was an A&R representative at record company BMG in Stockholm. ”Billy was very enthusiastic about an unknown rock band from Gävle and offered to produce them. Since I loved Rockpile and classic rock’n’roll, I listened to their demo and became convinced that they had something special”, Larsson says.

What happened in the decades that followed is detailed in the “Refresh your memory” segment below. And before anyone really understood what happened, it’s spring 2017 and the band allows itself to pause, take a look back and make a career summary with modern classics like ”A Guy Like That”, "One Dance, One Rose, One Kiss", ”Musical Fun For Everyone”, ”55 Ford”, ”Hello Sun, Goodbye Rain”, ”Jukebox” and ”Dreams Of You”.

With 21 songs spanning from the debut album’s musical statement ”Both Rock’n Roll” from 1995 to the album closer ”Hallelujah” almost twenty years later, this collection is both a great introduction to and reminder of the unique treasure of songs that this little old band from Gävle has built up over the years.

Or as a wise person once said: ”there’s only two kinds of music – rock and roll”. Trust The Refreshments to deliver.

Refresh your memory (the story so far):

Micke Finell meets Joakim Arnell in the sixth grade at Bodaskolan in Skutskär, Sweden. When it turns out the newcomer plays sax they form the band Tryckförband (Compression Bandage), playing classic rock’n’roll. “Swedish 50’s style group The Boppers had just had tremendous success, Rockpile was still around and at the local gas station you could find lots of cassettes with 50’s hits. So playing rock’n’roll in the early 80’s didn’t seem that odd to us”, Arnell remembers.

Guitarist Eric Jones and drummer Mats Forsberg joins Finell and Arnell. They call themselves Mr Jones Band. Joakim Arnell starts writing songs, but the future hit-maker is off to a shaky start. “I tried and tried but never was satisfied with the results. My own songs just didn’t turn out they way I wanted.” Not giving up, he continues to write until he gradually begins to capture the 50´s spirit he’s looking for.

The Refreshments put out their first EP, which consists of four covers— “School Days”, “The Promised Land”, “You Better Believe It” and “New Orleans”. The band distributes the record for free at a gig. After the show, dispirited group members finds that the audience has thrown away most of their records and left them on the ground. Despite this, they decide to quit their day jobs and go professional. A gruelling 250-gigs-a-year schedule commences.

The Refreshments finally decide to record an album of original material. Having toured with Mickey Jupp, they decide to spice up the group’s sound by having Rockpile legend Dave Edmunds play on the album. They fail to reach Edmunds, but instead Micke Finell gets hold of fellow Rockpile guitarist Billy Bremner, who’s working as a session guitarist in Nashville. Bremner agrees to come over and play. He calls A&R manager Hans Larsson at BMG Sweden. Larsson—a dedicated Dave Edmunds and Rockpile fan—loves the band’s sound and signs them.

The Refreshments debut album “Both Rock’n’Roll is released, but sales are down to a meagre 3-4 000 copies. Despite the disappointing sales, Bremner has decided to stay in Sweden and continue with the band. In the autumn he replaces Tord Eriksson as the group’s guitarist.

Second album "Trouble Boys" is released in 1997, but sales are only marginally better. Drummer Mats Forsberg throws in the towel and is replaced by Niklas Aspholm. Good news comes when Dave Edmunds calls and offers The Refreshments to back him on a tour of Scandinavia. To Edmunds’ amazement the band know all his songs by heart; even suggesting that he should include his 1968 Love Sculpture hit “Sabre Dance”. When a reluctant Edmunds politely implies that it’s not easy to get the song right, The Refreshments cheerily answers: “Try us.” They easily run through the complicated patterns of this extremely fast ballet music piece.

Hans Larsson forms his own company Darrow Entertainment. The first record to be released on the new label is The Refreshments third album “Are You Ready”. Commercially the group’s luck turns when “Miss You Miss Belinda” becomes the group’s breakthrough song. “Are You Ready” quickly sells 50 000 copies, giving the band their first gold record.

After living with The Refreshments’ dreaded 200 gig a year schedule, Billy Bremner finally got off the bus in the spring of 1999. This lead to a few changes in the group. Robin Olsson became the band’s new master of the Telecaster, boogie piano maestro Johan Blohm expanded the group’s sound as its fifth member and Joakim Arnell took over Bremner’s production duties. “If there were any worries among fans how the band would hold up without Bremner, I think the two consecutive albums ”Musical Fun For Everyone” (2000) and "Real Songs On Real Instruments" (2001) was proof enough that band actually was in better shape than ever”, Hans Larsson says.

The second release on the new Darrow label is the live album "A Pile Of Rock - Live", which captures the previous year’s phenomenal tour with The Refreshments featuring Billy Bremner and keyboard legend Geraint Watkins backing Dave Edmunds. New members Robin Olsson (guitar) and Johan Blohm (keyboards) enter the group on their first commercial high.

With the title nicked from an old advertising-poster for Wurlitzer jukeboxes, "Musical Fun For Everyone", is the group’s fourth album—co-produced by Bremner but the first without him in the line-up. It’s evident that The Refreshments have no problems standing on their own, and the album is their fastest selling record to date, continuing the string of gold and platinum albums that will characterize The Refreshments career from now on. Boosted by confidence, the band embarks on yet another tour with Dave Edmunds and Dr Feelgood.

Fifth album "Real Songs On Real Instruments" is the first to be produced by Joakim Arnell and includes the band’s biggest radio hit to date—"One Dance, One Rose, One Kiss". Geraint Watkins makes a guest appearance at the organ. In the autumn the 20-track compilation ”Here We Are - Best Of The Refreshments” is released. Drummer Niklas Aspholm is plagued by sinew problems that make him unable to play. Original member Mats Forsberg retakes his place behind the drums, partly persuaded by the fact that the group now is down to a mere 125 gigs a year.

Continued touring and Swedish national television performances with Dave Edmunds, Billy Bremner and Geraint Watkins, while the band release two new albums—the sixth studio album ”On The Rocks” and the Christmas record ”Rock’n’Roll X-mas”. Chuck Berry’s legendary pianist Johnnie Johnson makes one of his last appearances in the video to “On The Rocks” track “We Just Can’t Win”—a fitting homage to a true rock’n’roll hero. ”Rock’n’Roll X-mas” includes standards and original songs like “I’m The Real Santa”. The album takes a sleigh ride to the #1 position in the Swedish charts in December, while the band is touring the country with their Christmas show.

The band tours Sweden with veteran rocker Jerry Williams and The Boppers. Seventh studio album ”Easy To Pick Up, Hard To Put Down”, a 15-track collection of new material and lovingly chosen covers like the two Chuck Berry numbers ”If I Were” and ”Going Back To Memphis”. The live dvd “One Night With The Refreshments”, featuring special guest Albert Lee, is released.

Piano player Johan ”JB” Blohm releases the critically acclaimed solo album ”Reconsider Me”. During the summer, The Refreshments tour with Smokie and Status Quo. Before the tour is over they have smashed the attendance record at the majestic outdoor concert site Dalhalla. The live dvd “Refreshments Live” featuring special guests Dave Edmunds and Billy Bremner is released in the autumn. In December they once again embark on a ”Rock’n’Roll X-mas”-tour with Eva Eastwood and Geraint Watkins.

New album ”24-7” gets a Grammy nomination while the band slows down their touring into a more human 70-gigs-a-year schedule. They embark on a sold out summer tour and gigs with Status Quo, before celebrating 17 years and more than 3 000 live shows with the best of-collection ”It’s Gotta Be Both Rock And Roll”, which immediately soars to the #1 position on the Swedish charts.

The annual “Rock’n’Roll X-Mas” tour is a new success with guest appearances by Nisse Hellberg and Mats Ronander. During Christmas, The Refreshments holiday rocker “I'm The Real Santa” travels the world as the theme song for the Disney movie “Santa Claus 3”.

Four years after “Rock’n’Roll X-mas” The Refreshments returns to holiday mode with a new sizzling home made brew: “Christmas Spirits”, including 14 hard rocking and sweet country seasonal greetings. For the annual ”Rock'n'Roll X-mas” tour, The Refreshments requites the country picking guitar phenomenon Albert Lee, singer/pianist Linda Gail Lewis and Annie Marie Dolan on backing vocals.

Having cherry-picked a few rock’n’roll standards here and there on their studio albums, the band now decide to dedicate a whole album to their musical roots—an album where almost every song is a million seller and a Billboard Hot 100 or R&B chart topper.

”The Refreshments Jukebox – Refreshing Classics” is a 15-song affair, presenting well-known tracks like Fats Domino’s “The Fat Man” and Chuck Berry’s ”I’m Talking About You” as well as more obscure gems like Little Bob & The Lollipops ”I Got Loaded” and Danny Wolfe’s ”Pucker Paint”.

The 2008 ”Rock'n'Roll X-mas” tour features acclaimed Swedish blues/rock artists Louise Hoffsten and Sven Zetterberg.

The band kicks off their 20th anniversary with new album “A Band’s Gotta Do What A Band’s Gotta Do”, once again a chart-topper and gold selling album in Sweden. “I started thinking about the time that’s passed since we started the band in the autumn of 1989, and the lyrics became a summary of what we’ve done so far”, Arnell says. During the summer they tour with Status Quo and special guest Alan Jackson.

Part of the 20-year celebration is a television recorded show in the Central Café in Gävle, where the band used to play before they started to outsell the 180 capacity pub. Four Refreshments guitarists share the stage: Thomas Holmberg, Tord Eriksson, Billy Bremner and Robin Olsson.

Before the year is over the band also manage to squeeze in a Rock´n´Roll X-Mas tour featuring guests like Eva Eastwood and Gil Edwards, as well as the release of an 8 cd retrospective box.

The autumn sees the release of the “Central Café - 20th Anniversary Concert" recorded the year before. A new Rock’n’Roll X-Mas tour coincide with the release of "Christmas Wishes - Best Of Rock´n´Roll X-Mas", featuring the band’s best seasonal rockers plus five new tracks. The album also marks the debut of new guitarist Jonas Göransson, who replaces Robin Olsson.

In the spring The Refreshments makes a successful visit to the SXSW festival in Austin, where they play legendary venues like Antone’s before releasing their tenth album, ”Ridin’ Along With The Refreshments”. Together with Rockpile legend Dave Edmunds they embark on their annual “Rock’n’Roll Summer” tour with guest Dave Edmunds. And of course, no Christmas without the “Rock’n’Roll X-Mas” tour, this year with guests Eva Eastwood and the X-Mas Horns.

In the spring the band releases their 11th album ”Highways And Byways”. A few months later founding member and saxophone player Micke Finell decides to bid the road farewell, and The Refreshments are trimmed down to a quartet in the process. The Chuck Berry tribute ”Let It Rock” is recorded in the legendary Sun Studios in 2013, before the band tries to put some rock and roll into the Eurovision Song Contest with the song ”Hallelujah” from their 12th album ”Wow Factor”, released in 2014.

In May 2016 The Refreshments are back on the scene with their 13th album “Straight Up”, and shortly thereafter pianist Johan Blohm’s boogie-woogie masterpiece ”JB’s Boogie” is passing a staggering 12 million views on YouTube.

Which brings us up to date with “Very Best Of The Refreshments” and 21 irresistible highlights from an amazing career in both rock and roll. The road goes on. Stay tuned. Stay refreshed.


Eva Eastwood


Eva Eastwood ”Candy”

Sveriges rockabillydrottning Eva Eastwood firar 20 år som skivartist med tolfte studioalbumet ”Candy”, en fullmatad godispåse med nyskrivna hits för alla som älskar musiken från sent 50-tal och tidigt 60-tal. Hennes två decennier långa karriär har inte bara gjort henne till en av Sveriges mest älskade artister i den här genren – även internationellt är hon ett synnerligen respekterat namn, vilket inte minst tre framträdanden som huvudattraktion på den ledande engelska rockabillyfestivalen i Hemsby kan bekräfta.

Titelspåret och förstasingeln ”Candy” har redan visat att Evas låtskrivarinspiration är fortsatt på topp. Som en modern tidsmaskin fångar hon med självklar fingertoppskänsla de ljuvliga melodier och det opretentiösa sväng som strömmade ur den första rock’n’roll-generationens radioapparater och jukeboxar.

Men – och det bör kanske påpekas än en gång – det handlar alltså inte om hittills okända covers av rockklassiker med Brenda Lee, Etta James eller Ruth Brown: ”Candy” är bara ytterligare ett bevis på Evas förmåga att skriva ny musik som låter som om kalendern snurrat tillbaka till 1960. ”Buzz”, ”Is My Baby Happy Now” och ”Old School” är bara några exempel.

Evas band The Major Keys backar som vanligt upp med sparsmakade insatser som svänger och glimrar till när det behövs. Kärnan i bandet består av Chris Bergström på gitarr, Jan Östlund på bas och Adam Östlund på trummor, med inhopp av pianisterna Jonaz Wilson Stoltz och David Nordlund samt saxofonisten Stefan Månsson.

Tillsammans fångar de lyhört upp låtarnas karaktär på ett sätt som får en att vilja glömma allt som har med social distansering att göra och bara dansa. Men till dess får vi nöja oss med att njuta av ett sväng som kan göra vem som helst sockerberoende.

Eva Eastwoods liv i repris – detta har hänt:

I slutet av 90-talet får den amerikanske producenten Bob Johnston – mannen bakom legendariska 60-talsalbum som ”Highway 61 Revisited”, ”Blonde On Blonde” och ”Nashville Skyline” med Bob Dylan, ”Sounds Of Silence” och ”Bookends” med Simon & Garfunkel och ”At Folsom Prison” med Johnny Cash - höra en demo med Evas låtar. Han tycker att låtarna håller världsklass och kontaktar Eva samtidigt som ett amerikanskt skivbolag erbjuder henne ett kontrakt på flera album. Men kontraktet innebär att Eva måste flytta till USA och därför tackar hon till slut nej till det smickrande erbjudandet.

Eva debuterar istället som rockabillysångerska i Sverige år 2000 och blir via fyra hårdsvängande album med gruppen The Major Keys en favoritartist hos den svårflörtade svenska retropubliken.

Med första svenska albumet ”En ny stil i stan” lyckas Eva som ingen annan återuppliva känslan av sent svenskt 50-tal, som om ljudet av en Siw Malmqvist-LP från 1959 plötsligt hade börjat strömma ut ur transistorradion.
När hon sommaren 2005 framför ”Vårt liv i repris” i tv-programmet ”Allsång på Skansen” blir hon även ett namn för den breda hemmapubliken.

Eva byter stil och går från rockabilly till svensk schlager-retro till tung modern countryblues på albumet ”Ton Of Heart” 2006, som följs av ”Well, Well, Well” 2008 och ”The Beat Goes On” 2009. De tre albumen med engelska texter visar inte bara upp Evas mångsidiga låtskrivarförmåga, dessutom säljer de ovanligt bra i en tid när skivförsäljningen hade börjat dala. ”Well, Well, Well” rusar t ex rakt upp på den svenska försäljningslistans andraplats.

Eva tilldelas hemstaden Örebros musikpris Millencolin Music Prize.

Eva längtar tillbaka till känslan av svenskt 50-tal med folkparker och raggarbilar. Albumet ”Lyckost” går in på försäljningslistans andraplats och är rena Twistpåsen för alla som är svaga för svensk retropop med nylonskjortor, vippande prickiga kjolar och tidig rock’n’roll. Och än en gång gör hon succé med sin speciella stil i ”Allsång på Skansen”.

Samma år gör Sveriges rock’n’roll-legend Jerry Williams comeback med ”Alright”, första nya albumet på nio år. Eva bidrar med en av plattans mest spelade hits, ”Cancel The Wedding”. ”Jag är verkligen stolt över att en legend som Jerry valde en av mina låtar”, säger Eva.

Nya svenska plattan ”Åh, vilken skiva” går även den in som tvåa på försäljningslistan, blir nominerad till en Grammis och görs dessutom i engelska systerversionen ”Oh, What A Party”. Eva väljs in i Rockabilly Hall Of Fame i Jackson, Tennessee, i USA.

Eva och de svenska doo wop-veteranerna The Boppers har stött på varandra mycket ute på livescenen och bestämmer sig för att göra något tillsammans. Resultatet blir en fin version av Evas ”They Never Know”.

Efter fyra års uppehåll har Eva samlat på sig ett starkt startfält med låtar och vässat sin rockabillyattityd. ”Min melodi” kommer ut ungefär samtidigt som Eva ger sig ut på vägarna med The Major Keys.

2017 kommer ”Eva en lyckost”, filmen om Evas dramatiska liv och karriär producerad av Matz Eklund. Samma år ger hon ut samlingsskivan ”Det bästa med Eva Eastwood”. Och 2020 firar hon 20 år som skivartist med tolfte albumet ”Candy”.  

Biography English

Eva Eastwood ”Candy”

Swedish rockabilly queen Eva Eastwood celebrates 20 years as a recording artist with her 12th studio album “Candy”, a bag of self-penned sweets for everyone who loves the music of the late 50´s and early 60´s.

Two decades of inspired songwriting, recording and touring hasn’t just made her one of Sweden’s most beloved artists in this genre – three headlining performances at England’s biggest rockabilly festival Hemsby proves that she’s also made a strong mark on the international market for rootsy rock’n’roll.

The title track and first single ”Candy” has already indicated that Eva’s on top of her songwriting game. Song after song takes you on an amazing travel back in time to the lovely melodies and infectious groove that poured out of the first rock’n’roll generation’s transistor radios and jukeboxes. So convincing is her ability to zoom back to the songwriting atmosphere of those legendary days that you’d be forgiven for thinking that “Candy” might be a collection of cover versions of classic tunes by Brenda Lee, Etta James or Ruth Brown. But it’s just another example of 1960. Dive deep into ”Buzz”, ”Is My Baby Happy Now” or ”Old School” for proof in the matter.

Eva’s band The Major Keys – consisting of Chris Bergström (guitar), Jan Östlund (bass) and Adam Östlund (drums) - backs her up with their usual groove and sense of economy, occasionally helped out by pianists Jonaz Wilson Stoltz and David Nordlund as well as Stefan Månsson on saxophone.

Together they put a groove to Eva’s catchy songs that makes you want to forget everything about social distancing and just get out there on the dancefloor. But for now, we’ll have to do with a collection of songs so sweet that it can make even a dentist addicted to sugar.

Here’s some brief info on what she’s been up to so far:

At the end of the 90’s American producer Bob Johnston - the man behind legendary 60’s albums like Bob Dylan’s ”Highway 61 Revisited”, ”Blonde On Blonde” and ”Nashville Skyline”, Simon & Garfunkel’s ”Sounds Of Silence” and ”Bookends” and Johnny Cash’s ”At Folsom Prison” – hears a demo with Eva’s songs, and is so impressed that he contacts her for a possible cooperation. At the same time Eva is offered a record contract with an American label, but since the deal means that she has to move to the US she ultimately declines the flattering offer.

Eva Eastwood and her band The Major Keys instead takes Scandinavia by storm with their true rockabilly sound with their debut album in 2000. After three albums with rockabilly and English lyrics, Eva releases “En ny stil i stan” which sounds so much like a Swedish version of a Connie Francis album from 1959 that people actually think its leftover songs from old Siw Malmqvist recordings.

In the summer of 2005, she performed the song ”Vårt liv i repris” at the ”Allsång på Skansen” tv show, and instantly the rest of Sweden suddenly discovered what every 50’s loving hot-rodder in the country already knew.

2006-2009: After five albums as the goddess for lovers of 50’s inspired rockabilly, Eva takes a giant leap into the modern age. In 2006 ”Ton Of Heart” is her first album with contemporary sounding recordings: 14 self-penned songs in various styles, but with a charming country undertone. It’s soon followed by "Well, Well, Well" (2008) and "The Beat Goes On" (2009) – charting at #2 and #6 respectively, in a time when record sales has started declining.

2010: Eva Eastwood is awarded the Millencolin Music Price Award in her hometown Örebro.

2011: “Lyckost” is a return to the Connie Francis/rockabilly sounds of “En ny stil i stan” and enters the Swedish charts at #2 in 2011. Eva follows that with a performance on Sweden’s mega popular sing-a-long tv show “Allsång på Skansen”.

2012: “Oh What A Party” is yet another Swedish chart success, once again entering at #2. In May she performs at England’s biggest rockabilly event, The Hemsby Festival. In August she will be inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in Jackson, Tennessee.

In 2017 Matz Eklund’s film about Eva’s dramatic life - ”Eva en lyckost” is released, coinciding with a greatest hits collection. And in 2020 she celebrates 20 years as a recording artist with her 12th studio album, ”Candy”.


Johan JB Blohm


Johan Blohm was considered one of Sweden’s best-kept secrets for many years, but thanks to a sensational YouTube clip The Refreshments boogie rolling pianist has been able to show the world what a keyboard master he is.

The film clip in question shows Johan roaring through his signature solo number ”JB’s Boogie” in less than two minutes during a break in a Refreshments show. For the ever so cool Johan Blohm it’s just another day at work, but an astonishing 6,5 million views (and counting) proves that stunned boogie-woogie lovers all over the world has started to spread the news.

One day Johan had an enthusiastic American voice in the phone, for example. It turned out to be the legendary producer and sound engineer Bruce Swedien, who had engineered all Michael Jackson’s solo album between 1978 and 2001, co-produced the world’s best selling album ”Thriller” as well as producing jazz and rock giants like Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Diana Ross, Barbara Streisand, Paul McCartney, and Mick Jagger.

Swedien invited Johan to his Florida home to get a first-hand glimpse of his piano technique. Following The Refreshment’s American debut at the SXSW festival in Austin 2011, Johan went to Florida where they made some demo recordings and discussed the possibilities of a future cooperation.

Rock’n’roll and country
It’s no exaggeration to say that Johan Blohm quite comfortably has taken the position as Sweden’s Jerry Lee Lewis, especially if ”The Killer’s” classic country style from the 60´s and 70’s is your thing. He was groomed in old school rock’n’roll and country from the beginning, growing up with the sound of his dad’s favourite artists: Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Charlie Rich and so on.

When he was seven the family got an old upright piano from a relative. Soon Johan had found the melody to ”Green Green Grass Of Home” with his right hand – and there was no turning back from there. Since then he has mixed rock’n’roll, country and boogie-woogie into a musical style characterized by a hard driving groove that he somehow manages to sound completely effortless.

Considering that Johan grew up in Sweden during the 70’s, he is about as much rock’n’roll as it gets. He has played together with legends like D.J. Fontana, Sleepy La Beef, Ray Sharpe, Al Ferrier and Stan Kessler. He has partied with Jerry Lee Lewis (and lived to tell). He has shown an impressed James Burton his patented boogie licks. And back home in his garage a Ford Thunderbird is parked beside a Pontiac Trans Am. JB has a ”rock’n’roll heart”. The right stuff, if you like.

His style is a contagious blend of all his musical heroes through the years - Gram Parsons, Merle Haggard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Hank Williams, Amos Milburn, Albert Ammons and so on. It’s country with a rock’n’roll attitude or the other way around. The total opposite of the contemporary country style that Tom Petty once referred to as ”bad rock with a fiddle”.

Stepping out into the spotlight
In 1999 Johan met Joakim Arnell of the The Refreshments. Upon hearing Johan play, Joakim was blown away and the boogieman soon was offered a permanent position in the band. On The Refreshments’ records he soon carved out his own niche with country tinged solo numbers, specially written for him by the band’s chief songwriter Joakim Arnell, but it wasn’t until the solo debut ”Reconsider Me” in 2005 that Johan felt mature enough musically to do his own thing.

Songs like Joe South’s ”Rose Garden” (which Lynn Anderson in the early 70’s made into one of the world’s biggest radio hits), Dorsey Burnette’s ”As Long As I Live”, Willie Nelson’s ”Mr. Record Man”, Rockpile’s ”As Lovers Do” och Harlan Howard’s “Sunday Morning Christian” presented Johan Blohm as an old school country singer with a classic rock’n’roll heart. But it was the intense album closer ”JB’s Boogie” that would steal most of the attention.

Tasteful choice of songs
“Reborn Man” once again serves a tasteful blend of classic songs from the 50’s and onwards. Songwriter Rick Klang delivered ”Good News Travels Fast” to The Refreshments album ”On The Rocks” a couple of years ago. The band had heard the song on an 80’s recording by Jerry Lee Lewis, and Rick Klang was so delighted by the Swedish band’s version that he immediately offered them more songs. The initial kick-start ”Hot Mess” was one of them.

Next is a song by one of Johan’s absolute favourites, Charlie Rich. He recorded ”There Won’t Be Anymore” in 1965, but the track wasn’t released until 1973 when it immediately became a #1 song on the American country charts. And then there’s Moon Mullican with the oldest song on the album, the rockabilly-boppin’ ”Big Big City” from 1958.

Carl Mann is most known for ”Mona Lisa”, but his ”If I Could Change You” from 1961 is also a gem, made evident by Johan’s inspired version. ”Little Ol’ Wine Drinker Me” is another cool classic that Dean Martin took the charts with a wry smile back in 1967.

Randy Chaffer’s "She's Not Really Cheatin' (She's Just Gettin' Even)" is also familiar for country lovers with an eye on the 70’s outlaw scene, being a hit for Moe Bandy in 1982.

But a major part of the songs are actually written now. Joakim Arnell has once again managed to dial in a creative flow with the time zone set somewhere around those sounds from the 60’s and 70’s, where Johan feels most at home. Songs like the hard rocking title track, the melancholy ”Cold Day Light” and the persistent foot stomper ”Paradise Coast” complements the classics just as good as Eva Eastwood’s soulful duet ”Wherever I Turn”.

The album climaxes with two smoking bonus tracks. Jackie Brenston’s original roots-rocker ”Rocket 88” – recorded in the Sun studio in Memphis and regarded by many as the world’s first rock’n’roll song – is a take from the actual Sun studio, where The Refreshments earlier this year recorded their Chuck Berry tribute “Let It Rock” in the most famous rock’n’roll recording studio on the planet. Johan’s own piano showcase ”Bada Bing Boogie” is a new awesome piece of improvisation for all the millions that has enjoyed his skills on YouTube.

A few really good friends and musicians has made great contributions along the way: Joakim Arnell (bass, acoustic guitar and backing vocals), Göran Holmberg (bass), Mats Forsberg (drums), Jonas Göransson, Ulf Holmberg and Robin Olsson (guitars), Eva Eastwood and Linda Gail Lewis (backing vocals) and JT Holmström (saxophone).

But in the midst of it all, we’ll find a quiet and humble pianist who once again let the fingers do the talking. If you haven’t discovered Johan Blohm yet, it’s about time to do it now.




Brolle’s been on the Swedish music map since he was discovered in the TV show “Pop stars” in 2001, followed by his subsequent gold awarded debut album “Rebellious Heart”. Since then he’s carved out a wide-ranging career mixing musicals, TV shows, and albums with both contemporary rock and the beloved 50’s flavoured rockabilly that his voice seems tailor made for.

His vocal and acting talents quickly gave him offers to do special theme shows, tours, and musicals like Footloose and Buddy Holly – the latter drawing an audience of over 170 000, watching Brolle headline as Buddy Holly himself.

Touring Sweden, he discovered that a lot of the classic countryside venues – the so called “folk parks” – that he grew up with in his native Boden way up in the Swedish north, sadly had been abandoned and neglected in recent years.

The antidote was ”Rock 'n roll on tour” - a musical crusade with guest artists like Mikael Rickfors, The Boppers, Linda Gail Lewis and many more. For five years in a row they have entered towns in vintage pink Cadillacs, and revived 25 of the country’s folk parks by bringing in milkshakes, chocolate wheels and rock’n’roll, drawing audiences in numbers not seen in 20+ years.

And just to prove that his rock’n’roll heart beats a little harder than most, the autumn of 2017 Brolle took on the task to tell the story of not only one, but three rock’n’roll icons – Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis - in one show. Headlining the sold out success “Elvis, Cash, The Killer & Me” at Göta Lejon in Stockholm, the show is set up for more sold out houses during the spring.

But before that he’s releasing his first Christmas song, “I’m Coming Home This Christmas”, a song that tips its hat to classic Christmas songs, while not shying away from some of the season’s darker sides; a seasonal greeting from a rocker that keeps exploring his role on stage.


Marina Gisela & Amber Band


High-flying debut album from Marina Gisela & the Amber Band. - Engelsk release

”Fly Away” is ready for take-off

When you hear Marina Gisela Uppgren sing, you’d be forgiven for thinking “Tennessee” rather than “southern Sweden” - which many country fans discovered already when the dazzling singer first made a name with her former group Cheatin’ Hearts. Having taken a break from music for several years, she now returns to the stage with tight new unit the Amber Band, making brilliant classic country music on their spectacular debut album ”Fly Away”.

”Fly Away” presents eleven original songs, effectively proving that Marina’s songwriting capacity certainly got a boost by the break. Backing her up is the tight Amber Band – consisting of top country picker Johan Ek (guitar), Jonas Bylund (bass), Anders Levén (drums), and Sophia Björk (backing vocals and guitar), with guest appearances by Magnus Edring on dobro and banjo.

The opening track and first single ”Comfort Zone” leads the way with an infectious groove and the kind of twang you rarely hear on this side of the Atlantic. ”Someone said that we come off like a cross between Fleetwood Mac and Dolly Parton. I’m thinking ’outlaw’ myself, but I’m not sure if that’s right. I guess we’re just trying to do our own thing”, Marina says with a smile.

Elvis and Buck
Marina grew up with music as a natural part of her childhood. ”I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember, with Elvis and Buck Owens being a major part of the soundtrack back home – it was a mix of country and rock’n’roll. And as soon as I was old enough to dig further into the music I loved, I discovered future favourites like Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Tanya Tucker, Tammy Wynette, and of course Dolly Parton”.

Having won a couple of talent shows and performed at country festivals, Marina became a founding member of the group Cheatin’ Hearts, with the ambition to breathe new life into traditional honky-tonk country. The band’s self-titled debut album was released in 2005 to glowing reviews both in Sweden and internationally. Marina became a mother at the same time, and after a couple of years of combining motherhood with touring decided to take a break from music – a break that would last until A&R manager Hans Larsson at Darrow in the autumn of 2019 called her up, wondering if it wasn’t about time to pick up her career again. Marina realized it was.

Inspired songwriting
In a flurry of inspiration, she started writing a steady stream of songs during the autumn and winter, while forming the Amber Band and trying out the new material. ”It’s like we have this great telepathy”, she says. “If I write a song, they instinctively seem to know where I’m going, and just nail it. I immediately felt that we were on the same wavelength, and I just love that”.

Having gotten the songs together, Marina and the Amber Band went to producer Fredric Björegren in the Strawberry studio, where they recorded 13 songs in just four days (eleven of which ended up on ”Fly Away”, while two were put away for future use).

Can’t wait to perform live
”They really are super musicians”, Marina says about her Amber Band. ”You can tell that they have a background in different musical styles in bands like Cheatin’ Hearts, Lone Sharks, Daffodils, Jake & The Spitfires and The Trampolines. And I think it’s that mix that makes the music come alive. I can’t wait to get up on stage and meet an audience with them”.

”Fly Away” is ready to take Marina Gisela & the Amber Band as well as Swedish country music to new heights. Just sit down, relax and fasten your seat belt.

Marina Gisela & Amber Band Fly Away  - Svensk release

Glimrande debutalbum från
Marina Gisela & Amber Band

”Fly Away” ger svensk country ett lyft

Att Marina Gisela Uppgren sjunger och skriver låtar som får en att tänka på Tennessee snarare än Vellinge i Skåne upptäckte många countryfans redan på debuten med gruppen Cheatin’ Hearts. Efter flera års paus är hon nu tillbaka med nya konstellationen Amber Band, som på albumet ”Fly Away” gör lysande nyskriven country i klassisk tappning.

”Fly Away” innehåller elva övertygande bevis på att Marinas låtskrivarkapacitet tycks ha blommat ut under pausen. Öppningsspåret och förstasingeln ”Comfort Zone” visar vägen med ett lättflytande sväng och ett virtuost twang som är sällsynt på den här sidan Atlanten. ”Någon sa att vi låter som om ett möte mellan Fleetwood Mac och Dolly Parton. Själv tänker jag lite ’outlaw’, men jag vet inte om det stämmer. Vi gör vår egen grej”, skrattar Marina.

”Vi” är förutom Marina hennes täta och stilsäkra Amber Band - bestående av briljante countrypickern Johan Ek på gitarr, rytmsektionen Jonas Bylund (bas) och Anders Levén (trummor) samt Sophia Björk på stämsång och gitarr. Och där det behövs fyller gästande Magnus Edring i med dobro och banjo som kompletterar helheten.

Elvis och Buck
Marina växte upp med sång och musik som en naturlig del i hemmet. ”Jag har sjungit så länge jag kan minnas och hemma var det mycket Elvis och Buck Owens – en blandning av country och rock’n’roll. Men så snart jag var tillräckligt gammal för att gräva mig bakåt efter mer musik upptäckte jag husgudar som Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Tanya Tucker, Tammy Wynette och förstås Dolly Parton”.

Efter att ha vunnit några talangtävlingar och börjat uppträda på countryfestivaler var Marina i början av 00-talet med om att bilda Cheatin’ Hearts med ambitionen att väcka nytt liv i traditionell honky tonk-country. Bandets självbetitlade debutalbum fick lysande recensioner både i Sverige och internationellt vid releasen 2005, och som nybliven mamma turnerade Marina i några år Sverige runt innan hon beslöt sig för att ta en paus från musiken – en paus som skulle vara ända tills Hans Larsson på skivbolaget Darrow hösten 2019 tog kontakt och undrade om det inte var dags att ta en plats bakom mikrofonen igen.

Inspirerat låtskrivande
Resultatet blev en kick av inspiration som gjorde att Marina började skriva en strid ström av låtar under hösten och vintern. Samtidigt tog Amber Band form och började repa Marinas nya låtar. ”Det är en fenomenal telepati med det här bandet som jag verkligen älskar”, säger hon. ”Om jag skriver en låt så är det som om de instinktivt vet vad det är jag vill åt – och så fångar de det perfekt. Det kändes direkt att vi tänker likadant”.

Samtrimmade åkte Marina och Amber Band i somras upp till producenten Fredric Björegren i Strawberry-studion i Töreboda, där de på bara fyra dagar satte 13 låtar (varav elva hamnade på ”Fly Away” medan två sattes på vänt).

Längtar efter att spela
”De är verkligen supermusiker”, säger Marina om sitt Amber Band. ”Det märks att de har en bakgrund i olika musikstilar via band som Cheatin’ Hearts, Lone Sharks, Daffodils, Jake & The Spitfires och Trampolines, för det blir precis den där blandningen som gör att musiken lever. Jag kan inte vänta på att gå upp på scen och få möta en publik med de här låtarna och det här bandet”.

”Fly Away” kommer med all sannolikhet att räknas som ett lyft för såväl Marina Gisela & Amber Band som svensk country. Bara att ta plats och spänna fast säkerhetsbältena.

Anders Barsk


Anders Barsk – singer-songwriter från Årsta, Stockholm – har förverkligat del 1 av sitt stora musikprojekt – ”Sånger Om Livet”. Det är ett gigantiskt projekt Anders har åtagit sig, vilket skall resultera i tre fullödiga album på lika många år.
Första albumet, med den träffande titeln ”Vakuumgatan”, handlar om skilsmässa och dess konsekvenser, känslor och de förändringar den ger upphov till. Samt hur man kommer igenom den. Och vinner ny styrka.
Självupplevt? Absolut.
Lyssningsvärt? Definitivt.
Spännande? Avgjort.
Anders har samlat ihop några av Sveriges bästa och mest legendariska musikanter till det här albumet, som alla har bidragit med sitt kunnande och sina känslor.
Det tog drygt ett år av inspelningar för att få den här första delen klar, och det har varit en känslosam, mödosam men ändå underbar resa. Jag hoppas att det här albumet kan sätta färg på känslor och kanske ge en hel del lyssnare ny energi i tillvaron, säger Anders.
Eller för att för att citera en låttitlarna; ”Det här skall bli en bra dag”.
Albumet ”Vakuumgatan släpps 15 januari 2021 och är producerat av Ulf Hedin.
Vi kommer att höra mycket Anders Barsk under 2021.

Mer info www.andersbarsk.se,  www.facebook.com/barskanders/ 
För intervjutider och kontakt, Peter PJ Jägerhiut, 08/511 735 45, pj@pjp.se.