Writing on the Wall
Strummindude is the accidental solo artist. It wasn't really intended, but one day while haphazardly surfing the web, Jana Persson came across an article about something called The RPM Challenge. 'A challenge?', he thought. 'Hmm - I like challenges. Let's see what this one's about!' It turned out the challenge was actually more like a dare. There was this website - rpmchallenge.com - daring you to commit to making an album of 10 songs. In one month! Not just any month either, but the shortest of them all - February! 'Wow!' Jana thought. 'I could never do that. Then again, I never even contemplated to attempt making an album by myself. So who knows?' It was decided there and then, January 13th 2008, and the project Strummindude was born. After two weeks of preparation, Jana was off writing lyrics, doing takes, layering instruments and producing songs at a pace never before seen. And at the end of the month he was very surprised to find that he had actually made it! Strummindude had landed it's first album! 'The Sauna Tapes' was very well received by his peers at the site. And not only there. A producer at National Public Radio contacted him to ask permission to feature one of the songs on the NPR show 'Second Stage'. Jana Persson is by no means new to the music scene. He was a freelancing guitar player during most of the 80's, backing a lot of big name Scandinavian artists on stage as well as in the studio. And since the 90's he has proven himself to be an accomplished singer and songwriter as well, fronting bands such as Swedish pop act Vagabond and the country outfit Tumbleweed Trail. With the success of the previous year's challenge under his belt, Jana confidently returned to take on the 2009 RPM Challenge as well. But this time he wasn't alone, but recruited the help of some very fine musician friends, who most graciously agreed to contribute. Janne Hedlund played drums; Hasse Johnzon did electric guitars, pedal steel, dobro and bass; Roger Gustafsson played most anything he could lay his hands on; Robert Wirensjö came over one Sunday afternoon and did all of the keyboards; Micke Hujanen put some electric guitar magic on a couple of songs, and even a wayward friend in Boston by the name of Steve Gintz contributed some trumpet parts. The result was an album called 'Writing On The Wall'. It is a collection of songs with it's roots in Southern California Country Rock, but incorporates elements of 70's and 80's pop and even more contemporary beats. The instrumental performances are top notch, and the melodies are immediately ear catching.