The unofficial history of CountrySide

       I don’t know if I took on a job that was too difficult, but I’m going to try to remember (of course I hope comments from stakeholders if / when I remember things wrong) CountrySide's journey since it´s start.

       And the story begins. CountrySide got it start in the summer of 1991 from the Bar called Kujanen, there was a vague group of "musicians". The author was just put a band called Gearbox on the dock and there was something new in the search.

      After playing the troubadour gigs for a while, I found an old friend Pekka Jaakkola and found that we have one same idol, Neil Young.The natural consequence of this was that we began to play his songs. At some point, then, it flashed that we could /do a couple of gigs, so we really started training songs, Young, Dylan, John Prine, J.J.Cale, CCR and also my own songs.

      Well, next stage was of course, we needed a name for our duo, we desided, both of us write down 10 names and choose the best of them, Pekka had a CountrySide, i said, that´s it. 

       Then we started touring, made two - three gigs a week. Somewhere -92 an old Gearbox guitarist Ykä Ella joined the band and with this line up we go until spring -93 managed by Gunnar. April we made 2 week tour in Lapland, after that Doobie Twisters drummer Ari Pensomaa joined to CountrySide. 

       Then guitarist changed, Hande Soini from Bullfrogs joined and Ykä continued his journey elsewhere.  

        Soon A.P. Rakkolainen also from Bullfrogs joined with his banjo and harmony singing. About same time we got our first bassplayer, Tomppa Mykkänen took over that post.

       Hard training and harder work touring, and then Estonia, Tallinn, Harkujärvi and Midsummer festival HarkuCountry-93.

       It was therefore June 24, 1993, when a group of rams planned to take the joyous message of country music abroad, again with a slightly changed line-up.

      Tomppa did the trick of disappearing and with quick alert we got Tero Kaario to play bass.

      When we arrived in Tallinn, we seldom stayed at Hotel Viru, quite a bit after a raucous evening we set off in a hangover towards Harkujärvi and outdoor gig.

       There waited a big great stage with the finished PA and lights, it was soundcheck time. The party started with a couple of local bands, there were definitely more than a thousand people, the atmosphere was downright rowdy until.......

        .......quite a devastating thunderstorm, luckily it only lasted about an hour, but CountrySide’s gig moved on to something an hour and a half later and the end result was that our drummer Penso had time to get dead drunk so he could not play !!!!!

      The situation looked quite catastrophic but the rescue came from the Norwegian G Thomas band, we borrowed their drummer to take care of Penso 's place and after all, it worked beyond expectations, the audience digged and everyone had fun again.

       In the evening, there was a jamsessions in place called Daltons there was precent almost everyone who played the afternoon sessions, it was absolutely brilliant jams, the only downside was that the next day was the main concert in Tallinn 's "Finlandia house" called Linna Hall, the jams stretched far in to the night with lots of drinks, so next morning is going to be a littlebit tricky.

                            To be continued on page 2