Do you know that dream that you carry deep inside of you. The one you secretly hope one day will come true, but there are so many obstacles and you don’t know if you have the courage to take the leap?
Swedish singer/songwriter Sofia Talvik had already made herself a bit of a name in music land releasing five albums and having played festivals like Lollapalooza (the music festival in Chicago which routinely draws over 50,000 fans a day).
However she still had a dream. It was the dream of touring the United States, playing her music in every little town she could find and doing it her own way, meet her fans and audience grassroots style.
For a long time it remained like that, just a dream.
But then in 2010, when she was sick and tired of Sweden, trying to find ways to escape the humdrum of everyday life in Stockholm, she told her husband Jonas: “What I really would want to do, is to just go over to the U.S. and tour, but that’s not something you can do just like that”. And he replied with the kickass words: “Why not? Let’s do it!”
So after the necessary preparations they finally took that leap, they fulfilled their USA touring dream. In November 2011, with two months of shows booked for Sofia, both Sofia and Jonas left their life in Sweden and bought a one-way ticket to America. Starting out in Florida, they bought an old RV from ‘94 and got to work renovating it for two weeks. It became their home (and tour bus) for over a year and took them from state to state and town to town, as he kept making gig bookings and she kept playing their way through the country. They spent a year and a half from 2011 to 2013 traveling across America in an old RV, while Sofia played over 250 shows in 37 states. They named their tour “Drivin’ & Dreaming.”
Some Tour Facts
Total distance traveled during the “Drivin’ & Dreaming tour – 25274 miles.
Average MPG on the RV during the 16 month long tour – 7.6
Total cost of gas during the “Drivin’ & Dreaming” tour – $11 863
Total gallons of gas used – 3 327
Total days on the road – 433
Average miles per day – 58
Cheapest gas price on the tour – $2.80 in New Mexico
Most expensive gas price on the tour – $4.60 in Northern California
Book, Live Album, documentary and Recipes
Sofia and Jonas’ ramblings around the USA were captured in a self published Youtube travel/music documentary. It makes for a very colourful and especially musical movie series.
During the tour they met amazingly wonderful, weird and inspiring people, and they got to see and experience every corner of the US. Being a singer/songwriter artist this trip could not but inspire Sofia in her songs, life and writing.
So logically the tour culminated in the creation of a book and live CD.
Most of the 250+ shows Sofia played on the tour were recorded and they choose the best of the best to be featured on the ‘Drivin’ and Dreaming’ live album. The final product is a high-quality live album mixed and mastered from these source recordings.
They also bundled their road trip adventures in an awesome coffee table book. From the stalker that followed them from Ohio to Minnesota, the mice that decided to build a nest under the fridge, when the back tire exploded on a mountain road in Idaho – to many other stories. The book is also sprinkled with recipes that Sofia cooked in the RV.
Sofia about her cooking passion: “I did a lot of cooking in the RV. Almost every day I’d cook lunch and dinner, unless we were treated to food by the venue. However, people we met along the way always thought we ate nothing but fast food and more than once we’d be invited to their homes for dinner with the words “When was the last time you had a home cooked meal?”. As being invited for dinner is quite lovely I never once answered “Today for lunch …”.
“I’ve tried to collect a few of my favorite recipes from the road in this book, recipes that were easy to make in a small space and with few staple ingredients. All these recipes are really easy to cook at home, or if you’re planning on an outing in your motorhome anytime soon.”
Sofia is a cook to our liking as she uses her favourite staples of butter, sour cream, white and red wine (“for cooking, but why not have a glass while you’re at it”) and bacon (“bacon makes everything better”) in many of her recipes.
The book and live album were funded by Sofia’s fans through the crowdsourcing site Kickstarter.com. The goal was reached in under 24 hours from when it went live. The fans nearly tripled the goal before the project closed on August 2.
An awesome road trip, great music and some kickass recipes….. we definitely need to get our hands on all that!