Goodbye 2019! 

The year went by quicker than any other I can remember! GB Leighton played a lot all over the place, but the show that really sticks out for me was the one we did at the The Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge on December 13. Playing live is always about the unknown. You don’t know what it’s gonna be like until you’re in the middle of it. I like the element of chance. Our fans surprised us by making the show a sold out success! Michelle made it special by making sure there was free cool stuff for the people who bought advance tickets. For a moment or two, I felt like the music was playing itself and I was just along for the ride. I live for moments like that. Thank you! We also survived The Eelpout Festival in Leech Lake. Lesser people may have died from exposure, but I guess we are made of stronger stuff! 

We also released the new album, 2nd Chance! Thanks to Michelle for organizing the whole thing! Many of the songs have become fan favorites and staples in our set lists. Brian brought me top shelf songs to produce, making my job a pleasure. Big thanks to all the fans who stepped up and contributed, meeting our fundraising goal in just over 24 hours! We are working on a new batch of songs right now that we hope to share with you sooner than later! 

2019 was also a year of worry. Worry about the future of the country we reside in. Worry about the country I was born in. Worry about our ability to see things clearly. Worry that some of us have grown into believing that facts are no longer facts. That facts are just opinions among many others. Worry that we are getting used to something that was unthinkable just a few years ago. Worry that we’ve forgotten that we were all immigrants at one point, just wanting to make a better life for our families. Why would we want a president that we wouldn’t be want as a neighbor, boss or coworker? The way the GOP is standing by him is no mystery. They are getting ready for something and it has nothing to do with anything that resembles democracy. 2020 will be a very important year for all of us. 

As a family, Michelle, Elliott and I had a year that brought a lot of media attention. Elliott had the opportunity to go to New York and Los Angeles because of it, and KARE 11 and The Star Tribune ran stories on our unique situation. At 11 years old, Elliott started attending the U of M as a junior and he loves it there. Some well meaning people worry about him missing out on his childhood, but he also has a life outside of school that is very much that of an 11 year old boy! 

He reminds me so much of my dad; Brilliant, curious and very kind. He lets Michelle and I know what he’s interested in and we do our best to accommodate him. We are very lucky to have some flexibility in our work to make that possible! 

I love what I do for a living, but it can be hard work. Without the support of family, it would be all but impossible to pull off. A lot of you know Michelle really well by now! She makes it all happen. She has worked in just about any capacity for GB Leighton and just started running sound a bit outside of the GB orbit! She’s a master at getting things done while Elliott and I often end up with our heads in the clouds. I love you, Sweetest! 

Lisbeth Andersson at Sharkfin Sweden AB picks makes sure that I always have the best. Had somebody told me when I was a kid that one day I’d be endorsed by them, I think I would have fainted! I keep running into other guitar players out there and more often than not they are blown away by the durability and versatility of Sharkfins. I’ve used them for 42 years and anything else is just not gonna cut it. Come talk to me after any show and I’ll be happy to show you how great they are! 

Electro-Voice/ Michael Doucot is a local Minnesota company and I always bring their powered speakers along for the many acoustic shows I do every year. They are clear, powerful and durable. Thank you for your continued support! 

Jeri Hart makes me look good at every show with the custom guitar straps she makes for me. Each one a work of art. I like to say that if you can dream it, Jeri can make it! 

What good is a guitar without quality strings on it? Ernie Ball makes the best there is. I go through hundreds of sets a year and they never let me down. They also make my favorite volume and delay pedals (the VP JR and the Ambient Delay) and they’ll never leave my pedalboard! 

I also had the pleasure of recording some incredible artists here at Studio Bredsound. I recorded Ali Gray's second Christmas album in April and we borrowed Elliott’s fake Christmas tree for the studio to set the mood! It worked! Another highlight was the ongoing recording with ChrisTina Schlieske. After 34 years we are still exploring and finding new ways to write, play and record. 

I hope that 2020 will be a good year for you, your loved ones and for this great country we call home! Happy new year! 



Goodbye 2018! 

What was 2018 really all about? It went by in a flash. I look through my calendar and I can see that GB Leighton played a lot, all over the place. Everywhere we went we met wonderful people who made us feel welcome. Scott Wenum departed, but we got Ryan Inselman back and the feeling in the band is really great. We all seem to be on the same page, pulling in the same direction. To be in a band that’s firing on all cylinders feels wonderful. 

2018 was certainly the year where we finally finished the new GB Leighton album “2nd Chance”! It’s been a long time coming, but I feel that it’s really special. Brian wrote all the songs on it by himself and it’s his most personal collection of songs to date. I’m very proud of him. Brian and I produced the album together and didn’t let it go until he felt that all the songs were saying all they had to say. 

Releasing new music can be a challenge for anyone these days, but thanks to our fans, the new album will see the light of day! My wife Michelle mounted a very ambitious Kickstarter campaign, and we met our target in twenty-four hours! GB Leighton fans are in a league of their own, and I’m blown away by their dedication and love for the band. I’ve never seen anything like it. Thank you! 

Some people think that putting new strings on a guitar is a pain in the ass, but I’m not one of them. It gives me time to think about what I do for a living. I’m a lucky guy! Ernie Ball strings has been there for me for the last several years, providing me with the best strings, guitar care products, volume pedals and more. If it’s good enough for Keith Richards, it’s certainly good enough for me! 

Sharkfin Sweden AB picks in Sweden are kind enough to send me the best picks in the world. I keep handing them out to other guitar players on the road. Once you’ve tried them, there is no going back. They are three picks in one, and if you switch between picking and finger picking during the same song, they’re invaluable. Thank you, Sharkfin! 

Do you know Jeri Hart? She is the amazing artist that makes my guitar straps. Peerless quality and designs that are as intricate as you can imagine. I’ve said it before: If you can dream it, Jeri Hart can make it! 

Looking to the future, I have a really good feeling about the New Year. It’s in the air! Politically, 2018 had a darkness to it that weighed heavily on many of us. Who are we as a people? At one point or another, we all came here because where we came from was no longer enough. We came to escape potato famines and oppressive kings and queens. In my case, I just wanted to live in the birthplace of jazz, blues, country, bluegrass and rock & roll. Singing in English in Sweden in the mid eighties was a nonstarter, so I left. It was well worth it to give up financial stability, five weeks of vacation per year and a pension. I don’t think anyone moves to America to bleed the system dry. My first job in America was working the graveyard shift at a gas station Monday through Friday. It was a job that no one wanted, but I did. I have never been between jobs since. I guess the only question that really matters is; Are we, or are we not our brother’s keeper? Do we, or do we not have a collective responsibility toward one another? Should we, or should we not empathize with people who literally have nothing? 

I don’t think that the threat to our way of life and standard of living is coming from South America. It’s coming from politicians who take money from enormous corporate entities where the main objective is to maintain a status quo. Real change will not be possible as long as pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, seed and pesticide companies control Washington. Their only objective is to control the poison as well as the cure, and they will spend whatever it takes to do so. This is not a time to squabble amongst ourselves. This is the time to hold our representatives in Washington accountable. The corruption is hiding in plain sight. 

In my personal life, I’ve been blessed. When I was younger, there was no sacrifice too big to get me to where I was going in music. I put it all on the altar of rock & roll. I had it in my mind that the only way I was going to achieve any degree of happiness was if I reached the toppermost of the poppermost. It took me many years to get out of my own way. I hurt some people along the way, and I deeply regret it. God didn’t give up on me. I got another chance at having a family; the only thing that really matters. Michelle and I have been together for almost twenty-one years. Ten years ago our son Elliott was born. These have been the best years of my life, and I thank God every night for giving me another chance. I love playing rock & roll in front of people, but the best part is knowing that I get to go home after the show. Home to my family. Thank you, Michelle and Elliott. 

If you are reading this, I wish you all the happiness in the year ahead. If we work together, are kind to one another and realize that deep down, we are all the same, everything will work out. That’s why we are here. 

Much love,


Thank you GB Leighton Fans! 

Our 2018 trip to Mazatlan, Mexico was a huge sucess thanks to you all! A huge thanks to Norma Cisneros of El Cid for making our stay so amazing. We had over 100 fans fly Sun Country Airlines with us. We had a meet and greet sunset cruise, played three amazing shows, and got to spend lots of time with you in the sun. We also were able to do something truly special, to give back to the Mazatlan community. We were put in touch with a girls orphanage and boys orphanage to see how we could help. We put out a list of items to those heading down with us and within 24 hours all of it and more was being donated and brought down from our fans and band members. Not only that, we had over $1200 in donations from our amazing fans that Brian was able to present to the orphanage. We are beyond blown away by the love and generosity our GB Leighton family. Thank you for making this trip so amazing and memorable. 

Should we do it in 2019 too?! Drop us a message and let us know if you would be interested!


Goodbye 2017! 

What a year! It’s been three years now since I joined GB Leighton. We took our fans with us to Mexico and played all over the Midwest to great crowds. I’ve probably said this before, but the fans of GB Leighton are special. It’s a very large extended family where we know quite a bit about each other. It’s a community where we share in all that life can be. It makes us stronger. 

We got stuck in a hailstorm while playing on a barge on the Mississippi river and got pooped on by birds in Wayzata, MN, but as a general rule, the band plays on! 



It takes a real team effort to keep us going from one show to the rest and I can’t think highly enough of the guys I get to play with. At the end of the day, it’s all about the songs. We play a lot of shows, and if Brian’s songs weren’t as strong as they are, it would probably get old really quick. I’m lucky to be in a place where I get to play them and do my part to get them across every night. It’s a gift. Thank you, Brian! 



I’ve had some amazing people come through Studio Bredsound this year. My collaboration with Tina Schlieske has been really special. We’ve been making music together off and on since 1984 and we can still come up with new ways of doing things. Brian has been busy writing and recording here too and it shouldn’t be long before have something new for the fans to hear! His new songs are some of my very favorite ones of his. 



As a musician and producer, 2017 has been a great year, and I am grateful to all the people that make it happen for me. I really don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t get my Sharkfin picks. I’ve used them for 40 years now and I try to turn other guitar players on to them wherever I go. Thank you for sending them to me all the way from Sweden! Check out their website and this this video I made on how I use them!



Jeri Designs make my awesome guitar straps. They are handmade works of art that I get to wear every night I play a show. If they are good enough for Keith Richards, they are certainly good enough for me! Thank you, Jeri!



Electro-Voice was nice enough to supply me with a brand new PA for the smaller acoustic shows that we play. The best speakers that money can buy and unparalleled reliability! You rock!



Ernie Ball, how I love thee! I have no idea how many sets of strings that I go through in a year on stage and in the studio, but several hundred sounds about right! I remember seeing their ads when I was just a kid and how cool they were. It’s a blessing to be part of the Ernie Ball family.  They also make the coolest delay pedal on the market; The Ambient Delay. I always use some delay when I play live, and to be able to adjust it on the fly has been a game changer for me! Check it out. 




Being born and raised in Sweden, I’ve taken a keen interest in American politics since I was nine years old, watching Richard Nixon get on that chopper, wave goodbye and leave the White House forever in disgrace. It was surreal, and 2017 was that times a thousand. I believe that if you take on the mantle of being the leader of the free world, you have an awesome responsibility. You have to lead by example. On the international stage, I think we can do much better than we did in the past year. As a country, we are squarely in the mix internationally and I believe our survival depends on us realizing that. Making America an island is not the way forward. Closer to home, I think that over the years, perhaps we have come to believe that democracy is some kind of perennial flower that takes care of itself without being tended to. Some very dark political forces have taken advantage of that kind of thinking and they are working to dismantle it. Pitting people against each other and speaking of “alternative facts” is proof of that. Now is the time to speak out against it. They are banking on our collective silence to see their agenda through. After having lived in America for 32 years, I still love this country with all my heart, but I think we can do better. Let’s make 2018 a year of positive change! 




As a person, I feel like the luckiest man alive. I get to be a husband and a father and I know that these are the best years of my life. I’m old enough to not take that for granted. 

Family means everything to me. When I first met Michelle I saw that she was beautiful, but also that she was compassionate and kind. From the very beginning she became an integral part of the many things I do as a musician. She has designed album covers, booked and promoted shows, lined up accommodations and lifted tons of road cases. If you are reading this on you can see her beautiful photography and website design as well. She has an ability to reinvent herself that simply amazes me. 

We knew early on that Elliott was gifted and that he wouldn’t get what he needed in a regular school setting. Michelle spent countless hours researching our best options for his schooling and continues to drive him to and from Normandale College four days a week. Thank you for all you do for us. I love you! 

Elliott will be ten in August and I want to hold on to every moment. Time goes by way too quickly. Jag älskar dej, min fina pojke! 



I hope that 2018 brings you nothing but joy and good health, and If I see you at a GB Leighton show, please come say hello! 

Happy New Year!