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Dear Friends,

It’s day 10 of a 2 week tour in which I’m giging through the Netherlands with my drummer, Neal. I’m sitting on a train that’s taking me from one side of the country to the other in only 2.5 hours (yep, it’s quite a small country) so I can meet up with the Dutch boys and Neal for our last two shows in Drachten this weekend. I decided to spend the night in Amsterdam after the gig last night at the Jet Lounge while the boys drove straight to Drachten because for some reason my gut told me that I needed to go on a solo adventure.

It’s amazing what life can bring to you when you just roll with the punches.

Every new day I rode a bike to the local coffeehouse to sit and have a cup, smoke a spliff and attempt to read the Dutch paper (more like look at the pictures). While I share laughs with locals (the ones i can understand at least), talk about when it’s going to rain again (it rains every twenty minutes or so) or argue who writes better blues, Chicago, Memphis or New Orleans (I’ve been arguing for NOLA), this is why I keep falling more in love with Europe every minute I’m here.

What can I say about the Netherlands that hasn’t already been said?

Yes, the pot is great, the women are beautiful, they take their Futbol very seriously, the food is all fried and technology seems to be 5 years late but it’s the people and how they live that really spark up the conversations in my head. They are wonderful (or in Dutch – Ye Bent Heveldich)

In America, we always need to be hustling and working faster and longer to be the next greatest super human. Due to our programming, we focus so much on our job and the benjamins that we never understand who we actually are individually. I feel it is the opposite here.

For example, sitting at the dinner table with friends and family getting to know the people you are surrounding yourself with over Doner and potatoes is what they look forward to in life. The people here remind me a lot like the southern states, very welcoming and very family based. The Dutch are very proud of who they are. They are genuine and full of love with a slight touch of OCD (every building is perfectly symmetrical and they are never late..NEVER late). They love the hell out of American music (we’ve sold out 3 out of 4 shows so far and it’s only our first time here!) and if they like you then you are a friend for life.

I could totally see my self getting lost in a small village somewhere in the countryside for a couple months just to unwind. Even though the weather is pretty much always shitty and the sun goes down by 4pm, the people are warm and to me that’s better then any sunny day.

Well, now its time to get off this train and bring some American Blues to Nothern Holland but before I get off (who knows when they’ll be Internet again), if I can take anything from this trip i think, instead of living to work let’s work to live. Lets stop taking life so seriously because In order to be free we have to be able let go of our insecurities and just be ourselves. If we can do that, I think we can be on the bright side of road sooner then we think.

Stay Inspired and never compromise because “Ye Bent Heveldich”.

AF

Ps. Thank you Jelmer, Conscious, Roberto, Wolf, Pjotr, Tim, Renzo and The Ouburg Family, The Smokers, The Xinix and Scooters for giving this gypsy the time of his life yet again. We are family now.

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