Music Is Love


They may have been undervalued in the 1980s and ‘90s but the music of CSN&Y, together and solo and in other bands has been picked up by a whole new generation. And who better to put this all together then Peter Holmstedt, creator of the Hemifrån label (Music From Home) from Sweden. A wide range of artists and bands take part in the double CD set Music Is Love - A Singer Songwriters’ Tribute To the music of CSN&Y. Of course for the title track and album title, “Music Is Love” was the first track of the first David Crosby solo album from 1971. There’s a number of tracks written by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young going back to the Steve Stills track “For What It’s Worth”, covered here by Ron LaSalle from the first Buffalo Springfield album from 1966 while there’s a wide range of artists tribute covers here of Neil Young and Graham Nash too. Producer Peter Holmstedt, coming from Sweden, is more knowledgeable about American pop culture than many Americans. There’s plenty of classy covers here including a fine cover of the Steve Stills Manassas era “It Doesn’t Matter” by Cindy Lee Berryhill, Sugarcane Jane doing “Bluebird” and Judy Collins with “Helplessly Hoping” but it doesn’t get better then the disc two closing title track to Music Is Love, Crosby’s classic elegantly recorded in Liverpool England by pop singer Ian McNabb. A fine tribute album by 21st century pop artists praising one of the great artist institutions of the 20th century, the 27 track, 2 CD Music Is Love is tastefully packaged with unique artwork and in depth CD booklet filled with prolific liner notes by Dave Zimmer plus information on CSN&Y and all the artists taking part. presents an interview with

: Where were you born, where do you live now and can you tell us something about your background in the music world and how and when you became interested in working in the music business?

PETER HOLMSTEDT: I was born in 1958 in a little town right in the middle of Sweden called Arboga (“River Bend”). In the early 1980’s I moved to Stockholm for work, and in 1985 I ended up at EMI Sweden, first doing work at their warehouse, and later on taking care of copyright and royalty, being label manager for Blue Note Records, as well as a lot of other stuff at the company.

In 2000 I was involved in setting up a joint distribution company for EMI Music, Sony Music and Universal Music for the four Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland).

Since 2006 I’ve been running my own company “Hemifrån”, which is all about marketing and promoting new, interesting music (as well as some older class acts!) for the European markets.

I have three groundbreaking memories of music in my childhood. The first one seeing Hep Stars (w/Benny Andersson of Abba) in Arboga at age 8, the second one seeing The Beatles’ worldwide satellite broadcast of “All You Need Is Love” in 1967, and the last one seeing Jimi Hendrix in the movie Monterey Pop in late 1968. After these three encounters, there was no doubt about it; This was a business that I had to be part of, somehow!

mwe3: Can you say something about some of your favorite artists from Sweden, then and now, and how the 1960’s rock boom changed the landscape of music in Sweden and in fact throughout Europe? When did you become interested in music from the U.S. and the U.K.?

PETER HOLMSTEDT: My favorite artists from Sweden are still some of the singer-songwriters emerging in the late 60’s/early 70’s, singing in Swedish, and forever changing the landscape of Swedish pop music; John Holm, Mikael Ramel, Pugh Rogefeldt and Anders F. Rönnblom.

As I said, I got into the U.K./U.S. pop world very early in my life. Already at age 7-8 I was a big fan of the Beach Boys, the Beatles, the Byrds, the Hollies, Stones and several others, but the real turning point for me was the singer-songwriter boom of the late 60’s/early 70’s. As a teenager I got heavily into Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (in all combinations), Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Carole King, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Eagles and several others from that particular period.

mwe3: What is the label philosophy of your company Hemifrån, how did you come up with the name Hemifrån and what are your goals with Hemifrån now and then and in the future?

PETER HOLMSTEDT: The philosophy of “Hemifrån” is a very simple and straightforward one; I only work music that I enjoy, I need to feel it “in the gut”, otherwise I won’t be doing a very good job, I think.

The name “Hemifrån” (which means “from home”) originally comes from a conversation that a relative had with one of my boys. This person asked Rikard (age 5); “Where are you from, my dear boy?”, and Rikard answers; “I’m from home”.

The goals with Hemifrån are, and has always been, to create an environment for the artists that I’m working with, that should make them feel “right at home”. “Hemifrån” isn’t as much a company, as it is a place for them to turn to, with which ever question they might have.

mwe3: I was impressed by your turning the world on to the music of the great Swedish singer-songwriter Klas Kvist. Can you tell us something about Klas, how you met him, something about his music and something about his Citizen K recordings as well as new music Klas is planning?

PETER HOLMSTEDT: I first met Klas through a mutual singer-songwriter friend by the name of Andreas Filipsson (a very talented one, I might add!) in 2004. Klas and I hit it off immediately, as our taste in music is very similar, Klas leaning more towards English music from 60’s and 70’s, while I’m more into the American equivalent.

To be real honest with you, I feel that Klas (or Citizen K as he calls himself when recording) is one of the most talented singer-songwriters in Sweden right now.

I was fortunate to work his album Meet Citizen K – Somewhere Up North in 2009, and hopefully I’ll be able to do the same for the forthcoming double album from Citizen K, entitled Second Thoughts, to be released on Paraply Records later this year.

But right now you can hear a small “taster” from the album, as a 3-track EP called King Of Second Thoughts on most streaming services all around the world – Spotify, Wimp, etc.

mwe3: Your production work on the new Hemifrån / Route 67 double CD set Music Is Love, a tribute to CSN&Y is great and overall it’s an excellent release and features a wide range of musicians paying tribute to the music of Crosby Stills Nash & Young. How did the Music Is Love album take shape and can you tell us something about your involvement in the album and how difficult was it to coordinate a tribute album with so many artists from around the world and will there be a Volume 2 of Music Is Love in the future? How about some of the standout tracks in your opinion?

PETER HOLMSTEDT: Music Is Love was a real labor of love for me and one of the other producers, dear friend Francesco Lucarelli from Italy.

Francesco and I have known each other for nearly thirty years now, and we often talked about how many great tribute albums there are out there, dedicated to our favorite music. Tributes to The Byrds, The Buffalo Springfield and The Hollies and several tributes to Neil Young. Even a tribute to Graham Nash's album Songs For Beginners. But there has never been a tribute to the collective body of work of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. That’s why we had to do one!

We worked really, really hard for more than two years putting this little jewel together, and we’re really proud of the results. But, no, there won’t be a Volume 2. Too much hard work, I guess!

It’s really hard for me picking a standout track, as I really love them all, and feel that the album works really well as a closely knitted unity. But the one that really took me by storm, and nearly made me cry, was hearing an unfinished, unmixed, un-mastered mp3 of Judy Collins’ interpretation of Stephen Stills’ “Helplessly Hoping” – Absolutely amazing!

mwe3: You’re also involved in a new album called Marks & Bleeds from a fine singer-songwriter from Sweden by the name of Mikael Persson. There’s some fine music rock and folk-rock music on that album, the track “Scarf Around Your Neck” is very impressive. Can you add in a little history on Mikael Persson and his new album?

PETER HOLMSTEDT: Mikael Persson is one of the most talented musicians on the west coast of Sweden. He’s been in a lot of known and unknown bands in the town of Borås, close to Gothenburg.

Mikael is also a very talented art director, and I first met him when he and I did the cover art for Citizen K’s latest album, Meet Citizen K – Somewhere Up North. We have a great working relationship and have worked on several albums since then, including I Like It Better Here – Music From Home, That Thing That’s A Whole Lot Bigger Than This – Hymns From Home, as well as his own, newly released album Marks & Bleeds.

Acclaimed US singer-songwriters Greg Copeland and Janni Littlepage, English-Italian songstress Luisa Jordan-Killoran and Swedish pop-oracle Citizen K are just a few of the artists and musicians who helped Mikael complete his sophomore solo album.

Early in the process of the new album, Mikael was offered an unreleased song by acclaimed singer-songwriter Greg Copeland (Joan Baez, Jackson Browne, Nico, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), "Roughhouse Boys", and as always is the case, Mikael puts his own unique stamp on an already amazing song.

Later on, brilliant singer Luisa Jordan-Killoran entered the picture, and the project found the dynamics in the vocal arrangements that were previously lacking. Just listen to the heartbreaking version of Vince Clarke's "Only You", and you'll understand why.

In the eleventh hour of work the experienced songwriter Janni Littlepage offers her services and the album feels at once like a finished, complete unit.

Along the way, old friends and acquaintances, like Klas Qvist (Citizen K), Thomas Pontén (Little Green) and Pelle Johanson, helped out with both arrangements and production ideas.

mwe3: What are some of your other interests outside of the music world, for instance hobbies, travel, social causes, etc.? How do you find time to relax and what relaxes you?

PETER HOLMSTEDT: My life is, and has always been, about music. Traveling meeting musicians or seeing some great live music. Social causes involving music in some way or another (Music Is Love, for example, benefits the Equestrian Therapy Co-Op in Brandeis, California). When I relax I listen to more music, and/or work on my ever-expanding record collection.

mwe3: What are the plans for Hemifrån moving forward and can you say something about new CD / DVD releases Hemifrån has planned for 2013 and beyond?

PETER HOLMSTEDT: The next “Hemifrån” project is almost finished and should see the light of day sometime around late April/early May this year.

It’s a song cycle called The Golden Demon – New Songs About Chaos & Transition, and features the usual suspects, like Bob Cheevers, Citizen K, Greg Copeland, Sid Griffin, Doug Ingoldsby, Luisa Jordan-Killoran, Steve Noonan, Mikael Persson, Wendy Waldman, Michael Ward and Kenny White.

It also features musical contributions from José Chepito Areas, Julie Christensen, Kenny Loggins, Ed Mann, Joe Satriani and Chris Solberg.

After that, we’ll see...

Thanks To Peter Holmstedt @


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