Bluegrass concert to have Swedish flavor

Published 5:39 pm Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The next chapter of international relations between Thorsby and its sister city of Torsby, Sweden will take place July 8 when G2 Bluegrass Band performs a concert in Richard Wood Park.

The five-piece Swedish band has included Thorsby in its U.S. tour and plans on playing two, 45-minute sessions beginning at 7 p.m. Admission is free, and concessions will be available.

“We were able to work it out with their schedule that they would actually be able to do a concert for us while they were here,” said Thorsby Swedish Fest Committee chairwoman Tracia Bussey. “Who knows? This could turn into a yearly bluegrass festival.”

The connection took place when G2 leader Tobias Stromberg read an article in the Torsby, Sweden newspaper by Per-Erik Persson of the Scandinavian-American Economic Development Alliance, who visited Thorsby during last year’s Swedish Festival.

In the article, Persson wrote about the agreement by Thorsby town leaders to pursue a sister city relationship with similarly-named Torsby. While there has been contact and some interaction between the two towns, nothing official has taken place. The article stated that Thorsby was still interested in pursuing the relationship.

After reading the news release, Stromberg contacted Mayor Dearl Hilyer by e-mail, saying the band was interested in visiting Thorsby and learning about its Swedish heritage. Hilyer then forwarded the message to Bussey.

“The Swedish Festival Committee has agreed to help fund the event along with area businesses and individuals,” Bussey said.

She called the concert a “step in the right direction” toward forming a more official connection between the towns.

During the concert, locals Mike Graham and Scott Springer will work the sound system for G2. The band will take time in between sets to meet and greet with people in attendance and will have CDs for sale. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

Anyone who wants to sample G2’s music may visit the band’s website, For more information, call Bussey at 217-0978.