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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Showing posts with label Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip. Show all posts

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hokahey Records artist: Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip - Ain't Bad Yet - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Ain't Bad Yet, from Micke Bjorklof (pronounced Be-York-Loaf)& Blue Strip and it's an excellent blues rocker. Opening with Last Train To Memphis, a driving rocker with great blues riff. Vocalist Micke Bjorklof leads the way and guitarist Lefty Leppanen chases on slide guitar backed by Teemu Vuorela on drums and Seppo Nuolikoski on bass. On Sweet Troublemaker, the band picks up a serious rock beat heavily reinforced by Vuorela on drums and Nuolikoski on bass. Tim Lewis joins on keys with Micke on lead vocal, Lena Lindroos and Veera Railio on backing vocal and Lefty on slide. Excellent rocker! Lefty opens Rain In Jerusalem with really rich, thick slide tones reinforced by Lewis on keys. With Timo Roiko-Jokela on percussion and Vuorela on drums, this track has a super rhythm. Super track! Offbeat funky, Get Ya In Da Mood has it's own sound and Bjorklof adds blues harp to his lead vocals. Lefty lays down a really nice guitar solo with trem bends and stinging blues riffs, heavily reinforced by TRJ and Vuorela. Very nice! Slinky, Hold Your Fire Baby is one of my favorite tracks on the relese. It puts me in mind of a super track/remake by Al Green and Savoy Brown of an old Temptations track. It just has a super groove and I really like the hooded vocals with harp over the mix. Excellent track! On title track It Ain't Bad Yet, Lefty digs in on resonator accompanying Micke for a somber ballad. With it's island jazz mix, Rat Chase, the band shows it's real versatility, creating a totally Caribbean feel. With heavy snare/cymbal beat and bass reinforcement, pushed along byLewis on keys, Micke really ramps up on this track vocally filling the air with smoke on harp. Excellent! Sweet Dream's A Sweet Dream is the purest radio track on the release but even with it's super hook and contained vocals, Lefty screams out great guitar riffs and Nuolikoski drives a great bass rhythm. Today has a ramblin' country blues feel with finger picked banjo like guitar and light percussion. Two stepping, Blame It On The Bright Lights, has just a tint of 60's beach music with easy vocal harmonizing. Vuorela maintains the tracks steadiness with tight drums and Lefty steps in with a flashy stylistic guitar solo. Wrapping the release is In Chains, an excellent primitive style blues with crisp with New Orleans style stumble drumming, warm slide work and perfectly thought out harp trimming. I really like Bjorklof's vocals throughout and blended with Leppanen, Nuolikoski, Lindroos and Railio, this is a tough combo to beat. This is an excellent release!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hokahey Records artist: Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip - After The Flood - New Release Review

I just received the most recent release, After The Flood, from Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip and it rocks. Opening with House For The Blues, a blues rocker, Vocalist Bjorklof and guitarist Lefty Leppanen set a strong pace backed by Teemu Vuorela on drums, Seppo Nuolikoski on bass and Timo Ruiko-Jukela on percussion. On Jack The Black Hat, the band takes a more expansive journey with heavier vocals, distorted guitars and free wheelin guitar work. Cool! Water From Your Shoe is a solid R&B style pop track with a taste of New Orleans featuring super cool piano work from Brian Coogan. Woogie Or Die is an interesting boogie track with a cool bass line. Soaring slide guitar work from Lefty give this track a sharp edge and Bjorklof's vocals with his edgy harp playing adds to the edge. Understanding opens with a slip sliding guitar part and a Latin influenced drum part. Having the flavor of a traditional western theme song with a twist, and backing vocals by Michaela Harrison and Alexis Marceaux, this is one of my favorite tracks on the release. King Alcohol is a melancholy track with bluesy overtones and subtle instrumental accompaniment, especially tasty guitar riffs. Sometimes is a boogie with a different kind of walking of bass line. A cool rocker, Bjorklof does some of his best vocal work here, complimented by Coogan on Hammond, and a solid rocker is the result. Gumbo Mama has a nice funky march beat and spirited vocals with punctuated vocal backing. Lefty lays on the wah wah adding a cool guitar texture and a little smoke to the funk. Really nice! Jezebel has a cocky strut and Bjorklof really hits it square on vocals on this track. Lefty grinds out some of the best guitar work on the release on this track. Very nice! Ramblified falls back to a delta style with rudimentary raw vocals and primitive National Steel guitar riffs. Cool! After The Flood is a smooth Latin influenced rocker with a lot of polish. Percussion by Ruiko-Jukela, nice guitar riffs by lefty and warm vocal backing by Harrison and Marceaux. A solid radio track with a solid melody. Wrapping the release is Open Up Open, a bluesy ballad with an ethereal guitar vamp in the background. Nicely blended backing vocals add substantially to the overall effect of this track but overall, Lefty really shines on this track making it his best showcase.

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip - Ramblified

Micke Bjorklof: Lead vocals, harmonica, guitar
Lefty Leppänen: Electric- and national steel guitar, vocals
Teemu Vuorela: Drums
Seppo Nuolikoski: Bass, vocals
Timo Roiko-Jokela: Percussion, MalletKAT

Bandleader and singer Micke Bjorklof founded Blue Strip with bass player Seppo Nuolikoski in 1991. After a few changes at the very start the line up has been the same for over fifteen years. They started as an acoustic blues/rock cover band but before long the roots & blues music and producing original material took over. Today the band is one of the most popular live acts in the roots & blues scene in Finland. They have stirred up audiences around Scandinavia and Europe with their energetic live shows wherever they play, from small clubs to big festival arenas. Opening shows for names like B.B King, FabulousThunderbirds, Little Feat, Bill Wyman Rhythm Kings, Solomon Burke, Robert Plant etc.” In 2007 Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip finished up work on their latest release titled “Whole Nutha Thang”. The album was recorded in London, England with producer Neil Brockbank (Nick Lowe, Tanita Tikaram, Bryan Ferry). The album featured guest appearances by horn players Matt Holland and Martin Winning (Van Morrison, Lisa Stansfield) and magnificent keyboard player Geraint Watkins, known for his work with Paul McCartney, Bill Wyman, Van Morrison and Mark Knopfler.  

If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

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