Review: Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip – Ain’t Bad Yet

Posted on: Monday, May 25, 2015

Micke Bjorklof CD Cover

Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip – Ain’t Bad Yet
(Hokahey Records: HHR 1501)

“Ain’t Bad Yet” is the sixth album of Finnish band Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip. The band was formed in 1991 and the current line-up has been together for more than fifteen years. The band members are Micke Bjorklof on lead vocals, harmonica and guitar, Lefty Leppanen on electric and National steel guitar and backing vocals, Teemu Vuorela on drums, Seppo Nuolikoski on bass and backing vocals and Timo Roiko-Jokela on percussion and MalletKAT. Additional backing vocals are provided by Lena Lindroos and Veera Railio. Tim Lewis plays Hammond organ/Rhodes on five of the tracks and John Porter plays guitar on one track.

“Last Train To Memphis” provides a fast moving opener to the album, complete with a large helping of slashing slide guitar. A couple of steady beating numbers follow, “Troublemaker” and “Rain In Jerusalem”, the latter with another dose of explosive slide. The next two numbers, “Get Ya In Da Mood” and “Hold Your Fire, Baby” are similarly paced but more bluesy and embellished with some tasty harpwork. The pace is then slowed down a further notch with the even bluesier title track before the upbeat and funky “Rat Chase” raises the ante, expertly driven by the rhythm section.

“Sweet Dream’s A Sweet Dream”, a funk-tinged ballad, boasts a tasty guitar solo and gives way to the catchy, Delta-infused “Today”. The album concludes with the hard rocking “Blame It On The Bright Lights” and the gently whistful and bluesy ballad “In Chains”, which features another fine helping of harp.

This is a very enjoyable, highly polished album, which produces a fine collection of well-crafted and tastefully delivered original compositions.

LIONEL ROSS

mickebjorklof
hokahey

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