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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Genre Bending Finnish Blues Rock Band Micke Björklöf & Blue Strip Set To Release New Album

By Stevie Connor. Photo Credit: Järvenpää Talo

Genre bending and award-winning Finnish Blues Rock band Micke Björklöf & Blue Strip will release the new studio album Colors Of Jealousy on Friday 16th June on Hokahey! Records and distributed in Europe by Continental Record Services.

This is the follow up to the critically acclaimed album “Let The Fire LeadBjörklöf released 2020 with his acoustic power trio Micke & Lefty feat.Chef. His bands incendiary live performances have been mesmerizing audiences all over Europe. Now, with Colors Of Jealousy they ́re poised to take the step to the next level. The edgy, selfproduced roots music album was recorded at bands headquarter BoomRoom in Kauhava, Finland and mixed by Finnish sound engineer legend Kimmo Ahola.

Boasting 11 original songs ranging from killer opening track “Highway Highway” classic blues rocker led by Billy Gibbons influenced riff with layered guitars and wailing Hammond organ to dramatic Americana flavoured Country Blues, resonator guitar driven title track “Colors Of Jealousy” with bit of Ennio Morricone vibes. You get a good sense of the range the album covers from these first two singles released.

The band flirts with tradition but pushes genre boundaries with their song writing and special instrumentation to create a sound that's distinctly their own. “Good Times Somehow” persuasively straddles uptempo soul and Delta Blues mix with a touch of Rolling Stones groove. “Long ago” features Memphis soul backed up with Hammond organ and gospel feel by two female background singers. Björklöf shows off his range with dark story of “Are You Real” and blues saturated “I Thought You Were Mine”. Dynamic “It Takes Two” starts slow with a fieldholler theme backed up with snare drum groove, turning slowly towards funky Nawlins rhythms and ending with a bursting guitar solo. Their eight album is sure to establish Micke Björklöf & Blue Strip as potent force in roots music.

Even though the themes of the lyrics are mostly dark, the whole turns to positivity through the band ́s energetic and emotional performances. “I think our message here is that no matter what happens, don ́t give up, do the best you can and be the best person you can be and no matter what, the sun will rise again!” Björklöf says.

”After several international studio projects we decided this time to record in Finland. Well, borders were closed so we didn ́t have any other choice anyway”, Micke Bjorklof laughs. ”To make Colors Of Jealousy we chose this time to work at our headquarter BoomRoom with my longtime partner, Finnish engineer legend Kimmo Ahola. It ́s a really good sounding room, specially for drums, although there ́s no control room and it is designed more to work as rehearsal studio,” explains Björklöf.

Album was originally planned to be released in 2021 to celebrate their 30-years Anniversary as touring band but then the pandemic started. That lead to domino theory kind of delays and rescheduling time after time. Specially arranging rehearsals is not an easy task when everybody in the band live across the country and are involved in other musical projects too. ”We started working on new material already in early 2017.

We had most of the material written by 2020,”, Björklöf says. At the end of the year he got a phone call from Ruf Records to join Ruf ́s Blues Caravan tour the following spring, unfortunately that dried out also because of pandemic. So no impact to the album project at the end. The band finally got into studio in October 2021 to start the recording process. Only few weeks later a new wave of the pandemic hit and causing new schedule problems.

”There ́s been so many obstacles to tackle on this journey and I must admit that the frustration kept sneaking in every now and then. Sometimes it was really hard to stay motivated when you had to find that creative spark over and over again. But here we are now with the new album in our hands. It took 6 long years so it sure has been a very long and heavy process all and all. But we are happy and really proud of the work,” Björklöf says.



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