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Call And Response: Micke Björklöf

Finland’s finest on his hard rock roots, getting bitten by the blues bug and learning his craft from BB King and the other greats...

I never thought of music in terms of rock or blues or pop, I just saw it as either good music or bad music,” says singer, harmonicist and guitarist Micke Björklöf. “But it just seemed that everything I was attracted to was broadly speaking the blues, whether it was Ray Charles singing Busted or Led Zeppelin or Cream. Blues became my natural path, once I was bitten I couldn’t get enough.”

His first band Taxi played hard rock a la Whitesnake and Deep Purple. His next, Blue Strip, formed in 1991 with bassist Seppo Nuolikoski, started out playing acoustic covers before going electric in 1997. Since then they’ve looked to Chicago and the Mississippi Delta for inspiration. Central is Björklöf’s growly vocals and wailing blues harp.

New album Ain’t Bad Yet was produced by John Porter over eight days in Monmouth’s Rockfield Studios. “It was a brilliant vibe,” says Björklöff. “We worked really hard but we weren’t too serious. That comes across in the record.”

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