It's hard to believe that 25 years have gone by in the artistic life of Finnish Blues Baron Micke Bjorklof and his band of brothers Blue Strip. Formed back in 1991, at the core of the collective's backbone band leader, singer and multi-instrumentalist Bjorklof and bass player Seppo Nuolikoski have always been there from the beginning, with different band members replaced throughout the Finnish collective's history. 


Despite having recorded few studio albums throughout their career, Bjorklof and his band have built, throughout this last quarter of a century, a solid reputation and credibility as one of the most fresh and exciting live acts coming from Europe. The secret being not just the strong individual skills of each band member, but also their winning blues/rock formula, one able to embrace and to amalgamate cleverly various elements belonging to different styles, from Blues to Latin, from Jazz to Rock. 

Who said that you cannot combine passions like martial arts with rock and roll and perform them both at an outstanding level of ability? Guitarist and singer/songwriter Kris Barras certainly know well how to make a lifestyle recipe like this to work until 2014, when he retired from his cage fighting activity and fully focusing solely on music.


Somebody that has never been shy to live his life at full throttle, Barras has loved music and martial arts since a very early stage of his life, opting for the latter when he realized, at some point, that bookings for cage fighting were coming more often than live touring as a musician, until his change of direction in 2014.

It often happens, in the music business, to find fascinating stories behind the creation of music project or bands. It's like a series of astral coincidences happening all at the same time, like meeting the right people at the right time or walk into the right place, inadvertently and fortunately.

Those coincidences, of course, need to be matched by some real inner talent, a strong belief in wanting to achieve the goals that you set for yourself as a musician and a great love and respect for the musical heritages of your country of origin.

It took almost a decade for the experimental collective Rausch to release their second offering, after the mixed reviews received in 2009, when their self-titled debut album came out.

Since then, front-man Doug Rausch and his band of brothers have spent a considerable amount of time working on the next step of their musical vision, by trying to build a follow-up record that would adequately carry forward the multi-faceted sound structure, the mood and the vibes that the band had widely expressed on their first record.

Since the massive, global success of an album like the Dear Silence Thieves back in 2014, blues/rock has never been the same again for a country like South Africa and, most importantly, for its creator, guitarist and singer/songwriter Dan Patlansky.

The amount of curiosity and admiration coming from the music press and the worldwide blues/rock community pushed the South African artist's fame from national notoriety to a more global and well deserved success all over the world. From that point on, virtually nothing has been stopping Patlansky in his ascension to blues/rock stardom, something that the thunderous follow-up 2016 album called Introvertigo confirmed in full, through a combination of well crafted songs packed with lyrics of a strong, social and personal depth, accompained by a sound verging into more rock territories. On both the albums aforementioned, Patlansky worked with producer Theo Crous, in a working relationship that the artist himself described as "challenging" in the beginning but then growing massively, once that the two got to know each other's approach to music and understood the ways they both liked to work on records.

Blues and Blues/Rock can be a very funny business, sometimes. It is somehow baffling how often record labels pick and choose artists and sign them mainly because they have what they call "a fresh face" and they might look cooler in their appearances more than others artists more skilled and talented than them. Inevitably though, although well hidden under this aforementioned layer of smooth appearance, such artists will show through times their lack of musicianship and creativity, to the point that they will disappear completely from the music scene in no time at all.

It is therefore incomprehensible why an incredibly talented and multi-instrumentalist artist like Ted Horowitz, aka Popa Chubby, doesn't get snapped and get ignored by record labels and needs, instead, to get to the point to self-produce and engineer his own body of work which, in this case, it is perhaps the best album of his career to date.

After five years from the release of its highly successful predecessor, Seesaw, the brand new album from blues/rock Titan Joe Bonamassa and Powerhouse singer/songwriter Beth Hart was long awaited from both artist's worldwide fans and the music press. Considered as the hottest record release of the past weekend, Hart & Bonamassa's third effort, called Black Coffee, follows the previous album's concept, which see both artists covering classics of R&B, blues and soul through their own unique signature style, something that has been a winning factor on their previous albums Don't Explain and Seesaw.

They say that a winning Team doesn't need to be changed, therefore, for both Bonamassa and Hart, to have once again producer Kevin Shirley working with them on the making of Black Coffee, was the most obvious choice for The Dynamic Duo's new record.

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