Review: Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip – Colors Of Jealousy


Micke Bjorklof And Blue Strip - Colors Of Jealousy

Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip – Colors Of Jealousy
Format: CD – Vinyl LP – Digital / Label: Hokahey! Records – Continental Record Services
Release: 2023

Tekst: Bert van Kessel

For thirty years Micke Bjorklof & his Blue Strip have overwhelmed audiences across the world with the drive and energy of their blues-based rock. This very enjoyable new album, their eighth, proves that they are well able to transfer that passionate approach to the studio.

But there’s (a lot) more. This incredibly tight Finnish outfit infuses their bluesrock with a healthy dose of 60s soul, thus enabling  singer Micke to display his outstanding vocal chops. His powerful vocals and guitarist Lefty Leppanen’s razor sharp fretwork are the basis on which their appetising melting pot is founded.

The eleven original songs are very diverse, yet constitute a coherent whole:  the opening track Highway Highway has an infectious riff, clearly influenced by ZZ Top; it also features an energetic Hammond organ.

Feel It In My Bones is a true blues song with a wailing harmonica. The haunting title track is a slow blues with emotional vocals and a driving Hammond. The vibraphone adds a whiff of Morricone, which is augmented by the enthusiasm of the female background singers.

The rocking Missing That Woman shows the band at its very best: great vocals, a fiery guitar and blistering Hammond. On the sad and dark prison blues Are You Real guitarist Lefy takes centre stage, after which we are served a tasty dish of sixties soul in Long Ago.  

The bluesy I Thought You were Mine has a great harmonica riff. After the  good-humored  Good Times Somehow, which has a Stones feel, we get prize number Get Out: encouraged by a feisty slide guitar, an emotional  Micke cries out “Get Out Of My Life!”

What craftsmanship is shown here capturing the energy and emotion of the  band´s live performances in the studio; surely something that incites jealousy!

01. Highway Highway
02. Feel It In My Bones
03. Colors Of Jealousy
04. Missing That Woman
05. Are You real
06. Good Times Somehow
07. Long Ago
08. Thought You Were Mine
09. Get Out
10. Into The Fire
11. It Takes Two