Best Of The Batch: Niko Riippa
Artist: Niko Riippa
Title: Bohemian Breakfast
Label: Try Angle Production
When you are an apprentice to blues legends such as Louisiana Red and Eddie Kirkland you must be a very special person with an enormous amount of potential. Niko Riippa is one such individual. Well folks, the man would live up to those high expectations and more. After more than 2000 gigs in 13 countries and five albums with The Wentus Blues Band, Riippa has cut loose with a solo album titled Bohemian Breakfast that is bound to impress the most particular blues-rock enthusiast.
Antti Sioberg’s vocals give away their origin at times, but he does a great job and I really enjoyed how he handled each song. Oh yes, they are from Finland. Riippa is the consummate six-string maestro, making his way through nine tracks of diverse blues-rock that are progressive in terms of traditional blues playing. He is very advanced. The tracks that highlighted my listening experience are definitely three, five, and seven. “On My Way,” which features some smoldering riffs, and “Meat Milk and Honey” is a funky blues-rock run that gets your head going like a bobble doll. The instrumental “Sleepwalking” (very similar to often covered “Sleep Walk”) is a real keeper. It has a nice blues surfy sound to it, like riding that endless wave in your mind’s eyes on your way to the barbeque on the warm sandy beach. The entire album was most enjoyable.
The blues is a worldwide community and listening to an artist that is so far removed from places like the Mississippi Delta and Chicago proves how powerful this music is. There are no boundaries to its reach. If a band of men can gather in Finland and make blues-rock music this good, then there is your proof how universal da blues is.
1. Plastic Castle (4:07)
2. Conviction's A Lemon (4:43)
3. On My Way (5:02)
4. Sky Song (5:51)
5. Meat Milk and Honey (3:52)
6. Little Blue Hippie (2:58)
7. Sleepwalking (2:42)
8. Sometimes (3:55)
9. For What It's Worth (3:55)
Antti Sjoberg-vocals, harmonica
Staffan Hongell-drums & percussion
Niko Riippa-electric & acoustic guitars
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