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From Linkoping to Memphis by Louise Hoffsten

The latest effort from Swedish blues diva Louise Hoffsten, from Linkoping to Memphis, shows quite a bit of artistic growth on her part. Whereas the singer mostly stuck to classic, I-IV-V blues material on Knackebrod Blues, she embraces a wider variety of styles here in searching for her own personal sound. Recorded last May in Memphis, Hoffstein is backed by a number of that city's crack musicians, best typified perhaps by the steady work of Booker T. & the MGs' drummer Steve Potts.

Ms. Hoffsten possesses a clear and strong voice, with which she gets funky on "Good For You," sultry on "Slow Train," and down and dirty on the rocker "Shut Up & Kiss Me." She sounds appropriately soulful on the ballad "I Wish You Had My Heart," though the closing "I Still Believe In You" is a little too maudlin-1970s for my taste. The musicians around her all rise to the occasion as well, with guitarist Steve Selvidge and saxophonist Jim Spake acquitting themselves particularly well.

From Linkoping to Memphis documents the blues pilgrimage of Louise Hoffsten from her hometown in Sweden to one of the most storied cities in the form's history. Hoffsten's sound meshes well with the more veteran musicians surrounding her on this session. That Louise Hoffsten is a talented singer and harmonica player was already well known from her previous work. This latest release not only confirms that, but shows a more original side of her musical persona as well.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Louise Hoffsten
  • CD Title: From Linkoping to Memphis
  • Genre: Blues
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Memphis International
  • Rating: Three Stars
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