Hailing from Pajala, Sweden, a small town located 50 miles above the Arctic Circle and a full days drive north of the capitol Stockholm, Brickyard has played clubs and blues festivals throughout the northern end of Sweden, Finland and Norway for the last 11 years. "Exit: Bluesland," which was self-released in December of last year, follows the band's regionally successful 1996 release "Blues in Pajala."
Guitarist/vocalist Orjan Maki, who writes nine of the 13 cuts that appear on the CD, also takes front stage throughout much of it. For the most part this approach works fine as is evident on "Roller Coaster Blues," "Jr. Stomp," "Blues All Around," "Mama's Got A Son" and "When You're Gone" (with appropriate Elmore James-inspired solo). Kudos as well to pianist, Hammond B3 organist and backing vocalist Martin Larsson who lays down some fine phrasing on "Rolling Coaster Blues," "Jr. Stomp," "Tame Me" and the excellent 2/4 closing "Swing for B-O." Also joining the session is bassist/vocalist Mattias Kauppi (writer of the CD's four other tunes), drummer Ola Kauppi and percussionist Simon Wilhelmsson.
Tornedalsv.1, 984 31, Pajala, Sweden
This review is copyright © 2000 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.