While most people
associate the blues with the steamy bayous of Louisiana and the cotton
fields of Mississippi, lovers of the devil´s music may be surprised to
hear that there is also a thriving scene in Scandinavia. At the heart of
this Nordic blues explosion are the WENTUS BLUES BAND, who hail from Kokkola in central Finland. And while the pine studded wilderness of
their homeland is about as far as you can get from the juke joints of the
Deep South, there´s no doubting their musical credentials. Established
in 1986, the band have acquired a reputation as the hardest working in
Scandinavia and play around 150 gigs a year. The Wentus Blues Band has
toured in 15 different countries, released 7 albums, done several
TV-shows, headlined festivals and toured with many great bluesmen.
Expect explosive blues and frantic rhythm and blues, played with laid
At the 2008 edition of the NXNE, Wentus Blues Band was in Toronto not
only for a couple of gigs but also for the North American debut of
Family Meeting, a documentary about the band’s 20th anniversary concert.
Family meeting mixes concert footage with candid backstage moments and
commentary from fellow musicians. It was nominated for the Finnish
national film Award, the JUSSI, in the feature documentary category and
is doing the rounds at film festivals in Scandinavia gathering speed,
followed by plenty of great reviews. The title is about the special bond
developed over the years with Wentus Blues Band and musicians they have
played with. It is like the Thanksgiving dinner where everything is
possible, especially when the guest list includes legends like
ex-Rolling StoneMick Taylor, Kim Wilson from the
Omar Dykes of Omar & The Howlers,
Eric Bibb, Louisiana Red,Eddie Kirkland to mention a few.
On the topic of name dropping, these guys are the Wentus Blues Band:
Juho Kinaret; voc, Niko Riippa; gt, Kim Wikman; gt, Robban Hagnäs; b,
Mikael Axelqvist; dr, Pekka Gröhn; piano, Hammond. From the potato
fields of Kokkola to the cotton fields of Mississippi, blues rules!