Bluebirds (Sweden)

Photo: Vanja Fridhammar (Åmål Blues Fest 2004)

The last time I caught the Bluebirds on stage was on a winter night out on the islands off Göteborg: in February 2006 at Skaftö Folkets Hus. Cold outside, but the place was steaming hot! The band was in their best mood and played stuff like "Big Mamou", a powerful "Texas Flood" and a houserockin' "Oh Baby" with Patric all over the place on slide and Magnus trading in the bass for a sixstring Gibson 330. Visually cool as always: bass player and drummer in bowling shirts and Patric himself in a splendid black rock'n'roll jacket with a flowery structure like Ye Olde Pub's wallpaper. The looks of an Idol! Since then I missed them once here in Göteborg, and now (May 2008) they have reorganized the band, going back towards the original lineup. And a new CD is already out: "Blast From The Past"!

Whatever happens, the Bluebirds from Skövde are/were a band in Sweden's Top League of the Blues. Their combination of original material inspired by American roots music, powerful vocals, sparkling guitar playing and pulsating rhythms have taken them far along the roads, far away over the waters.

The band debuted in 1990 and Patric Carlson, vocals and guitar and Magnus Jonsson, electric bass are still members five albums later. Behind the drums was - up to now - Jim Ingvarsson: not the original drummer but a veteran with his roots in top flight Swedish blues bands such as Mönsterås Bluesband and The Instigators. These three have been the main men of the Bluebirds: a band inspired by rock’n’roll from Louisiana, blues à la Texas, rockabilly, tex-mex and soul.

Albums
Blast From The Past
Finest Rhythm
& Blues Collection
High Performance
Sweet Jambouree
Oh Baby!

It started out in a small city named Skövde, but Clas Yngström, guitar hero and leader of famed blues rock trio Sky High, was soon impressed and helped them out with contacts resulting in a demo recording at Studio Mox in Copenhagen, Denmark. The intention was to record a couple of tracks only, but the producer/studio owner thought the results were so good that he wanted more stuff. It ended up so well that the Bluebirds even dared to present the tapes to the blues record label Last Buzz in Göteborg. And so the debut album ”Walkin’ On Thrills” was issued in 1997 and wheels started rolling - literally. ”Home On Wheels” as Patric sings on the compilation CD.

Scandinavia, Europe, California, Australia... Lots of gigs, lots of exposure. A journalist wrote in the US ”Live Magazine” about the irony of hearing a band from Sweden playing American blues music better than almost every band he had heard before. And the Australian radio station 101FM/Blue Country reviewing the ”Sweet Jamboree” CD at length thought that the covers were fine but that you found the heart & soul of the band in their originals. And also remarked that "these guys only get better and better" and that if you enjoyed the previous albums you would love the new one.

Four regular full length CD's so far: ”Walkin’ On Thrills” 1997, ”Oh Baby!” 1999, ”Sweet Jambouree” 2001 and ”High Performance” 2003. Plus one compilation, ”Finest Rhythm & Blues Collection” (2003), with a selection of tracks from the previous albums but also featuring some goodies never released before.

 

Link: Bluebirds