Rolf 'Roffe' Wikström (Sweden)

Göteborg Blues Party 2005
Photo © Vanja Fridhammar
Live 2005 double CD (2006)
You cannot label Rolf Wikström an over-night sensation. His 1st album in his own name, "Sjung svenska folk.. för jag behöver all hjälp jag kan få", was issued in 1975. The first time I myself saw him on stage was on the Albert Collins tour of Sweden (1978?). Pink velour was unfortunately all the rage then: next time Rolf appeared on a stage close by he was wearing a white jacket. Looking cool. And playing those impressive guitars: The Malmberg. Looked like some solid and elegant furniture. But Rolf treated them brutally, bending and stretching and pulling. Inspired by Albert & Albert (King & Collins). And (I read later on) by Roy Buchanan. The rawness, the intensity of it all impressed me greatly.

And not only me. He has a vast number of admirers in Göteborg (as well as in the rest of Sweden) whereever he appears: at Nefertiti, Göteborg Blues Party (i.e. the local annual blues festival) or some other stage. Rolf always manages to reach out to the audience: singing and playing with lots of passion, pain & power. And he sings in Swedish - the native language - that helps too.