Bjorn Hamrin

REVIEW: Bjorn Hamrin “Coda”


Bjorn Hamrin – Coda

Swedish blues harmonica artist Bjorn Hamrin played with Grammy-nominated blues artist Eric Bibb & this set of music from Mr. Hamrin’s Coda (Drops Oct 21–Paraply Records) is a tribute to all the artists he has played with over a 50-year career.

Bjorn Hamrin

The LP has 16 tracks, some classic Americana music from Townes van Zandt’s haunting “Flyin’ Shoes,” Robert Johnson’s “Stones In My Passway,” Blind Boy Fuller’s “Step It Up & Go,” decorated by hot Bjorn harmonica takes along with Willie Dixon’s exuberant “Wang Dang Doodle.”

I always find it fascinating how foreigners interpret or reinterpret old American blues music. Some are highly commendable & others just don’t get it. But they try. As we do. Elvis Presley had hits with foreign songs like “It’s Now or Never,” (Italian song “O Solo Mio”) & “Surrender,” (actually another Italian melody “Come Back To Sorrento”). Of course, Bob Dylan’s “Girl From the North Country,” is based on the traditional “Scarborough Fair.”

But here, we have quite a blues effort & it certainly is impressive. There are times vocally Bjorn sounds as deep as John Lee Hooker or as energetic as Mose Allison. The first 7 were originally released as the Templeman Brothers Band (2011-2012) & recorded in Stockholm; 3 others follow by the blues band Grizzly (Bjorn is vocals/harmonica) also recorded in Stockholm.

And finally, Peder af Ugglas — the last 6 tunes Bjorn offers vocals/harmonica. On “Walking,” & “Over Younder,” (probably meant Yonder), Bjorn’s deep growl is reminiscent of legendary blues great John Lee Hooker – chillingly real, true & remarkably well. As does Peder’s slow-burning guitar & Bjorn’s harmonica swipes. These people get it.

Highlights on this 74-minute CD – the sizzling harmonica driven/barrelhouse piano of “Can’t Trust Nobody,” the invigorating blues guitar of “This Is The Time,” a Fabulous Thunderbirds sounding “Something Out There.” Also, “She’s Gone,” “Waiting In Vain,” & another hot harmonica tune “Step It Up & Go,” & “You Would Rather Go.” All impressive blues pieces.

Musicians: Templeman Brothers – B.H. (vocals), Sten Templeman (guitars), Bjorn Templeman (bass), Dan Karlsson (harmonica), Max Lorenz (piano/organ), Ola Swenson (drums). Peder af Ugglas solo features B.H. (vocals/harmonica), Peder af Ugglas (guitars/keyboards/pump organ/percussion), Klara Naslund (voice) & Orjan Klintberg (bass). Grizzly – B.H. (vocals/harmonica), Ronny Mattsson (rhythm guitar), Lasse Summanen (lead guitar), Hans Persson (drums) & Malte Sjostrand (Hammond B3 & Piano).

A sample of Grizzly blues music not on the Coda album is here as a reference.

Our friends in Scandinavia remind you to not hesitate & reach out if you hear something you’d like to own @

B&W image courtesy of Karl Melander. CD @ &

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