Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Blues Section - S/T, 1967, Finland
More Finnish/Love Records stuff...these guys were on the Finnish comps I posted not too long ago. This is their first album, and one of the best Finnish rock albums from that time period. Like Charlies & Suomen Talvisota 1939-1940, it's got it's own eccentric vibe, distinctly different from anyone else...
I think Blues Section would be THE Finnish band to fit best in the psychedelic underground and even garage spirit. Their career was short-lived (1967-69), in which time they managed to create some classic songs from Hendrix/Cream/John Mayall-influenced blues to pop and jazz-tinged psychedelia. Their 'Cherry Cup-Cake Twist' would well fit in its strangeness to any Nuggets or Pebbles-style collections; 'Semi-Circle Solitude' is one of the finest pop anthems to ever come out of Finland, and 'Hey Hey Hey' is pure, hard-biting electric garage.
Blues Section's saxophone player Eero Koivistoinen would record in 1968 the legendary Valtakunta album, with Hasse Walli and Ronnie Österberg of Blues Section among the musicians there. Jim Pembroke, the British expatriate vocalist and song-writer for Blues Section, would later form with Österberg Wigwam, the biggest progressive rock band in Finland; Blues Section's bassist Måns Groundstroem and Pembroke's vocalist successor Frank Robson would appear in Tasavallan Presidentti, Wigwam's greatest prog rival in Finland - but that's another story...
Blues Section is considered a seminal and ground-breaking band in Finnish rock music. They started in 1967, formed around the vocalist Jim Pembroke, a British expatriate song-writer now living in Finland. The other members of the band were Eero Koivistoinen (saxophone), Ronnie Österberg (drums), Hasse Walli (guitar), and Måns Groundstroem (bass). Their influences came among all from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and Jimi Hendrix, who had played a sensational gig in Helsinki in May 1967. One can also hear in Pembroke's British-flavoured song-writing some echoes from The Beatles and The Kinks. Blues Section released a self-titled album late 1967 on Helsinki's Love Records. In 1968 Groundstroem and Pembroke left the band, being replaced by Pekka Sarmanto and (another British vocalist) Frank Robson, respectively. Also Koivistoinen would leave the band during the same year, and by the end of 1968 Blues Section was over. The Blues Section members would continue in such acclaimed progressive rock bands as Wigwam and Tasavallan Presidentti. Eero Koivistoinen was to become an internationally acclaimed jazz musician, and Hasse Walli would discover world music, playing in such bands as Piirpauke.