Artist: Wentus Blues Band
Album: Lucky Strike Mama
Release Date: 01/15/2016
The Wentus Blues Band is a five-piece outfit from Finland, land of the midnight sun, saunas and Santa Claus. Finland is actually a country with a fine blues pedigree and the music is furthermore generally popular and well supported in most of Scandinavia as a whole. And while the existence of Finnish blues might come as a surprise, Lucky Strike Mama marks the band’s 30th year together on the blues highway.
In previous years, they have backed and supported many American bluesmen including Eric Bibb and Louisiana Red. So, this is certainly a band that has been around a long time, has a pedigree to match and has an ingrained knowledge and love of the blues.
Lucky Strike Mama is a 12-track offering with all material written by the band members themselves and held together with some excellent fretwork from guitarist and frontman Niko Rippa. These original offerings come from the rock-end of the blues spectrum, featuring shades of Clapton, Buddy Guy and BB King clearly sparkling in the overall mix.
With sounds like these, Wentus is popular in much of mainland Europe, but they are certainly worthy of a far wider blues audience. Lucky Strike Mama should be just the right vehicle to attract that greater global exposure.
– Iain Patience