North Carelian Lake Country Blues
A gypsy woman told my mother "You got a boy child comin', he gonna be a son of a gun."
"That's nice," she replied. "Aren't you my midwife?"
"Yes, yes," the gypsy replied. "I'm just doing this part time for the extra cash. Now your son he's going to do great things with music."
"Oh is he going to be rich and famous?"
"No. He's going to play the blues."
"Bugger," my mother said with a little too much disappointment in her voice. "Well at least tell me he's going to play something popular like Chicago blues..."
"Well.... he's going to play like the old Mississippi Hill country players like Fred McDowell, Junior Kimbrough and R.L.Burnside."
"Well, when should I tell him about his destiny?"
"Oh, never tell him. He must find his own way." She looked away and said under her breath, "He's also going to move from England and live in Finland."
L.R. Phoenix is an English blues guitarist/singer/songwriter who happens to live in Finland, and his latest album was recorded in Tartu, which is in Estonia. Not what you'd call your traditional blues territory.
So on the face of it, not very promising beginnings, however this guy is a bit special. He plays in the style of Mississippi bluesmen like Fred McDowell, Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside. He is a very fine guitar player, but it's the voice, the voice is everything. It's like Howlin' Wolf crossed with Captain Beefheart with hints of Son House and Bukka White, then all liberally doused in malt whisky and honey.
Phil Wight - Blues & Rhythm Magazine
'The Hollow Log of Capt. Richard Wolfe' was voted best European Blues cd of 2011 by Blues Underground. It has been featured on numerous radio stations throughout Europe and has been getting rave reviews from Blues Matters! in England to Blues News in Finland.
L.R.Phoenix has played at festivals & clubs throughout Europe, and is constantly touring playing alone or with other people. He has also given Master Classes in bottleneck blues guitar. He is one of the few people who play slide guitar with a pocket-knife, in the style of Blind Willie Johnson.
He has released 3 official albums and one EP since going professional in 2007. He has also featured on 2 albums by Andres Roots. The video 'Death Letter', which features Andres Roots, went to No.3 in the Estonian video charts.