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Louise Hoffsten Keeps Swedish Skies Blue

courtesy of the artist

Swedish singer Louise Hoffsten mixes Blues/Rock, Blues, and Rhythm & Blues with occasional hints of Jazz. She even does some folk, a bit of acting and has hosted a children's radio show.

It's a pleasure to start by mentioning that Louise Hoffsten was born in a small Swedish town and resides in Stockholm. (After all, I have plenty of experience writing "'X' was born in a small Mississippi town and lives in Chicago.")

Hoffsten is the daughter of a Jazz trumpet player. She joined the popular Swedish band Clas Yngström & Sky High when she was in her early 20s. Her solo career started soon after, releasing her first album, Genom Eld och Vatten, in 1987. Her early albums were Blues/Rock all sung in Swedish with her first English language foray coming in 1993, the delightfully titled R & B album Rhythm and Blonde.

Hoffsten fell victim to multiple sclerosis in the 1990s and her career declined for several years but she has battled back to record the 2004 album Knäckebröd Blues, recorded in Memphis, and more nice works have followed. Hoffsten's combined book and album Blues is a moving reflection of her fight with multiple sclerosis and attendant problems with depression.

Louise Hoffsten brings powerful grooves and intensity to her Blues works. Whether she is doing true Blues, mining Blues/Rock or going further afield, I find her well worth a listen.

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