Side Tracks | L.R. Phoenix – Undiscovered Blues Talent

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Side Tracks | L.R. Phoenix – North Mississippi Hill County Delta Blues….? Undiscovered Blues Talent Worth Listening

Photo taken by Brucetapes

I was first introduced to L.R. Phoenix’s music in 2012 thanks to my father, who said we should go to see this guy play a live gig at the coffee house near us. Like with every artist these days, I checked out the Google first. I wasn’t impressed by the few samples I’ve listened back then. I thought his big voice sounded a bit fake and phony. There can’t be voice this big naturally. Can’t be?

I’m an introvert, and it’s not easy to get me out my house, unless there is a Bruce Springsteen gig coming, or something similar that I’m going like with a 100% chance. Reason unexplained..

a live gig we went. Inside the coffee house there was not much more like a dozen of people on this extremely moist and hot summer night. You couldn’t tell what to expect. Soon as the first song kicked in. There was absolutely no reason to think that the voice was fake. Holy crap, I wanted to go full Jon Landau on that very same moment!:

“I have seen the future of the Blues, and his name is L.R. Phoenix”

Of course you’ll never go full Jon Landau, unless you are the real Jon Landau. I know nobody from music industry who could drive this talent forward. After that day I have wanted to write about this artist (in English), but never really had a place where to write. Better late than never.

Later, all I could see was an artist struggling to find a crowd in Finland. Blues talent coming from a very small Finnish town called Rääkkylä (Don’t worry. Even us Finns don’t know that place). It doesn’t help much that you are playing music that the majority doesn’t even know. I have no idea what the proper genre is: North Karelian Mississippi Hill Country Delta Blues perhaps?

Playing small club gigs to a bunch of drunken people at weekends dozen times a year, doesn’t really open any doors. Unless there is a major label scout looking for a cheap beer, and try to reset his head over after discovering all these pop idols he can’t really stand. What is the likeness of that sort of thing going to happen? Pretty small I’d say.

There are no blues radio stations in Finland. The blues music scene is very limited in here. L.R. Phoenix was born in England, so he don’t get enough recognition in Finnish music media.

Anyways…let’s dig to the only album that is on available on streaming services. Also available on Amazon.

L.R. Phoenix – The Hollow Log of Capt. Richard Wolfe


All the great artists has a very unique voice. LR Phoenix surely has that. A big deep voice that hit’s like an avalanche. One it hits, you’ll shut up and listen. For me it’s hard to pick favorites from this album. I kinda like them all equally. It all depends on mood, place and time. The Hollow Log of Capt. Richard Wolfe is a mix of delta blues, and north Mississippi hill county.

Cypress Grove is my live favorite:

One of the tracks I play regularly while walking around the town (with headphones on) is Streets of Lohan. It has a really strong Bob Dylan vibe to it on both lyrically and musically. People who like the Bob Dylan’s Modern Times album should really check that track out.

Morning Train could have been taken from Sun sessions. If your foot doesn’t begin to stomp, check your pulse!

Best part of the record is that you can’t tell which is a LR Phoenix original, and which one is borrowed material. That’s what I like about Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan too, they can cover any song and make it their own. That’s what world class artists can do. Is L.R Phoenix a world class artist? I think so. Just a too less known!

Album was recorded in Estonia, with talented Estonian musicians. It hardly got any attention from Finnish media, because it’s not 100% Finnish. This could have been the blues album of the year in 2011. But like I said earlier it’s a narrow-minded scene in here Finland.

Paging Rick Rubin, Jack White, T Bone Burnett, Jimmy Iovine, Daniel Lanois…Get this man a music career.

I will put my faith to social media. One perfectly timed tweet or two, could do wonders.  So….Share, love, like, tweet, and repeat!


PS. I’m not associated with LR Phoenix in anyway. He does his own management. I just like to preach about the music I love. Sometimes it goes to eleven.

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