Band Members

Micke Bjorklof: Lead vocals, harmonica, guitar
Lefty Leppänen: Electric- and national steel guitar, vocals
Teemu Vuorela: Drums
Seppo Nuolikoski: Bass, vocals
Timo Roiko-Jokela: Percussion, MalletKAT


Soulful Bluesrock, Dynamite vocals and Worldclass Slideguitar”

Micke Bjorklof is an award winning blues artist, multi-instrumentalist and bandleader from Finland. He has released 10 albums with his world-class bluesrock band Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip and acoustic power trio Micke & Lefty feat.Chef. Bjorklof with his bands are a well-established name in their native Finland and throughout Scandinavia where they have been Ambassadors of Blues music for over 30 years. To date they have toured into closer 20 countries all from Japan, USA and Europe. He´s also known from his collaboration with Finnish Slide Guitar Queen Erja Lyytinen.

Micke started as a drummer at age of 12-years. Later adding vocals, harmonica and guitar to his musical tools. Early days of his musical path went pretty much with rock music even though blues and roots music has always been in there by ZZ Top, Rory Gallagher, Stevie Ray Vaughan etc. But the serious big blues wake up call came in the beginning of nineties after touring with Finnish Blues legend Pepe Ahlqvist.

This is a hard hitting blues band with very accomplished and focused musicians”, Grammy Award winning producer John Porter

1991 he formed Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip with bass player Seppo Nuolikoski. The band is known from their energetic live shows from smoky blues clubs to large festival arenas, where they have been stirring up audiences wherever they go. Micke´s powerful vocals, Lefty Leppänen´s worldclass slide guitarwork and tight rhythm section has become their trademark. After a few minor changes during the early days, the recording line-up has remained unaltered since 1998. Initially an acoustic Blues-Rock cover band, they have now grown into a full fledged electric blues band electric with mostly original material; roots & blues music becoming their primary muse.

I wanna keep the musical future as an open road. Blues has been the red thread for us but we have always been flirting with other rootsmusic styles too. We´ve been taking influences from anywhere, it can be rhythmical, sounds or with pushing genre boundaries. It´s all the blues for me! We are five guys with very different musical backgrounds, I think that´s our strength also to our distinct sound. We try to do our best to follow the path of Muddy and Howlin, they did not sound like anything that had been done in blues before. You’ve gotta keep that kind of fire and spirit going. You have to be who you are and find your own voice to your music”, says Bjorklof.

Dynamite vocals backed up with worldclass slide guitar work”, Bluebird Reviews, USA

When we started this band in the beginning of nineties we never, in our wildest dreams, would have thought that we would still be rolling after more than a quarter of century on the road. Through the years our music has taken us to so many cool places, from Tokyo to New Orleans, and all the way to world’s northernmost blues festival in Svalbard”, says Bjorklof.

In the beginning of 2000 Bjorklof formed as spin off from the band an acoustic project with guitarist Lefty Leppänen called Micke & Lefty feat.Chef. That came basically from the need to play acoustic delta and country blues. The music they both had strongly been influenced by. Specially now when the band was moving more towards electric bluesrock.

I like to do all kinda stuff and play music with wide range as well as play various instruments. These two very different bands gives me a possibility to fulfill my musical needs. It also gives you more possibilities what comes to performing and touring”, explains Bjorklof.

I really like Bjorklof´s vocals throughout and Leppanens slide guitar, it´s a tough combo to beat”, Bmans Bluesreport, USA


Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip´s full acoustic debut album ”From Four Until Late” was released in 1997, followed two years later by “Swamp Baby”. Both albums were produced by the band and Kimmo Ahola. With the 2002 release ”Three Times Seven Is…” the band moved musically more towards electric blues expression. Recording sessions took place at producer Hannu Leidén´s (ex-Havana Black) Seawolf Studios in Helsinki. On this album the band was backed up with a horn section and background singers. They even hit the road with this 12-piece special line up playing selected festivals.  While the band was having a break from touring, Micke Bjorklof and Lefty Leppänen decided to revisit the acoustic world and released “Micke & Lefty – Big Bag” in 2004, featuring Chef Kivimäki on bass. In 2006 band returned to a London studio with producer Neil Brockbank. The result was the band’s fourth album, “Whole Nutha Thang”, released in 2007 (re-released in 2021 by Ruf Records). Album featured Van Morrison horn section and keyboard master Geraint Watkins as guest musicians. Followed by a slow touring period with the band Micke Bjorklof & Lefty Leppänen decided to keep themselves busy by releasing their second Micke & Lefty album in 2010, “Up The Wall”. After a six year recording break Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip returned to studio in 2012. This time in New Orleans at Piety Street Recording studio to record the fifth album “After The Flood” with producer Mark Bingham. This also reflected a shift of musical emphasis towards bit rougher expression with more percussive and guitar orientated material. Album was released on fall 2013. It was followed, two years later, by another studio offering ”Ain´t Bad Yet”, produced by Grammy Award winning John Porter.  The band’s most successful studio album to date was recorded at legendary Rockfield Studios in Wales. 2018 they released their first double livealbum “25-live at Blues Baltica” recorded in Germany. The critically acclaimed “Let The Fire Lead” was released 2020.

The band has won Finnish Blues Awards price twice: The Best Band Of The Year in 2014 and The Best Song Of The year in 2015.” Band was European Blues Challenge finalist 2015. Through the years three of their albums have been voted best Finnish blues album of the year by listeners of the Bluesminister show at Radio Suomi, YLE, the National Broadcasting Company.

RUF´s Blues Caravan…that never happened!

At the end of 2020 Bjorklof was asked to join Ruf Records Blues Caravan 2021 tour with Ghalia Volt and Eliana Cargnelutti, unfortunately that tour got cancelled due to the pandemic. Anyway Ruf Records released remastered “Whole Nutha Thang” album that had previously only been released in Scandinavia. He got a new call from Thomas Ruf on the spring 2022 when one artist of the new BC line-up had to cancel. He agreed to do it even though there was just few days to the start of tour. “Well, Born under a bad sign- seems to be my middle name, like the song says ”If it wasn´t for bad luck, I wouldn´t have luck at all” so that night covid catched me and I had to cancel this time so that was the end of my Ruf journey. I guess I´m the only introduced Blues Caravan artist that never performed with the line-up…sad but true,” Bjorklof laughs.

Livealbum ”Twentyfive Live At Blues Baltica”

“Twentyfive Live at Blues Baltica” is the new album release from Finnish Blues Award winning blues-rock group Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip. Live album was recorded at Blues Baltica festival in Eutin, Germany. This is the follow up to the critically acclaimed 2015 “Ain´t Bad Yet” album, which was produced by Grammy Award winning John Porter. With this live album Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip celebrate their 25 years career as a touring blues band. This performance was a part of the “Ain´t Bad Yet – 25-Live” anniversary tour. It represents 25-years of hard work and chronicles the band’s most popular material from this period. Through the years, the band has been frequently asked: “When are you going to do a live album”. Now, after delivering six studio albums, they thought it was the right time.
”This vibrant concert in front of 1200 enthusiastic listeners demonstrates clearly this band’s special qualities: the finest songwriting, outstanding instrumentals and first class singing satisfy any desire. Unbelievable were the force and the intensity that went into every single song of this concert. On top of that, the guys showed an enthusiasm on stage that can even be heard on this album”, says Helge Nickel (Baltic Blues Society)
“When we planned to do a live album we did record several shows from our “Ain´t Bad Yet – 25 live”anniversary tour. The initial plan was to do compilation of songs recorded at different shows. When we were offered the possibility to record the show at Blues Baltica festival in Eutin we obviously took it. Also because we were curious to see how our music would come across as this was one of the first festival shows we ever did in Germany. Little did we know what a great night that would become”, says Micke Björklöf.
“That night the response of the enthusiastic audience somehow drove the band to a new energy level which I think you also can feel when you listen to this album. When we went through these recordings later, this show stood out for its good energy level throughout the show”, Björklöf continues. “We came to the conclusion that a live album recorded from one show might be the way to go and makes for a better showcase of what this band is about…which is: entertaining the crowds! So here we are and we are proud and excited to present the first ever concert album by Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip”.
No doubt, this great live experience will further fuel the international career that the band is now focusing on after it has already taken them all over the place from Tokyo to the world’s most Northern blues festival in Svalbard.


”Ain’t Bad Yet” produced by John Porter

Ain´t Bad Yet is the sixth album by the Finnish Blues Award-winning (for ”Best Band”) blues-rock group Micke Bjorklof (pronounced Be-York-Loaf) & Blue Strip. The new album was produced by John Porter, legendary for his productions of Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Taj Mahal, Keb’ Mo’, Santana, and no less than 10 Grammy-winning albums. Last October the band traveled to Rockfield Studios in Wales, which has played host to many of the world’s biggest artists from Black Sabbath to Rush and Oasis, and which in 1975 was the primary studio Queen used for the recording of ”Bohemian Rhapsody.” ”We’re really excited about the new material and about this collaboration with John Porter,” Micke Bjorklof says. ”We’d been talking about doing a project together for a couple of years, and I´m glad we finally could make this happen.”
Micke is talking about the new album and his blues path in this interview by Bluesfeeling.com webzine from Germany Read more


Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip has a well-established name in Finland, their native home base in Northern Europe.  2013 After six years await the band is now back with a new album “After The Flood”, their first International release.

“After The Flood”, New Orleans sessions

“After The Flood”, New Orleans sessions

After several years of planning and talking about making an album in New Orleans, it finally came true. Already inspired and influenced by the sounds originating from New Orleans, Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip journeyed to the Crescent City to record their fifth, and most ambitious album yet: “After The Flood.” A milestone in the band’s career, ”After The Flood”  features 12 original songs is a contagious mix of groovy rockin’ guitar-oriented Blues with some “fonky” New Orleans rhythm and soul thrown in to add spice to the recipe. Recorded at the celebrated Piety Street Studio, by engineer Wesley Fontenot and produced by Mark Bingham, known for his work with Dr. John, John Mooney, various members of the illustrious Neville family, Tab Benoit, John Scofield, Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint etc.This new album is important landmark for this band having over 20 years touring and recording career in the business. After having a break from touring, the exciting process of writing songs and putting the material together for this album was really inspiring for the band. The goal has always been throughout their entire recording career to come out with something fresh and new, rather looking forward than back, this record is no exception. It was pretty clear from the start that compared to the earlier records, the direction would this time be towards more percussive/rhythmic and guitar orientated material, with more edgy and dark soundcolor.


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Producer Mark Bingham

”Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip wanted to come to New Orleans and make a record and work with a local producer. Micke discovered that I had actually recorded some of the records he also was presenting to me as a reference for the sound he was looking for. I became a candidate to produce.  Of course, before accepting a producer assignment, making sure the band can actually play is a must. I checked it out, listened to live shows, past cd’s and rehearsals. They could play!

In listening to MP3’s for months before the actual recording, I saw the band transform to deal with the new material. The relentless energy of the live shows was channeled into focus and dynamics. As I heard more, I was even more impressed with the band: they are great players whether in NYC or Memphis or New Orleans. Lefty Leppänen is a super guitarist right up there with many of the famous folks I have worked with (Ribot, Mooney, Scofield, Frisell, Mem Shannon, etc.), and an excellent songwriter as well. Teemu Vuorela is a super solid, rock steady drummer and has great push pull going with Seppo Nuolikoski. Timo Roiko-Jokela seems like he could play anything well, from all the keys, to percussion with that crazy MalletKAT. The whole band reminded me of Cubans in their musical precision.

The tricky part was taking the lyrics and altering the words here and there to meet the needs of the melody and the phrasing. The good news was that the lyrics were already good. American slang is a touchy animal, with possibilities to invent new lines, as well as avoid the cliché. In the end, we got that straight and Micke turned in his finest vocal performance on record so far”, recalls producer Mark Bingham.


Bandleader and singer Micke Bjorklof founded Blue Strip with bass player Seppo Nuolikoski in 1991. After a few changes at the very start the line up has been the same for over fifteen years. They started as an acoustic blues/rock cover band but before long the roots & blues music and producing original material took over. Today the band is one of the most popular live acts in the roots & blues scene in Finland. They have stirred up audiences around Scandinavia and Europe with their energetic live shows wherever they play, from small clubs to big festival arenas. Opening shows for names like B.B King, FabulousThunderbirds, Little Feat, Bill Wyman Rhythm Kings, Solomon Burke, Robert Plant etc.” In 2007 Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip finished up work on their latest release titled “Whole Nutha Thang”. The album was recorded in London, England with producer Neil Brockbank (Nick Lowe, Tanita Tikaram, Bryan Ferry). The album featured guest appearances by horn players Matt Holland and Martin Winning (Van Morrison, Lisa Stansfield) and magnificent keyboard player Geraint Watkins, known for his work with Paul McCartney, Bill Wyman, Van Morrison and Mark Knopfler.

Album “Three Times seven is…” was the best blues album of the year in Finland 2002. Bjorklof  and guitarist Leppänen are also know from their acoustic duo/trio project Micke & Lefty feat.Chef.

Micke Bjorklof discography:

Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip – Colors Of Jealousy (Hokahey! Records) 2023

Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip – Whole ´Nutha Thang- remastered(Ruf Records) 2021

Micke & Lefty feat.Chef – Let The Fire Lead (Hokahey! Records) 2020

Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip – Twentyfive Live At Blues Baltica (Hokahey! Records) 2018

Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip – Ain’t Bad Yet (Hokahey! Records) 2015

Micke Bjorklof & Blue Strip – After The Flood (Blues Boulevard) 2013

Micke & Lefty feat.Chef – Up The Wall (Hokahey! Records) 2010

Micke Björklöf & Blue Strip – Whole ´Nutha Thang (Bluelight Records) 2007

Micke & Lefty – Big Bag (Bluelight Records) 2004

Micke Björklöf & Blue Strip – Three Times Seven Is… (Bluelight Records) 2002

Micke Björklöf & Blue Strip – Swamp Baby (Bluelight Records) 1999

Micke Björklöf & Blue Strip – From Four Until Late (Stripped Music) 1997