Down Beat (p.74) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his popular Swedish singer evidences a good judgment of pacing, a firm clarity in her voice and a true understanding of blues and soul..."
Personnel: Louise Hoffsten (vocals, harmonica); Steve Selvidge (guitar); Jim Spake (saxophone); Scott Thompson (trumpet); Lester Snell (keyboards); Steve Potts (drums).
Audio Mixer: Kevin Houston .
Recording information: Ardent Studio (05/16/2005-05/21/2005); Memphis Soundworks, Memphis, Tennessee (05/16/2005-05/21/2005); Ardent Studio (05/23/2005-05/26/2005); Memphis Soundworks, Memphis, Tennessee (05/23/2005-05/26/2005).
Photographers: Bob Merlis; David Less; Justin Fox Burks; Anton H. LeClercq.
Louise Hoffsten is a megastar in her native Sweden. Since 1987 she has released recordings that have captured the hearts of her countryfolk and left them wanting more. As both a singer and a songwriter she has an uncanny knack for delivering pictures of the human condition in all its frailty, ambition, desire, vulnerability, and bravado. She is loved by performers from Marcia Ball to k.d. lang to Nancy Sinatra. From Linköping to Memphis is, in its own way, the story of a journey from her native village in Sweden to the heart of soul and funk, Memphis (and she records for the Memphis International record label now). Recorded at Ardent Studios, From Linköping to Memphis features some of the storied city's finest session men, including guitarist Steve Selvidge, keyboardist Lester Snell, bassist David Smith, and drummer Steve Potts. The horn players include stalwarts Jim Spake on saxophone and Scott Thompson on trumpet. Hoffsten co-wrote all but one track on this set with her songwriting partner, Peter Kvint, and others. Tracks range from the gritty soul-funk of "Good for You" and the reeling "Slow Train" to steamy jazzed-up soul ballads like "Fall Like Babylon," with Spake doing his best Ben Webster imitation. But there's more. There's the acoustically flavored country-ish ballad "Make the Most of It" and the folksy heartbreaker "Rise," which is pure poetry. Then there's sweltering straight-up gritty soul of "I Wish You Had My Heart" and the pumped-up rock & roll sass of "Shut Up & Kiss Me." There's so much here and it's all so utterly naked and honest, brimming with emotion and attitude, that there's something here for everyone. From Linköping to Memphis is a small marvel, a jewel in the rough that deserves to be heard and embraced. . ~ Thom Jurek