“EASY STREET” MARSK MUSIC CD 1459 / MNW
A variety of styles are covered on this 14 track album in a fusion of blues – electrified folk and Rhythm & Blues. The arrangements are built around a rhythmic, piano-like guitar-style. In a unique way Biceps has created his own way of playing that makes him a trendsetter on his instrument which contributes to the very special sound on this production. “Easy Street” is a suggestive, relieving move from an artist with a subtle, melodic vocal and a rare ear for his own part in the arrangements. Together with attentive producers and musicians he has created a CD well worth listening to.
Producers: Børge “Biceps” Jensen – Frank Birch & Frank Marstokk.
Recorded in STUDIET & SILK SOUND nov. 1997.
The Press on EASY STREET
Erik Jensen in Politiken:
The photo on the cover of Danish blues-veteran Børge “Biceps” Jensen’s new solo-move is a street corner in the French Quarter in New Orleans. So we are in the swinging sun- and tradition-bound South, where the blues once was born, rocked and nursed by worn out black plantation workers. In other words one might suggest that there are grounds for predicting another conservative and endlessly predictable hard-ass blues by yet another Danish artist.
The suspicion is fortified by the fact that Børge ”Biceps” – God have mercy on him – has recorded (by the way a rather laid back) version of the routine-ruin “House Of The Risin’ Sun”.
Fortunately the prejudices are not justified. Børge “Biceps” Jensen has tranquilizing refinements up his sleeves, Big Mama by the hand, Rock & Roll in his hips and delicatessen on his guitar during his careless walk down Easy Street. The album was recorded in Copenhagen but reeks of sunny New Orleans all the way with its easy, but exiting rhythms, the delicate ensemble-play on these raw live-takes and of course the words to fine self-composed songs like “Coming Down With The Misery”, “Bootleg Liquor & Moonshine Love” and “Blue To Grey”. It is the delicate details that makes Børge “Biceps” Jensen’s album raise and shine above the ordinary standard in this undeniably often very washed-out genre and soon calls for a tour on the Easy Streets of Denmark.
Steffen Lange – Midtjyllands Avis:
Børge “Biceps” Jensen is one of Denmark’s strongest blues guitarists. With “Easy Steer” he has quite a remarkably CD, that just gets better and better every time you listen to it. One also feels an atmosphere of West Coast and The Grateful Dead. “Biceps” has written all the songs that varies a lot. Blues, rock, reggae, roots, folk and a lot of other stuff. Everything is glued together by the vocal and that nice singing guitar-sound and you must be tone-deaf is he disappoints you.
Peter Nørgaard in Ekstra Bladet: ROOTS – 3 stars
Raw, unsweetened and honest all the way through.
Børge ‘Biceps’ Jensen of Copenhagen, guitarist, singer, author and composer has, for half a generation, been one the leading blues-rock musicians in this land. He fights, tooth and nail, for the American roots music. Finally he has a self-composed solo disc out where he frisks about in this genre with a number of colleagues of the Danish blues-rock and country scene. From Cajun to ballads and clean cultivated blues. As a composer, wordmonger and slide-guitarist, “Biceps” is one of the greatest personalities in the parish pump.
Scott Baretta in the Swedish blues magazine JEFFERSON:
His nickname deriving from a figure in a Donald Duck cartoon rather than his musculature,
Jensen is a Copenhagen-based artist with a long and wide background in American roots
music, having begun as a folk singer, later fronting country, rock and roll, and blues bands, as
well as working as a solo blues act.
With such a varied background, one’s not surprised at the eclectic nature of Easy Street,
which could best be described as a “roots music” record. In this sense one might put him in a
category with such artist as Ry Cooder, Robbie Robertson, John Hiatt, Los Lobos, Dave Alvin,
or Mark Knopfler during his better moments. In any case these were the artists I thought of in
listening to the record – whether for vocals, guitar work, or production – though to Jensen’s
credit he manages to make a strong statement all his own throughout, with no touch of a
Danish accent in his strong vocals.
There’s not a weak track on this 14-track record, which has a rich production value at
times reminiscent of that of producer Daniel Lanois. On two tracks where one might have
expected derivative styles, the guitarist Jensen surprised, his Robert Johnson tribute, Mr.
Johnson and the devil, performed in a laid-back acoustic style, accompanied
sympa-thetically by drums, bass and piano harmonica, and on House of the Rising Sun (the
only cover here), he switches tempo, producing a whole new tune, with a guitar riff that
evokes Los Lobos’ Cesar Rosas.
Anna Lee is a zydeco-inspired tune, a style Jensen polished up during an extended stay in
Lafayette, Louisiana, the heartland of Cajun and zydeco, while Bootleg liquor & moonshine
love finds him down around the Mexican border, in the style of Ry Cooder’s work with
Flaco Jiminez. I hear somebody calling my name has a dark tone, with Jensen singing in a
warm, slightly hoarse voice, reminiscent of the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, with musical
parallels to that band’s cover of the old folk-tune Cold rain and snow..
In his breadth and success in addressing a variety of styles, Jensen has produced here a
world class album which deserves listening well beyond Denmark.