NEW YORK – “Play Yard Blues,” the latest solo album from Europe guitarist John Norum, is now available on Mascot Records.
The long-awaited album takes a different approach than Norum’s past releases, showcasing a more bluesy side of his soulful style. “Play Yard Blues” consists of 10 tracks, recorded in Norum’s hometown of Stockholm, Sweden.
“When I started playing, I only played blues rock,” Norum said. “Now I feel it’s time to go back to my roots.”
The album title was inspired by the studio in which it was recorded – Play Yard Studios. “It’s also the name of a song and it ended up being one of my favorite songs on the album,” he said.
In addition to the Norum originals, the guitarist puts his personal stamp on a few classics: Thin Lizzy’s “It’s Only Money,” Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush’s “Ditch Queen,” and Mountain’s “Travellin’ in the Dark.” “I always loved Thin Lizzy, Mountain, and Frank Marino, so I want to pay tribute to those guys,” Norum said.
As a whole, Norum sees his new album as a tribute to his late wife, Michelle Meldrum of the band Meldrum, who passed away suddenly two years ago at the age of just 39. Photos of Norum and the couple’s young son emphasize the double meaning of the album’s title, with the guitarist and the boy side-by-side, guitars in hand. “It´s a tribute to Michelle and I wanted him to be part of it,” Norum said. “And he is proud of his daddy’s playing.”
“Play Yard Blues,” Norum’s seventh solo album, was mixed and produced by Norum and Peer Stappe. Norum, who sings on the album in addition to playing to guitar, is joined by musicians Tomas Torberg (bass), Thomas Bronman (drums), Peer Stappe (percussion), and Mic Michaeli (keyboards).
Mascot Records is an independent record company based in The Netherlands that specializes in guitar music, from metal to instrumental guitar, hard rock, prog rock and (guitar) fusion.