BUFORD POPE
Matching Numbers
(Unchained Records)

 

Sweden was always renowned for their excellent progressive rock bands from the late ‘70s and ‘80s and of course, there’s ABBA with 40+ years of history. Not much attention was really ever paid to Sweden’s many fine bands who break with the mother tongue but thanks to the work of Peter Holmsted of Hemifrån who, thanks to his vast knowledge and refined musical taste, has helped his fellow countrymen spread the word far and wide about the new wave of Swedish pop in the 21st century—young bands with fresh ideas and new voices including the band called Buford Pope who have an excellent 2012 CD called Matching Numbers. Apparently, there’s a whole new wave of Swedish singer-songwriters espousing the wonders of West Coast pop circa 1971—funny enough the year Buford Pope main man Mikael Liljeborg was born. Actually assuming the name Buford Pope as a stage name, the singer-songwriter, backed up here by a fine band, and sounding influenced by both Robbie Robertson and Steve Stills, cites Bob Dylan of course among his main influences and even some of this sounds kind of influenced by the music of A Man Called E back in 1992, albeit twenty years later. Several of the catchier songs really connect and there’s also a few tracks that will be played by radio. Four albums into their career, with Matching Numbers Buford Pope hits a new high for Swedish musical excellence. www.BufordPope.com / www.hemifran.com


mwe3.com presents an interview with
MIKAEL LILJEBORG
of Buford Pope



mwe3: Congratulations on the new Matching Numbers CD. For the listeners outside of Sweden and Scandinavia can you tell us when Buford Pope was formed and what were the fortunate events that brought you to the release of the Matching Numbers CD? Also is there a story behind choosing the name Buford Pope as a band name?

MIKAEL LILJEBORG: Thank you very much. You might say I was late to it. I started playing the guitar and write songs when I was 30. Well, I heard the name Buford Pope in a movie for about ten years ago, it sounded like good music so I took it as my name as a performer and songwriter.

I never had the confidence and I didn't see my self as a songwriter but one day I just bought a guitar and started to write. I never thought about how it would sound. Songs are a lot easier to write when you feel you've got something to say, that was what happened, I wanted to say something!

Matching Numbers is my fourth album and to me it seems like a lot of the songs were born on the road and on the stage.

mwe3: You were born in 1971 so you weren’t exposed to the original folk-rock and early rock boom of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. When did you become interested in rock and folk music and especially the folk-rock sound of Dylan, Jackson Browne and later Springsteen? What other influences helped form you musical make-up so to speak and how did it impact your singing and song writing?

ML: A good friend of mine introduced me to Bob Dylan when I was 15 years old, I was amazed by him so he made me interested in other singers and storytellers in that field of music. As a songwriter, life itself always has something to offer, good or bad it becomes a song .

mwe3: What’s the current scene like for your music in Sweden and Scandinavia and what’s been the reaction to your new Matching Numbers CD in Sweden and elsewhere? What other groups and singers do you admire in Sweden, the E.U. and the States?

ML: This album really has covered some ground in Europe, good reviews and a lot of airplay, so we're planning a big tour...

There are just too many bands and singers that I admire all around the world but to name a few that always get my attention: Gillian Welch, Son Volt, Buddy Miller, Ryan Adams, Jakob Dylan, Ryan Bingham...

mwe3: What was your early musical training like and what instruments were you first introduced to? Can you add in something about your choice of guitars and what guitars are you featuring on the new Buford Pope CD?

ML: I never had an early musical training, but even though I didn't play I always kept my eyes on guitars. I loved the sound and the look of them and how easy it was to bring them everywhere .

On stage I'm using a Gibson J45, that's my favorite. When we recorded the album I used a Martin OM 35 a great guitar for studio sessions.

mwe3: Who plays with you on the Matching Numbers CD and who else was directly and indirectly involved in the making of the new Buford Pope CD?

ML: Bass And Harmony Vocals: Jörgen Lindström
Piano, Hammond, Accordion And Harmony Vocals: Amir Aly (Also the producer on Matching Numbers)

Drums: Mattias Pedersen

Electric Guitar, Lap Steel, Dobro And Harmony Vocals: Pelle Jernryd

This is my band on stage and in the studio. On the recording you can also hear my sister in law, Anna Liljeborg: Harmony Vocals and Filip Runesson: Fiddle

As a singer and songwriter you do a lot of solo gigs but the last couple of years I've done a lot of gigs with my band. They are great musicians and I love to hang with them so I'm very proud and happy about that...

mwe3: What are your plans for spreading the word about Matching Numbers and what other plans do you have for Buford Pope as far as recording and performances as 2012 winds down and we move into
2013?

ML: I've got big plans for Matching Numbers and I really think that this record deserves a shot at it. Life is very inspiring, I love being on the stage to perform and also to write music, If I don't listen to music, I write a song. My plans are to keep doing what I do. There are so many people involved in this, and I would like to thank you all for your support.

Thanks to Mikael Liljeborg @ www.BufordPope.com

 

 
   
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