Is that really Sami Chohfi, singing sweetly over an acoustic guitar? The frontman of the incendiary Blue Helix – the man who has, for the past decade, kept the Pacific Northwest safe for melodic hard rock– is sitting still. Could it be? Dedicated fans – and there are legions – are going to need a moment.
Yes, indeed, the aptly-titled “It’s Just Me” is a fresh look from the fiery Chohfi, who typically soars over near-symphonic accompaniment. While much has changed, there’s also plenty for followers of Chohfi and Blue Helix to recognize. “It’s Just Me” has the same sturdy construction, candid subject matter, and strong instrumental performances that we’ve come to expect from a Chohfi recording. Although his delivery is hushed and conversational, it’s no less intense than he’s ever been. Without heavy guitar, bass, and drums backing him, he’s left to be honest, raw, and incredibly vulnerable. While Blue Helix was always best known for high-energy rock, the band has a folkier side, too. As it turns out, the new direction for the singer-songwriter is very similar to the one he’s always followed.