Esko Järvelä Epic Male Band — Rye Groove
((Not on label) Epic Male Band, 2015, EMB002)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-06-13Some Exposé readers may remember Esko Järvelä, by sound if not by name, as he was part of the band Frigg, whose albums we’ve reviewed. On his own now, he’s set aside the all-acoustic sound of Frigg and embraced fiery folk-rock, jumping into the realm of Hoven Droven, or (on the other side of the North Sea) instrumental Fairport Convention and Horslips, or even (across the Atlantic) Ashley MacIsaac. The opening track, “Whip,” is a powerful statement of intent, with a catchy riff from the guitars (electric by Jani Kivelä and acoustic by Anssi Salminen) and bass (Juho Kivivuori), and driving drums (Janne Mathlin), with Järvelä’s blazing fiddle soaring over the top. Other tracks take a more relaxed approach, covering the lyrical ballad side of the folk base, like the lovely “Rose on the Water.” Frigg always had a Celtic element to their sound, and Epic Male Band continues this trend, and the Americana side of Frigg is reflected in a cut called “Sheriff,” that’s a bouncy and downright silly (though virtuosic) take on bluegrass, country, and Western kitsch rolled into one. Another part of the world entirely is referenced in “Kabob Ostrobothnia,” namely the Middle East, which features guests on darbuka and added strings. The pervasive mood is one of having fun with diverse influences, interpreting them through a Finnish lens, and letting fly. Any fan of rocked-up folk music should enjoy Rye Groove — far from being the overblown testosterone-hyped guy-rock implied by the “Epic Male” name, this is about as much fun as you can have with a fiddle and an electric band.
Related artist(s): Esko Järvelä
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more