Exposé Online banner

Kepa Härkönen — Spicy Tales & Spacey Tones
(Ramasound RAMA 1018, 2019, )

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-07-06

Spicy Tales & Spacey Tones Cover art

In a general sense, Kepa Härkönen is mostly known as a “surf guitarist” in his native Finland, previously the lead guitarist of The Wristshakers; he’s been honing his craft since the late 80s, yet this is his first full length album under his own name. Spicy Tales & Spacey Tones includes ten original compositions, as well as The Bel-Airs “Mr. Moto”, and Freddie King’s “Fish Fare,” all in a well rounded set of classic styled guitar instrumentals that would make his influences proud. Joining Härkönen for this set are drummer Daniel Hjerppe, bassist Robban Hagnäs, and keyboard player Pekka Gröhn. In his own compositions are the influences of jazz and blues and classic sixties instrumental legends like Hank Marvin and The Shadows, The Ventures and the late great Dick Dale, as well as movie soundtrack stylings, touches of cuban-mexican rhytms and much more. The opener “Havana Dream” plays well on the cuban rhythmic connection, while “Caravan of Reindeers” finds a clever and infectious groove from a bit closer to home. “Lime Green Blues” establishes a strong connection with the blues, yet offers the freedom of a powerful jazz guitar style, and “Slow Surf” is pretty much in the realm of what one would expect from the title, a classic romp through sixties instrumental surf rock without too much twang. If there’s one song here that truly stands out from all the others, it’s “Happy,” with it’s powerful melodic interchanges between guitar and flute, the latter from guest player Olli Tuomainen, flanked by interesting rhythms from Hjerppe. In all, this is a fun ride through Härkönen’s world of fine guitar instrumentals.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Kepa Härkönen

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Glenn Hughes - Return of Crystal karma – Glenn Hughes has always been a hidden, overlooked talent in my book. The man came to prominence first with rockers Trapeze, before moving into the high profile of Deep Purple during the Burn period....  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues