The Finnish fiddle wizards are back with another remarkable album. Frost on Fiddles takes you into a wild sled ride inspired by the folk music of Finland and Norway, modern bluegrass, Celtic music and fabulous Transylvanian-style rapid fire fiddling.
The four fiddlers and string musicians display their talent with flavorful intertwined layers of fiddles, guitar, mandolin and bass.
The line on Frost on Fiddles includes Tommi Asplund on fiddle; Tero Hyväluoma on fiddle; Alina Järvelä on fiddle; Esko Järvelä on fiddle; Juho Kivivuori on bass; Tuomas Logrén on guitar; and Petri Prauda on cittern and mandolin.
Frost on Fiddles is yet another exceptionally good contemporary folk music album with an array of top Finnish talent.
Frigg specializes in the rich folk heritage from Finland and Norway. The musicians combine elements of their respective folk traditions with touches of American Appalachian bluegrass and country & western music.
The seven-piece band contains three young Järvelä, two sons and a daughter of the most famous fiddle family in Finland, whose fathers and uncles founded JPP, and two Larsen brothers, members of a comparable Norwegian Hardanger fiddle clan. The traditional sounds are then boosted with innovative arrangements, and combined with mandola, cittern, double bass, guitar and dobro.
Frigg has been impressing festival audiences in Scandinavia and creating a phenomenal sensation among listeners and fellow musicians. Their debut CD, Frigg, was co-produced by Timo Alakotila.
With Oasis, the Finnish/Norwegian string band returned with a great new set of inventive tunes. Using traditional music as the starting point and their family ties to the great Finnish fiddle ensemble JPP, creating remarkable string music that incorporates elements of bluegrass and other American folk influences.
While a few compositions on their second CD, are given some expanded instrumentation, the highlight remains strong tunes, such as the hauntingly beautiful title track, and the crowd-pleasing “Fantomen,” that was very well received when the band appeared on the American public radio program “A Prairie Home Companion” on October 1, 2005.
With colder weather and darker days approaching in this region, the hibernation instinct has arrived. Now seems like the perfect time to gaze north and to listen to Nordic music. The Finnish-Norwegian fiddling sensation, Frigg’s third studio recording, Economy Class provides rousing original compositions and one traditional Norwegian piece, “Lars Lenkelifot” (with its Northern Lights type choral arrangement).
These youngsters hail from a de facto fiddling dynasty–the small Finnish village of Jarvela, where anyone with the surname of Jarvela must have been born with a fiddle in his hand–so it seems when listening to this collection of songs. The press notes even call this collective of musicians a “power-string band”. The playing is immaculate and the compositions intrigue with their twists and turns, not uncommon with Nordic fiddling music–think Vasen, think JPP.
Frigg proves equally adept with slow moody ballads such as “When the Time Comes I’ll Be Ready” to the pan-European and American bluegrass that finds its home on Economy Class. Many people might jump on board this cozy economy flight and enjoy the entertainment and adventure it provides.
Patricia Herlevi hosts and produces the community radio show, Global Heartthrob and The Whole Music Experience blog.
Scandinavia is a land of excellent fiddlers. In the past months, a new batch of recordings featuring top folk violinists from the Nordic countries ha appeared in record stores.
Frigg’s latest offering is Oasis. The Finnish band specializes in the folk songs of Finland and Norway, with a bit of bluegrass added for spice. Even though the fiddles play the leading role, Frigg also uses wind instruments, bagpipes and other elements. The song selection ranges from lively dance pieces to delightful melodic compositions.
Swedish band Swåp presents a captivating combination of Celtic music with Swedish folk on Du Da. The Swedish and British musicians that form the band explore these sounds with the help of accordion, fiddles and guitars.
One of the stars of contemporary Nordic folk music is Swedish group Väsen. The virtuoso instrumentalists perform their new brand of Swedish folk music throughout Europe, North America and Japan. It is in Japan where the brilliant trio recorded its most recent offering, a live album.
Live in Japan portrays three excellent musicians playing smoking live versions of Swedish polskas, bluegrass-influenced tunes and other folk styles using fiddle, nyckelharpa (Swedish hurdy-gurdy) and fiddle. The double set includes a DVD with a documentary about the group.
From Norway comes Rusk II, featuring the vocals of Unni Lovlid, the accordion of Frode Haltli and the hardanger fiddle of Vegar Vardal.
The song selection includes folk songs from Sweden and Norway, ranging from pols dances and hymns to drinking songs and even a tribute to Johnny Cash. Nevertheless, the ambiance is not merry, but rather evocative and melancholic, with a chamber music ensemble feel.
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