Words by Fiona Talkington
This is a five-star album. Now get out there, put your dancing shoes on and spend hour after hour with these fantastic Finnish fiddlers. You won’t be disappointed. Frigg was born with a Finnish-Norwegian line-up and although the music of Finland now dominates, the spirit of adventure, which captured the music world in their early days, is as strong and inventive as ever. The Finnish fiddling tradition, with its roots in Kaustinen, was very much defined by the group JPP, who have been together for 30 years. The surname Järvelä was at that band’s core, and younger members of that family are at the heart of Frigg too. They’re consummate musicians and composers, brimming over with energy and an awareness of the textures, harmonies and rhythms that make their compositions more than merely a set of good tunes.
The opening of the album reminds me of the feeling you get as the Rolling Stones’ ‘Brown Sugar’ starts up – pure adrenalin. Guitarist and dobro player Tuomas Logrén writes a mean schottische. Antti Järvelä’s ‘Bø!’ is one of those unstoppable fiddle tunes that you might dance to all night at the Kaustinen Festival. Then there’s time to get your breath back and shed a tear with a beautiful wedding waltz, share a joke or two in the ragtime ‘Big Brother’. This is a CD to have on permanent repeat.
TRACK TO TRY: Vierivä (The Rolling Schottische)