May looks to be a banner month for Finnish bluegrass mandolinist and vocalist, Jussi Syren. The leader of Finland’s top bluegrass outfit, Jussi Syren & The Groundbreakers, not only has a new single out today, he is looking forward to the publication of an authorized biography, Jussi Syren: Musiikkimies (Jussi Syren: Music Man).
Today’s single is for a song called Big Boss Man, one Syren wrote and sings, supported by his regular bandmates, Tauri Oksala on banjo, J.P. Putkonen on guitar, and Tero Mäenpää on bass. It’s a working man’s lament does as a 12 bar blues, with some strong picking from The Groundbreakers.
Have a listen in the accompanying music video.
Syren’s biography is set for release in mid-May, written by Janne Salmi, who covers the mando man’s music career from the 1970s right up to today. In addition to a look at his music across many years, it includes a detailed discography of recorded music from 1981 to 2022. Jussi Syren: Musiikkimies is written in Finnish. No word yet on whether an English translation might be forthcoming.
Jussi is understandably proud of the book, and shared a few words about what readers will find within.
“I’ve known the author, Janne Salmi, for years and he’s been writing biographies of several Finnish roots musicians. He had an idea writing a book about me and talked to the publisher (Partuuna). They were willing to publish a book, Jussi Syren: Musiikkimies (Jussi Syren: Music Man in English). We stuck mostly to music, not much private life unless it has some effect on my music. Of course I mention my parents and uncles since they were my first influences. My kids are in the book too, since I’ve made music with them on stage and in studio.
The book tells a story of a kid who started playing American roots music – most of all bluegrass – making a career of it, and continuing today. There’s lots of interviews of my band mates and colleagues around the world, record company people, and many more.
The book simply draws a picture of my career with lots of interesting and sometimes funny stories along the way.”
Pre-orders can be placed now online for delivery on May 20 inside of Finland. International orders can also be placed.