Shave And Haircut – Jussi Syren And The Groundbreakers

Finland’s Jussi Syren and The Groundbreakers have released Shave And Haircut, their 7th album of traditional bluegrass, retro-Nordic style.

As the cover art implies, Jussi and his merry band specialize in a style that reached it’s zenith in the 1960s, drawing influence from popular US artists like Red Allen and The Lilly Brothers. Their sound is raw and fierce, partly by design, and partly as a consequence of tracking 100% live in the studio.

Jussi plays mandolin and sings lead, with Tauri Oksala on banjo, J.P. Putkonen on guitar, and Kari Hella on bass. Marko Vanhatalo guests on resonator guitar as does Nelli Ikola on fiddle.

In a recent email exchange, Syren told us that as much as he admires the music of Red Allen and The Kentuckians, the similarity in their styles is more organic.

“That’s because we played a lot in bars and honky-tonks, just as they did. It’s a noisy environment and you have to be loud and hard driving.”

He also sent along a few audio samples from the new CD. First up is one of Jussi’s songs…

Will The Flowers Bloom In Dixie: []

…and a Buzz Busby’s cover…

Lost: []

…and one from Hylo Brown.

Walk Slowly Darling: []

Here’s a look at the band live, doing their version of a Jim Eanes classic.

Shave And Haircut can be ordered online from the Goofin’ Records web site. An LP will be available soon as well, on 180 gram vinyl.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.