Finland’s Jussi Syren has posted a video tease to promote his upcoming tribute to Ralph Stanley, recorded with his touring band, The Groundbreakers.
As you can see in the video, Jussi is a serious student of the earliest days of American bluegrass, which he reproduces with stunning accuracy on mandolin and as a singer. Typically he records music that he has written, and this Stanley tribute finds he and the band channeling the Ralph Stanley sound on a set of classic songs from that catalog. He leaves aside the mandolin to more closely approximate the feel of the Stanley cuts from the 1970s.
On February 25, Dr. Stanley’s birthday, Syren will release four live music videos on his YouTube channel, which will serve as his tribute to the man he admired so greatly. Before you sniff at the notion of a Finn doing Ralph Stanley, watch the video.
The Groundbreakers include the remarkable Tauri Oksala on banjo, J.P. Putkonen on guitar, Kari Hella on bass, and Aarne Syren on fiddle.
The tribute will only be released on YouTube for fellow Ralph Stanley fans to appreciate. Songs included will be Hemlocks And Primroses, Room At The Top Of The Stairs, A Little Boy Called Joe and Bootleg John.