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Mike Westhues Band / Fyyralyyra: Pop-Liisa 14 LP (BLUE)
[Svart Records]

Blue vinyl, 150 copies.

In the early 1900s it usually took several decades for new trends (in arts and music for example) to reach Finland – if they ever did. Things changed in the 1960s which was a revolutionary period in pop culture and music. In the pop music circles there were also a few people that were musically influential and exotic figures as individuals to the Finnish scene: for example Jim Pembroke and Frank Robson from the UK and Mike Westhues from the US.

All of the mentioned artists moved to Finland in the 60s and 70s. But unlike Pembroke and Robson, Mike Westhues (1949–2013) lived in Finland for only a short period (in the 1970s and again in the mid 00s). He recorded four albums in Finland altogether.

Mike Westhues Band performed at the Popstudio in 1977 before his Goodbye Rosalita album. Usually Mike performed solo with just his guitar and harmonica but occasionally with a band as well. For this Popstudio set he had been able to gather an impressive lineup behind him: Dave Lindholm (electric guitar), Make Lievonen (electric bass), Heikki Hiekkala (piano), Urpo “Zape” Leppänen (drums, backing vocals) and Tiitta Spout (backing vocals).

“This was a great band, like a mixture of Orfeus and Pen Lee”, says Dave Lindholm now. Lindholm was already involved with Westhues’ debut album in 1972.

The second band of the show, Fyyralyyra, came from Jyväskylä. Musically the contrast between the two acts is quite extreme but interesting: as Mike Westhues Band played American country rock, Fyyralyyra played prog rock and jazz-influenced traditional folk. But what the two have in common is that they both represent romantic and traditional culture. As such, the set is an interesting collision of American and Finnish culture in one live radio show.

Fyyralyyra was a very new band in the Finnish music scene at the time since it was founded just a year earlier in 1976. Nevertheless its members already had a long experience in folk music. In this case the word “folk” refers to traditional folk, not the 1950s–60s American folk in the popular music context (from the likes of Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger etc.)

Fyyralyyra’s music was a unique mix of different styles. The songs are based on folk melodies but they have long, improvisational parts that grow into free jazz jams. Because of their musical style the band was very often compared to Piirpauke and the press considered Fyyralyyra “following Piirpauke’s footsteps”.

This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 12 December, 2017.
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