Janne Viksten: Blue Harbor
I’ve known Janne since he was in his mid-teens. Even back then he was impressive. He had the ”tone, touch, taste, time” thing happening – and that’s early for that stuff to be in place. Now here he is with his first solo outing, and it’s a completely joyous opus to experience.
Though I know him mostly as a banjo player (and his 5-string playing is outrageously good all over this cd), he also turns in beautiful performances on guitar, mandolin, fiddle(s), and probably bass as well. Not only that, he can compose like a son-of-a-gun. And after spending years engineering in studios, he’s able to conjure up great sounds. Plus his production is stellar.
OK… enough superlatives, already. The thing is, it’s all true.
Janne seems to have an endless fount of creativity and technique on which to draw. Perhaps my favorite tune on the album demonstrates this perfectly. ”Blue Harbor”, which Janne describes as perhaps the way his music is headed, is a magnificently poignant piece with banjo serving as more of a textural participant. It’s an extended tone poem that leaves me in a state of wonder. It’s so good!
His command of various genres – from bluegrass to Celtic to classical, and various stops in between – add to the vitality of this project.
If Janne lived in America instead of Finland, he would be an acoustic star. One can only hope that geographical remove wilI not stand in the way of the kudos his rich talent deserves.
Tony Trischka – May 1998