The Helsinki Mandoliners: The Helsinki Mandoliners
Sailin from the northern waters of the world’s mando-oceans comes the Helsinki Mandoliners with a different repertoire and approach to the mandolin trio format. This group is comprised of three of Finland’s top progressive folk musicians, all of whom are involved with other touring/recording bands.
Though best known today as a guitarist, Olli Varis (1st mandolin, i.e. melody) started out as a mandolin player. Fiddler Arto Järvelä (2nd mandolin – low melody & harmony parts, octave mandolin) added both big and small mandos to his arsenal of Finnish instruments. Petri Hakala (cittern – even lower melodies, mandolin) started out mainly as a mandolinist playing bluegrass and celtic before moving on to Finnish folk. They’ve adapted the twin fiddle arranging styles to mandolins, plus adding international elements. ”Mandoliners Polska” has a bit of the Dave Apollon and ”new acoustic feel”. ”Toinen Rastas” has a Greek sound, though it’s a traditional Finn fiddle tune with a bit of bird call imitation. Add original material and you have a fresh new slant on the mandolin trio ensemble.
The ship leaves from Helsinki harbour when you push the ’play’ button on your stereo! Have a nice cruise!
Niles Hokkanen – editor, The Mandocrucian’s Digest