For those who want to feel festive, but are tired of hearing the same old Christmas songs that jam the air waves every December, may I suggest the ethereal folk-jazz stylings of Heikki Ruokangas and Sio Laihonen’s Joulupuu on rakennettu: Finnish Christmas Songs.

While there are no vocals on this EP, guitarist Ruokangasand percussionist Laihonen perfectly evoke the stoicism and dreamlike wonder of a snowy Northern Christmas. Across the release’s four tracks, wandering guitar lines flitter and drift like fluffy white snowflakes caught in a breeze while Laihonen adds mystical auras with his shimmering percussion and ritualistic drumming.

The yuletide vibes are especially strong on the traditional “En etsi valtaa loistoa,” which features a backing haze of sleigh bells behind soft flamenco-like fingerpicking. If there was ever a song that was filled with the warmth of dozing off on after a few glasses of wine on Christmas Eve with sugar plums dancing in your head, it’s surely this one.

If you like spacey Jerry Garcia-like guitar improvisations, plus the holiday records by Sean Smith and Anthony Pasquarosa, then this CD is the perfect stocking stuffer for you. Click here to order yours today.


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