Heikki Ruokangas and Simo Laihonen – Joulupuu on rakennettu: Finnish Christmas Songs

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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Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and Thewaster.com and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

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