Greenrose FaireGreenrose Faire
Album: My Home Is Where My Heart Is
Label: Secret Entertainment
Tracks: 11

You don't normally associate Finland with medieval-influenced folk rock; more like various genres of metal, but there is always room for a first. 'My Home Is Where My Heart Is' is Greenrose Faire's second album following on from 2011's ' Neverending Journey'.

If you are thinking "ah - another Blackmore's Night" you will be very much mistaken. The only similarity is the awful twee fancy medieval costumes both bands insist on wearing. A bit of research shows that Greenrose Faire are not the only band out of Tampere Finland to have a penchant for dressing up. As well as the metal heads there is even the celtic kilt wearing band Isara.

Greenrose Faire as the English sounding name suggests, have more in common with the seventies folk rock of Fairport Convention, Fotheringay or Steeleye Span than the fore mentioned Mr. Blackmore's ensemble. Greenrose Faire on their Facebook page describe their sound as: - 'Light-hearted celtic folk rock with head-bobbing, toe-tapping rock feel' and I ain't going to start to argue with that.

As well as the standard folk rock fair of drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, mandolin, and fiddle the album is laced with exotic instruments such as the kantele (traditional Finnish plucked string instrument of the dulcimer and zither family) the jouhikko (a traditional, 2 or 3 stringed bowed lyre) and the octave mandola along with the less exotic Irish bouzouki, mandolin, mandocello, autoharp, and didgeridoo, with all instruments in the exotic category played mainly by band members Niilo Sirola and Jupe Hirsimäki. The main songsmith for the band is drummer Tomi Hyttinen who either wrote or co-wrote 10 of the 11 tracks apart from the instrumental 'The clouds are clearing' which closes the album.

'The Storm' kicks off the album and for those of a certain vintage is reminiscent of a folk tinged Rennaissance and vocalist Salla Rimmi has the Annie Haslam knack of soaring along with the melody. My fave the album title 'My Home Is Where My Heart Is' is a lovely toe-tapping rocker which has a chorus and a middle 8 that The Levellers would die for. Nearly everyone will have an album either produced or engineered by the legend that is Stuart Epps who mixed the first two tracks of the album which for me are the stand out tracks along with 'Songs and Stories' and the instrumental 'Moondance' The other tracks are either unmemorable pleasant or wouldn't be out of place on the turgid Eurovision.

Mrs. L likes the album. The troublesome "second album syndrome" has probably been conquered. If the band could work more with Stuart Epps who appears to have found the bands true sound they would go down a storm on the British circuit especially somewhere like Cropredy and definitely without the twee costumes which may go down well in the confines of Finland.

Chris Light