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Thread: Yooper Creoles: Finnish Music in Michigan's Copper Country

  1. #1
    Registered User TatorTotHotdish's Avatar
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    Default Yooper Creoles: Finnish Music in Michigan's Copper Country

    In another thread a member mentioned Ralph Tuttila as a mandolin influence. The name looked familiar, so did a search and stumbled across this video.
    In the mid 90"s I traded a vintage Hohner button accordion with Mr. Tuttila for a vintage mandolin banjo. My dad was with and he spoke fluent finnish, and always spoke it with anyone he could. Mr. Tuttila gave my dad a few cassettes of a finnish band he was in.
    I would like to learn some traditional finnish songs on mandolin. Does anyone have suggestions of Finnish songs that translate good for mandolin instrumentals.

    Many thanks to maker of above video. It is great there are people out there keeping this history alive and bringing it to the attention of new people.



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    Registered User TatorTotHotdish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yooper Creoles: Finnish Music in Michigan's Copper Country

    Apologize, I should have posted in European Folk section.

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    Default Re: Yooper Creoles: Finnish Music in Michigan's Copper Country

    Here's a random selection of Finn tunes that are fun on mandolin (a search of the forum will find other discussions on this topic). I think the music for these can all be found on John Chambers abc page: http://john-chambers.us/~jc/cgi/abc/tunefind. (Be patient, they can take a while to load). Good luck and enjoy!

    (and thanks for that video, I look forward to watching it)

    Sakkijarven polka
    Metsakukkia
    Isa Jusin Scotiisi
    Hintikan Matin jenkka
    Lordag's Valsen
    Penttilan Sillilla
    Schottish Fran Norbotten
    Satumaa (tango)
    Hannun ja Riitan haavalssi
    Cedwyn Morgan

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    Default Re: Yooper Creoles: Finnish Music in Michigan's Copper Country

    No mandolin content, but:

    We played at Finn Funn Fest in Gloucester MA last year and saw this group that is revitalizing the Finnish 7-piece (I think) brass band tradition, who came from the Midwest to play. They were great. They have a video about that tradition:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFCw8XgHNYU

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    Ted Heinonen
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    Default Re: Yooper Creoles: Finnish Music in Michigan's Copper Country

    FinnFest is in Duluth again this summer so I'm assuming Ralph and the band will be there like last year. Oren Tikanen is quite the Finnish Mando picker too, I have shared the stage many times in the past. The best of their playing can be found on albums Ralph and Oren put out years ago - Best album is "Life in the Finnish American Woods" Oren's mandolin shines brightly.
    Last edited by theinone; Apr-01-2024 at 7:41pm.

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yooper Creoles: Finnish Music in Michigan's Copper Country

    Quote Originally Posted by theinone View Post
    FinnFest is in Duluth again this summer so I'm assuming Ralph and the band will be there like last year. Oren Tikanen is quite the Finnish Mando picker too, I have shared the stage many times in the past. The best of their playing can be found on albums Ralph and Oren put out years ago - Best album is "Life in the Finnish American Woods" Oren's mandolin shines brightly.
    Just a point - that's not Ralph Tuttila with Oren but rather Al Rekko, accordion player and singer for Finn Hall.

    Yes, Ralph's current band, Lauluaika is planning to play at Finnfest this year. We have a website and YouTube channel.

    And thank you for the link to Yooper Creoles, it's a great film.

    Obvious bias alert - I am in Lauluaika and our band is also shown in Yooper Creoles.
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    Default Re: Yooper Creoles: Finnish Music in Michigan's Copper Country

    Thanks for the recommendations. I tried finding " Life in the Finnish-American Woods" Cd, but cannot find.
    I was able to find and buy a music book with CD by Arto Jarvela of Frank Hietalan.

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    Registered User d18daddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yooper Creoles: Finnish Music in Michigan's Copper Country

    Ralph is a great guy.

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    Ted Heinonen
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    Default Re: Yooper Creoles: Finnish Music in Michigan's Copper Country

    Oho minun virheeni my mistake.. Al and Ralph look like they could be brothers when I look at the old Finn Hall LPs I have, good catch Eric. It's nice that they reissued all their albums on CD. I can't recommend highly enough both Volume 1 Dance at the Finn Hall and Life in the Finnish American Woods and volume 2 has Reunion At Finntown and American Boys In Finland. Great source of Finnish and Finn American tunes.

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yooper Creoles: Finnish Music in Michigan's Copper Country

    Quote Originally Posted by TatorTotHotdish View Post
    Thanks for the recommendations. I tried finding " Life in the Finnish-American Woods" Cd, but cannot find.
    I was able to find and buy a music book with CD by Arto Jarvela of Frank Hietalan.
    Am not sure where to find the CDs. I ordered them from a seller in Ely, MN a few years ago, but they are out of business.

    It's possible Oren has some. But I haven't seen them available for a while.
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    Default Re: Yooper Creoles: Finnish Music in Michigan's Copper Country

    I just ran across this thread, and I must say it startled me .Thanks for the kind words, Ted Heinonen! Anyway, Eric is right: I do have a number of the Reko/Tikkanen CD's in the closet. Al Reko and I made the recordings in my home studio in the 1980's, Al singing and playing accordion, me multitracking guitar, mandolin, and bass. There are some good moments in there, and some that cause me to wince a little now (especially from a mixing and mastering point of view). However, the CD's are adequate for learning some Finnish and Finnish-American tunes by ear. Al Reko has been a true, solid Finnish-American dance band hero for many, many years, and I'd be glad to spread his music out to anyone interested. $20 for the 4-CD set. Paypal should work just fine. Is there a feature here to send me an email (I'm fairly ignorant about how this works, sorry!)?

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