Title - 'Spicy Tales & Spacey Tones'
Artist - Kepa Härkönen
Finland continues to amaze guitar fans with the 2019 North American CD release of Spicy Tales & Spacey Tones by Kepa Härkönen.
This vibrant 2018 recording includes ten Kepa originals and a pair of covers by Freddie King and surf-rock legends The Bel-Airs.
The album is a fitting display of Kepa's guitar influences, running the gamut from Mickey Baker and Freddie King to Ry Cooder, Shadows' icon Hank B. Marvin and jazzers like Kenny Burrell, Marc Robot and Manuel Galban.
1. 'Havana Dream'
2. 'Funky Hi-Heels'
3. 'Caravan of Reindeers'
4. 'Lime Green Blues'
5. 'Escape from the City'
6. 'Mr. Moto'
7. 'Slow Surf'
9. 'The Last Independence Day'
11. 'Fish Fare'
12. 'Blue Flames'
Chock full of rock 'n' roll surfing ambience, the opening track 'Havana Dream' epitomizes that vibe perfectly, before raising the tempo for 'Funky Hi-Heels' with the guitar reverberation made famous by Dick Dale and the Del-Tones cautiously ebbing its way out on 'Caravan of Reindeers.'
The solid mid-tempo hipsway of 'Lime Green Blues' is up next and that's followed by the faster pace of the reverb-drenched electric guitars of 'Escape from the City.'
With a number of excellent musicians backing Kepa's rockin' guitar sound, including Daniel Hjerppe (drums), Robban Hagnas (bass) and Pekka Grohn (keys), the finger-snappin' Bel-Airs beauty 'Mr. Moto' is up next and also happens to be one of my own personal favorites.
That's backed by the cagey, paced duo 'Slow Surf' and Native Indian-inspired 'Lapache' with the twangy guitar-led rock 'n' roll surfing riot of 'The Last Independence Day' yet another highlight.
The album then comes to a close with the forthright 'Happy,' the sublime beach blanket jive of Freddie King's 'Fish Fare,' and then the lush vibes of 'Blue Flames.'
Kepa Härkönen @ Instagram