Album review: GREENROSE FAIRE – Riders In The Night

GREENROSE FAIRE - Riders In The Night

Friendly Folk Records [Release date 01.06.18]

The fourth album from the Finnish sextet who marry violin, bouzouki and mandolin with a traditional rock line up of bass, drums and keys (and yes, some guitar!) to produce their own rollicking brand of Celtic infused folk rock.

Recorded through October 16 to April 18, and for the first time with a stable line-up through the process, it’s easy to see why Greenrose Faire go down a storm at folk festivals.

The opener, ‘Shadows In The Night’ is irrepressibly catchy folk rock, and ‘Never Walk Alone’ light, breezy, and rumbustious.  Frontwoman Salla Rimmi does a fabulous job on vocals, and the backing vocals of Niilo Sirola (bouzouki) and Tomi Hyttinen (drums and percussion) add a ‘sing-a-along’ element to the chorus lines.

They may not be from Germany, but if ever there was perfect Bierkeller music, this is it.  Steins clashing and over spilling.  Men in lederhosen dancing on table tops, buxom serving wenches in dirndls exchanging ‘favours’ for marks in the shadows…in the night?

The band’s playing is top notch, be it from sea shanties (‘Never Walk Alone’), melodic ballads (‘By The Grace Of God’), or knee slapping jigs (‘Cold Winds Are Rising’), with Hanna Heinonen’s violin, Sirola’s bouzouki and mandolin, providing an infectious medieval feel that chimes with the band’s ‘fantasy’ themes.

They maybe not be a new Steeleye Span – or even Blackmore’s Night – but Greenrose Faire are no novelty act, just a ‘good time’ band.  And isn’t that what rock ‘n’ roll’s supposed to be about?  ****

Review by Pete Whalley


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