Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Kalevala - People No Names / Boogie Jungle (1972/75 finland, hard progressive with growling vocals in a variety of styles)


As some might know, Kalevala (Kale's Land) is the name of a Finnish cultural treasure - a collection of written mythical legends about the hero Kale. “People No Names” (1972) is among the best of Nordic albums from the 70s.
Included were several beautiful instrumentals evoking pictures of freshwater lakes and pine forests, such as "Where I'm From" (first and last part), "Waves" (a fantastic impersonation of a jazzy Frank Zappa adding Leslie-treated organ!) and "Escape From The Storm". Leslie effects are frequently used tastefully on the lead guitars.
The vocal tracks are even more effective due to Harri Saksala's weird but magnificent vocal style. His illustrious past included time with the groups Topmost, Soulset and Apollo. After the first Kalevala line-up broke up, he initially joined Punaise Langa before moving on to another short-lived group named Manifest with guitar player Hasse Walli (ex-Blues Section and Piirpauke) and keyboard player Jukka Linkola (before he joined Finnforest).
Almost three years later, Kurkinen and Salonen recorded a new Kalevala album with new recruits. Jim Pembroke wrote the lyrics to both “Boogie Jungle” and Abraham's “Blue Refrain”, but he also seemed to influence the new Kalevala's good-natured rural American rock sound. Matti Kurkinen sadly died in a car accident soon after.
He had been a good friend of Pekka Pohjola from adolescence. The music on the last album, widely known by continental collectors due to its French release on Crypto, was mainly written by Leppänen.
from Scented Gardens of the Mind  
People No Names 1972
1. People No Names - 8:55
2. Where I'm From - 4:05
3. Waves - 6:02
4. In The Net - 4:43
5. My Friend - 2:47
6. Lady With The Veil - 4:12
7. Escape From The Storm - 5:10 
8. Tamed Indians - 1:45 
Boogie Jungle 1975
9. Mind The Fly Hunter - 4:26
10.Attack At Nineteen Hundred - 2:32 
11.If We Found The Time - 3:36 
12.Where The Fire's Warm - 3:20
13.Boogie - 4:18
14.Rockin Fish - 2:10 
15.Snow Bill - 4:00 
16.Capseller - 3:20 
17.Jungle - 7:18

Kalevala 1972 People No Names
*Harri Saksala - Vocals, Mouth Organ, Accordion
*Juha Salonen - Bass
*Markku Luukkanen - Drums
*Matti Kurkinen - Guitar
Guest Musicians
*Olli Ahvenlahti - Piano
*Raimo Wallen - Flute
*Ile Kallio (Hurriganes) - Acoustic Guitar

Kalevala 1975 Boogie Jungle
*Juha Salonen - Guitar, Keyboards
*"Limousine" Leppänen - Vocals, Percussion
*Matti Kurkinen - Guitar
*Ari Vaahtera - Bass Guitar, Moog
*Beaver Aitto-Oja - Drums
Guest Musicians
*Juka Gustavson - Clavinet
*Jim Pembroke - Vocals

Free Text


  1. Please, check links. Instead link for Kalevala part 1, link is to Rory Gal - "Calling card".
    Thank you for excellent post, I am eager to listen this band.

  2. Thank you Guinea Pig,
    it's fixed.

  3. Kalevala, named after the Finnish national epic, was created in 1969, when Lido Salonen (bass), Remu Aaltonen (drums, vocals) and Albert Järvinen (guitar) got together at a rock trio. At first called the band Vienam, but it soon changed its name to Kalevala. The group, with its powerful, more straight forward rock was quite well known in Finland, but the band was falling apart in 1970. Aaltonen Järvinen and formed a new group (called Hurriganes) while Salonen recruited new players.

    The second incarnation of Kalevala, with Markku Luukkanen (drums), Matti Kurkinen (guitar) and Harri Saksala (vocals) published in 1972 the first album of the group ("People No Names"), with which you went to progressive soundscapes. But these members of the band did not last long. Appeared in 1975 with a new cast and with the participation of Jim Pembroke of Wigwam and Jukka Gustavson the mainstream-oriented album, "Jungle Boogie". Under the expanded band name Kalevala Orchestra 1977 LP "Abraham's Blue Refrain" was released. A little later, the group has disbanded itself. In 1995, for a short time back a cast of Kalevala together. Studio recordings of this band reformed and various archive documents published in 2004 Shroom Productions on the album "Anthology"

    According to Finnish national epic "Kalevela," a 1849 collection completed Finnish folk songs, legends and spells, compiled by writer and folklorist Eilias Lönnrot, the formation Founded in 1969, renamed the bassist Lido Salonen. First would be active as a trio and played primarily rock and roll covers. At the beginning of the new decade, the composition of the group, with Salonen changed as the sole founding member. The band, now a quartet, turned to be progressive realms and played their debut album A, which appeared in 1972. "People No Names" is one of the earliest Finnish prog discs, along with "Port Fairy" Wigwam, the debut of Haikara and the second album of Tasavallan Presidentti. The impressive progress rocking trio of electric guitar, bass and drums is at the heart of the music. There are also substantial contributions from guest musicians Olli Ahvenlahti on piano and electric piano, flute occasional deposits of Raimo Wallen and of course the powerful vocals Harri Saksala. Saksala sings in English, even if it is not always clear, with beautiful, full voice, but sometimes wanders into gentler vocalizing, jazzy, bluesy rocker determine the music, occasionally replaced by slightly folky, Nordic elegiac tone in which gentle,acoustic guitar and wordless vocal work in the foreground, the misty lakes and endless forests suggest ("Were I 'm From "," My Friend "). At the end of the disc, there are even hear a brisk dance folk rock ("Tamed Indians"). Most here to solve but a classic, dominated by the edgy guitar and effect alienated electric piano prog, earthy, but very sophisticated blues rock (where Saksala once picks up the harmonica and Kurkinen can whine his electric guitar beautifully distorted) and trips to clear jazzy realms from getting awarded by Kurkinens extremely varied and virtuoso playing on the guitar and operating rhythm section. Salonen also warm, punchy bass and at the same time playful game is worth a mention. "People No Names" (I have no idea what to say to us the band with this pseudo English title) is a beautiful plate with very colored prog to blues-rock base that closely matches not only the mentioned above, at the same time appeared first Prog productions from Finland, but also in international comparison does not need to hide. The album was released on CD several times, again, usually together with the much weaker successor disk "Jungle Boogie" (the title says it all) on a Twofer (most recently in 2008 by Warner Music Finland). Anyone interested in Scandinavian prog, should know the disc. But even those who just generally classic prog of the estimates is 70, does this not bad buy!

    1. Their second album, 1975 Kavela laid before. Some had done in the three years since the debut album of the group appear,only two musicians of remaining from a previous composition guitarist Kurkinnen and Lido Salonen. The latter had passed the bass to recruit Ari Vaahtera and now operated primarily on guitar. By limousine (a nickname, I hope) Leppänen, the band had a new voice and drummer Beaver Aitto-Oja was new.

      Title and cover of the album does not bode well. Particularly Progressive much can not be expected on an album called "Jungle Boogie". Of which give it in fact, not much on this disc. With the music of "People No Names" what is offered here is certainly not much to do. A pretty normal, very American sounding 70s rock, the band is now on offer. No small share of this is probably Wigwam Jim Pembroke, of which the texts were written and his voice can be heard even with the most pieces in the background. As with his regular band albums on which he took the helm in hand ("Nuclear Nightclub"), to what is offered here strongly approaches to the rock musical mainstream.

      A guitar-dominated, bluesy rock, there to "Jungle Boogie" to hear, seldom has some Scandinavian folky tracks. Keys no longer play a role. There is a lot of singing and extensively, often for several voices, with organ Leppänens sometimes something sounds like Roger Chapman. Fairly sophisticated instrumentation is the whole, also produces clean and powerful and now and then, as in the final long "Jungle", some jazzy progressive creep processes, rocking the tape ahead complex, accompanied by rare, Mid-rushing deposits from the synthesizer. However, this is not enough to make the disc really worth listening to. At least not for prog geeks. "Jungle Boogie" is a disappointing compared to 'People No Names ", the progressive sphere of remained largely. But since it is only the album along with the debut of Kalevala on a CD, the disc must inevitably required when "People No Names" wants to establish himself.

      Thx Marios!