Talmud Beach

Boogie-Zen. Suomi-Kraut-Blues.

A Trio of bearded man playing sparse, ultra-relaxed, hypnotic blues pieces,soft and to the bone, with traces (and for friends ) of: JJ.Cale (rocking chair), Suicide (past Future R'n'R), Canned Heat (Falsetto), ZZ Top (Beards), Neu (plingplongplucker), 22-Pistepirkko (hot finnish potatoes). Bone Voyage Recordings is excited to have signed them and releases their selftitled debutalbum for Europe November 2013.

"...minimalist, desert-dry swingers which sound like a Krautrock-informed Canned Heat." (Kieron Tyler/The Arts Desk, UK)

" 'Hobo Don’t Mind A Little Rain' is probably the best blues made in Finland since 22-Pistepirkko's 'Don’t Say I’m So Evil'." (Kuudes Aisti, FI 2013)

Talmud Beach

This here is special, Talmud Beach have their very own, humorous approach, coming up with gentle minimal groove, which points to the past as well as to some future. You don't need to be even a blues fan to get this, although for some blues enthusiasts it might be a revelation, as well.

People at Kuudes Aisti wrote recently: "People have been adding stupid shit to blues for ages. Like fringe jackets, cowboy boots and jackets with Joan Collins style shoulder pads. (...) - Talmud Beach doesn’t add a thing. Nothing extra."

In short about how this got started:

The Talmud (hebraic: "instruction", "learning")  is one of the basic, most important Jewish books. It's a collection of rabbinic commentaries and discussions, a Jewish social and legal scripture.

The Talmud Beach is a band from Finland, founded in 2006 on Mannerheimintie, the most famous Boulevard in Helsinki, named after the Finish hero (military leader and statesman) Baron Mannerheim, where Petri Alanko and Aleksi Lukander lived and  met.

And while they met they found out that both were running out of money. Their conclusion of this shortage: they learned  the songs of Juice Leskinen, went back on the streets and played (Leskinen is a musical hero of Finland, a legendary singer-songwriter, born 1950 who died in 2006, just shortly before they met).

Inspired by some Finish painters they knew from the past, Petri and Aleksi got the idea to wander around. So they started to walk and play. They had a guitar and a mandoline and they played in the woods, they played in the cities.they played in the villages. They've played in front of Hesburger restaurants (Finish burger chain, with larger presence then McDonalds), they've played in front of Kioskis (traiditionally Finnish convenience stores). They played by day and by night, whereever and whenever.

Pretty soon they grew out of Juice's songs, more and more their own material emerged. So for some time it's  been just them on the streets. Finally in 2010 even a band name emerged: They've been together to the Baltic states. Was it Estonia or Lithuania, however it's been on the seaside, at some beach, where Aleksi Lukander got suspected Jew by some locals and, however, this led to some sudden threat of violent situations. And the experience led to the phrase Talmud Beach. (see also interview about the topic name/incidence with USA magazine Forward, the Jewish Daily here )

After this trip the duo was excited, both about their own material they had and the new name they got. Just they found that the duo was a bit limited, while they knew that they needed some limitation. So they asked the old guy Mikko Siltanen to join the band, due to make it just right.

They went on as a trio, now using bass, drums and guitar. Sometimes later, in 2012, they made their first recordings. Rather  for themselves, they put it out on cassette and Helmi Levyt label did a first run of vinyls. After some 22-Pistepirkko show, somewhere, in backstage hang-around mode, one of the cassettes where given to Esa Haverinen (22pp drummer/singer) by somebody of Talmud Beach, rather as a gift. Espe didn't expect much first, and nearly forgot about it. But it ended up in his car stereo - luckily - and he was surprised and start digging it and told Quintus of Bone Voyage about it...

...now let's see where it goes from here....

Recently, the band has been backing up (and opening for) Daniel Johnston for his first concert in Finland (Tavastia, Helsinki).  The concert is also available on limited edition cassette. It was a great and touching performance and proofed the delicate and versatile playing of the trio.

Talmud Beach are:

Mikko Siltanen - bass, lead and backing vocals.
(Also plays in the bands Räjäyttäjät and Piippu and was the lead guitarist in the band Dynamo.)

Petri Alanko - drums, lead and backing vocals.
(Also plays in the band Muuan Mies and use to play in bands like Joose Keskitalo & Kolmas
Maailmanpalo and Dynamo.)

Aleksi Lukander - guitar, backing vocals.
(He has never played in a band before Talmud Beach. He used to drive taxi and found the blues behind the wheel and started playing the guitar. And the blues.).

"...We try to give people a rest from all the problems and the hassles of the world, we don’t want add any more of them." Talmud Beach talked with Michael Kaminer of Forward magazine (USA), the Jewish Daily.  Read it here

read interview Nuorgam style (in Finnish)

read article for Classic Rock / The Blues Magazine, UK (press clip jpg)

>>..."I sold my hair to the devil / the devil gave me the blues / so I don't need to use that shampoo anymore" intone Talmud Beach over a repetitious groove...neatly capturing the trio's light, humorous but catchy take on the blues. There are traces here of the deadpan blues minimalist Dan Reeder, but allied to a much fuller sound,(...) that generally manage to steer clear of some of the duller bar band tropes that this type of music can sometimes lean on...<<

>>..hypnotically grooving...<<

>>...Pas le blues adipeux tout pourri comme on l’entend trop souvent, mais sa frissonnante et psychédélique version boréale, (...)  it's beautiful. <<

>>...the album is a masterpiece (...) the playing is skillful and understated...this is no pastiche but a fresh approach to laid-back boogie (...) <<

>> ...this album proves again that what you play in the blues is so much less important than what you don't, and that a sense of humour works wonder. << 8/10