(2017 – Bafe’s Factory – FINLAND)
An impeccable acoustic guitar album for folk/world music lovers who are fans of greats like Gordon Giltrap, John Renbourn, Paul Brett, Bert Jansch and the general ilk. While the bulk of the recording is Piirainen playing a gorgeous custom made Modern elite jumbo guitar by Anders Liljeström, there is occasional accompaniment by Venla Ilona Blom (beatbox), Maija Kauhanen (kantele and percussion) and Petteri Sariola (acoustic guitar). Subtitled ‘Nordic Guitar Music’, the compositions are written from J-P’s various moments of joy and sorrow in his life. He follows his own path and throughout the disc, are introspective, perky and sombre storytelling tunes. The whole affair is fully captivating with a very intimate feel, as if the musicians are right there live, in your living room.
With a deep background in folk music, Piirainen combines flamenco, Celtic and American fingerpicking, and various other styles, often using improvised introductions and unusual chord structures. Born and bred in Finland, he found the guitar less of a main instrument in Nordic folk, and decided to put it in the forefront where it also belongs. So just when you may think there is no more room for another acoustic guitar solo album, here comes ‘Twined’ by this highly talented artist. I’ve heard hundreds, but this one caught me by a nice surprise, instantly inviting my full attention from the first note to the last. An easy ranking up there with the best of the best acoustic guitarists in the folk scene. Timeless.
Reviewed by Lee Henderson 1 – 5 – 2018