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Talmud Beach is a blues trio from the heartlands of Finland, releasing their second album Chief in March 2016. The new album carries with it the same praised spirit evoked on the debut: it puts a blues on your face, without pushing, pulling, or shouting. The boogie is still floating with the weight of a snowflake, but the colors and shades are more varied than on the vivid green debut. “Chinaman Blues” swamps; “Forest” is redolent and dark; “Mountain Man” is left in the white haze of the mountain top, and in the end a chief’s hat awaits you in all the colors of the rainbow.
Talmud Beach is wandering the trails marked by artists like Robert and Blind Willie Johnson, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Canned Heat, ZZ Top, J.J. Cale, and 22-Pistepirkko. During their five years of existence, apart from their eponymous first album, Talmud Beach has released a live album with Daniel Johnston, and a motorik single “Summertime Mother”. The biggest hit from the debut album, “Hobo Don’t Mind a Little Rain”, could be heard not only on the radio, surfing the waves for some time, but also as the theme for a hit comedy series Napamiehet on Finnish national television.
A Finnish proverb “calm is the loon’s field” is the motto of Chief. The loon is an aquatic bird also seen on the cover of the new album. Today, music is often played at loud volume, and
it has intensively produced and massive sound. For Talmud Beach the quest for intensity has always gone beyond the volume knob – a quiet, sensitive approach is more effective.
With an open listener, the limpid surface will start to reveal the hidden depths: passing youth, a sweaty, shirtless “Kekkonen” (the former Finnish president), or endless flow of snow, all lie below.