Esko Järvelä Epic Male Band is a new, exuberant Folk Rock line-up based in Helsinki Finland. The band is led by Esko Järvelä, an innovative fiddler and composer from Kaustinen, which is often considered as the home of Finnish folk music. Esko grew up surrounded by several top-class fiddle players and has developed a powerful and unique fiddle style of his own breaking the boundaries of sometimes clumsy image of folk fiddling. Besides Epic Male Band he's been touring around the world with numerous Scandinavian top folk bands such as Frigg, Baltic Crossing and Tsuumi Sound System. In addition to Esko's fat fiddle the band consists of an edgy and multifaceted guitar team by Anssi Salminen and Jani Kivela, delicately groovy bass lines are delivered by Juho Kivivuori and all this is framed with punchy and sparkly drumming by Janne Mathlin.
The backgrounds of the musicians include a grand variety of music styles from Scandinavian and Trans-Atlantic folk traditions to Tango Nuevo, American country rock and Free Jazz, just to mention a few. All these diverse backgrounds together with Esko's compositions are turned into a contemporary musical mixture that's very difficult to be described with just a few words: in media the sound collision has been assimilated for example with Jethro Tull, Fairport Convention, Afro Celt Sound System, Jean-Luc Ponty, Bon Jovi, Jimi Hendrix, Lau and Led Zeppelin, when the band itself likes to talk simply about Progressive Hard Folk.
Epic Male Band's explosive and cold-blooded live shows have already become a phenomenon among the audiences of major Finnish folk festivals. The band released their self-titled debut album in 2013 that climbed high on European World Music Charts and received a bunch of praising reviews in the international world music media.
"...the music of the Epic Male Band is savagely satisfying on so many levels... intense, captivating, harrowing road trip thats well worth the ride."
-TJ Nelson, World Music Central.org, USA
"It does indeed rock, an exuberant set of Esko's characteristic intricately scampering, massively swung, ever-modulating tunes full of melodic corners and twists"
-Andrew Cronshaw, fRoots
"It is fun, you can dance to, and there is a fantastic guy on the fiddle. Get the CD immediately, go and see him in concert, you wont regret it!"
"...this album is louder, brasher, faster and more funked up than folk music ever was."
-Alex Monaghan, Tradconnect, UK
"...its sense of keen thrusting attack will prove irresistible to addicts of quality folk-rock on the purely instrumental variety."
-David Kidman, The Living Tradition, UK
"Eskos amped up fiddle has a Jimi Hendrix meets Jean-Luc Ponty ring."
-Tony Hillier, Rhythms Magazine, AU