Once upon a time there was Honey B buzzing happily over the meadows of Kalevala. One day she met up with T-Bone playing his bottleneck guitar at the edge of the forest. ”The B” and ”the Bone” not only enjoyed each other's company, but also making music together.
Songs followed, then albums, as well as constant touring, often all over Europe and North America… and cooperation with mentors such as Mel Brown and Gary Primich. Today, 35 years later, the Finnish psych-blues duo releases its half-autobiographical album consisting mostly of original material spiced up with a few tributes to their role models such as Canned Heat and Etta James.
"Half of the album was recorded in Memphis, Tennessee at the legendary SUN Recording Studios, where time seems to have stood still since 1959”, says lead vocalist Aija ”Honey B” Puurtinen. ”Elvis’ vintage SM-55 microphone was still on its place while the vintage soda machine was humming on the corner besides SUN secretary Marion Keisker’s desk and typewriter. The two top ivory keys of the house piano Jerry Lee Lewis used to bang away with were branded by cigar burns (”The Killer” used to place it there while testifying his unholy gospel)”, adds up Esa ”T-Bone” Kuloniemi, the guitar player and another founding member of the duo. ”Well okay, there was some newer equipment available as well: we used a 1968
Ludwig drum kit, which was brought there in 1987 for U2 – during their Rattle & Hum sessions!”, laugh Aija and Esa hilariously adding that the biggest thing for them was, however, to be able to cut some tracks in the same historical atmosphere where Howlin’ Wolf, Pat Hare, Ike Turner, James Cotton, Joe Hill Louis and numerous other blues giants recorded their immortal tracks.
The other half of the album was captured at another world-famous studio, that is, at Finnvox Studios in Helsinki, Finland. And this time with Moses himself on drums. (Moses, their 14 year old son, is already a capable musician and is - while not working with his parents - leading his own jazz trio!)
James Spectrum (of Pepe Deluxe fame) mixed most of the tracks, one of which features Verneri Pohjola, outstanding Finnish jazz musician, on trumpet.
”TIME WAS” TRACK BY TRACK:
ONE DAY YOU LOVE ME: Some people spare their precious time only when it suits them the best.
YOU HANG ME WITH YOUR LOVE: Tells about the psycho-hormonal reaction occurring in an individual in love, still a scientific mystery. On the other hand, an over-emphasized need of nurturance can make the relationship gagged.
SAUNA, TAR & BOOZE: Is dedicated to the ducks working hard at the lobby fountain of Peabody Hotel in Memphis.
TIME WAS: Is our little tribute to Blind Owl, Sunflower and The Bear, not to mention Fito and Mole, who keep Canned Heat going. Hallelujah, dudes!
FOLLOW ME: Large pieces of our collective heart remain in Reykjavik, Thunder Bay, Clarksdale, Mumbai and Tokyo. "Have Lute Will Travel", as William Shakespeare used to say!
EASY BABY: Indeed, nice and easy!
FOREST IN THE WATER: Submerged Cathedral. House in a tree. Eagles’ nest high up on a mountain top. Before his demise, a free spirit by the name of Kim Brown wrote this poet. Afterwards Honey B. wrote the music to it. Fare you well Matelot!
PINK CITY: Was inspired by a dream Esa had while visiting Toulouse, France. Any similarities between this track and Bobbie Gentry or 3rd Stone From the Sun are purely intentional.
TELL MAMA: Is our reading of the tune originally recorded by Clarence Carter as Tell Daddy. After him Peaches a.k.a. Etta James cut it and there has been nobody ever since to top that. (No wonder, as Minnesota Fats was her father.)
GOODNESS: Is trying to say that no one is totally good or bad. At least all the time, and deliberately.