Thursday, August 11, 2016

Drink Up: Värttinä and "Laulutyttö"

Värttinä, a folk group from Finland founded in 1983 by sisters Sari and Mari Kaasinen, provides our random tune for today. In 1983, the sisters formed Värttinä and entered a youth arts contest reading poetry. They made it into the finals that first year, and the next year they switched to music and won the event. They added some male musicians in 1985 and entered the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival, becoming known as the group that sings high and loud. In 1987, at the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival, they were chosen "Ensemble of the Year," and in 1988 they released their first album. In the early 1990s, they moved to Helsinki and began training at the Sibelius Academy and perfecting their skills. The band first performed traditional Finnish folk songs, but in the mid-1990s began playing its own original compositions. Over the years the band has had many forms and lineup changes, and is currently made up of three female vocalists and three acoustic musicians. They have performed worldwide to international acclaim and have released 16 albums, including 3 compilation albums and one live CD. You can find this song, Laulutyttö, on Värttinä's 1998 album Vihma. A rousing drinking song, it urges us to "drink up and moisten our mouths with brew."