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Those who follow American roots music in-depth already know that Europe is thriving with interest in authentic expressions of American roots, including classic country and bluegrass. Many American independent artists and labels laud the European market as a bastion of support for projects that sometimes are virtually ignored in their country of origin, but blow up in the Old World. And more and more Europeans have been dropping the techno routine and taking up traditional acoustic instruments to become willing participants in the roots revival.

Such is the case for the Finland-based roots band Steve ‘N’ Seagulls. “We all knew each other and had been playing together before,” explains Pukki Kaalinen of the band, who says they morphed into their current incarnation in 2011. “We just switched to acoustic instruments and found a barn to practice in.”

Finding inspiration from the “agricultural environment,” when the band posted a fun video of an old-school acoustic version of Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” on June 10th, the video went viral. It received nearly 2 million hits, and Steve ‘N’ Seagulls had found their niche not just in Finland, but in the roots world at large. Though it was clearly a gimmick, the instrumentation was so spot on, and the singing so clear, it was a great cross-continent collaboration of an English song, with American roots instrumentation, performed by Finnish natives.

See more info at stevenseagulls.com

Image © Jaakko Manninen

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