Respect and passion for traditional music from Finnish group Droichead on their debut

The Banks of Tuira is the debut album by Droichead (Irish Gaelic meaning bridge), a traditional Irish band from Oulu, Finland. Droichead was formed out of a collective passion and respect for traditional Irish music on a cold, wintry night in 2011 overlooking the dark waters of the Gulf of Bothnia. Their debut album represents traditional Irish music from northern Finland.

Traditional Irish music has been present in Oulu for the last 30 years and has thrived due to the success of The Irish Festival of Oulu. Musicians now have more opportunity and access to learn, play and perform traditional music regularly.  

Droichead emerged from this rich traditional environment and the band members include Samppa Saarinen (uilleann pipes, low whistle), Anna Luusua (fiddle, vocals, guitar), Vesa-Ville Niemelin (button accordion), Brent Ó Caiside (bodhrán, vocals) and Jani Suvanto (guitar, bouzouki).

The band have been building a fanbase in Ireland as well and Donegal fiddler and Altan member Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh has said that it is “always such a thrill to hear our music being played with such understanding and maturity by friends from abroad. Droichead are a wonderful collection of musicians that make Irish music their own.”

This is the opening track from the album called The Rakes of Tuira. It features the tunes Máirseáil Mac Mahon, Piper's Picnic, The Rakes of Clonmel and The Cordal jig. The opening tune is a Peadar O’Riada composition that Jani first heard played by fiddle master Martin Hayes. Pipers Picnic and The Rakes of Clonmel belong to Vesku’s session favourites and Anna brought The Cordal to complete the set.

The album features a dynamic selection of traditional Irish dance tunes including a variety of reels, jigs, slip jigs, polkas, a march and a few slow airs. Additionally, there are two songs in English (Geordie and Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow) and two sean nós songs (Geaftaí Bhaile Buí and An tSeanbhean Bhocht) from the Donegal Gaeltacht.

The band really wanted the album to capture the moment and their respect and passion for the traditional tunes selected by presenting an accurate feeling of the band’s music, energy and sound. This is evident with the opening set of a march and jigs which we include above and sets the tone for the entire album.

There are also lovely solo airs on fiddle (An Paistín Fionn) and uilleann pipes (Seán Ó Duibhir an Ghleanna) as well as an original slow version of Otter’s Holt.

The band produced and recorded the album with Antti Järvelä, Finnish folk music legend and composer (Frigg, Baltic Crossing) who also wrote and accompanied with harmonium on track 3 An Paistín Fionn, giving the tune a lovely Finnish flair.

The album is now on release and can be purchased and you can contact the band at


The album is also available as a free download for broadcasters that are part of our Download Centre.



Samppa Saarinen (uilleann pipes, whistles)

Anna Luusua (fiddle, vocals, guitar)

Vesa-Ville Niemelin (button accordion)

Brent Ó Caiside (bodhrán, vocals)

Jani Suvanto (guitar, bouzouki)


All tunes & songs traditional, except Máirseáil Mac Mahon composed by Peadar Ó Riada

All arrangements by Droichead, except the harmonium on track 3. by Antti Järvelä

Produced by Droichead & Antti Järvelä

Recorded & mixed by Antti Järvelä

Recorded at Antti Järvelä’s studio

Mastered by: Minerva Pappi at Waudio Mastering

Cover photo by Uuno Laukka / courtesy of Northern Ostrobothnia Museum

Band photo by Juuso Haarala

Graphic design by Jani Suvanto

Tradconnect's Worldwide Launch Articles are commercial articles that mark the addition of an album to our Download Centre, where broadcasters can access the album and download it for free to play on their various radio stations. Content for these articles is sourced from the artists press release and liner notes, supplemented with additional content from the artist as required. If you would like to find out more about this initiative please contact us.

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Comment by Alan Hossack on May 14, 2017 at 2:48

Downloaded for Airplay on Jock"s Celtic Calamity on Blues and Roots Radio. Wonderful Album 

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