J. Karjalainen (Jukka Tapio Karjalainen, born 1st April 1957, Helsinki) is possibly the most critically acclaimed and successful Finnish singer-songwriter. Starting out in 1980 his early albums were a mix of rhytmic blue-eyed soul and pop rock, while his later albums have been increasingly influenced by folk and blues. J. Karjalainen has had a huge influence on Finnish rock music since the 1980s, as well as in the formation of Finnish blue-eyed soul scene. His music has been compared to the likes of Van Morrison and Bob Dylan, but of course, Karjalainen sings in his native tongue, Finnish.
His music is often blues influenced. Lyrical themes vary from childhood memories (like "Verinen Mies" or "Paskahousua") to varyingly obscure tales of everyday life. "Tulpaani ja Sadepisara", for example, tells a tale of a tulip on the verge of dying of thirst. Karjalainen has created a sort of alter ego which he refers to as "Laulumies", the singer.
His latest album Lännen-Jukka features himself alone with a banjo and sometimes a guitar, singing with a rough blues voice. The songs are mostly traditional (Finnish-)American folk songs.
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