Slap Sally Combo
upright bass slapping, mellow sound of old-time guitar and introspective lyrics Slap Sally Combo reflects the hidden anguish of modern people."
Slap Sally Combo in action, Jumo Jazz Club, Helsinki, 2003.
very exciting time for the Finnish roots band Slap Sally Combo. They released a new album "Darkest Days" and performed in Finland, Sweden and in the United States. This year they are prepared for many new and interesting challenges.
- At last we've found our own sound and the right arrangements for us, says Olli Holopainen, the solo guitarist of this Finnish trio. - I have never felt more confident on our music than now, he continues.
Apart Olli Holopainen the trio consists of singer Pasi Nyman and upright bass player Katarina Blomqvist, alias Slap Sally.
The name Slap Sally Combo originates from her playing style, as she uses the rare and fascinating slap technique to get out from the double bass all the sounds she needs. And thanks to her slapping they don't need a drummer in the band.
- I have never felt more confident on our music than now
Olli plays in Jumo Jazz Club, 2003.
But what is this band Slap Sally Combo and what have they been doing thus far? Slap Sally Combo has distilled their own sound from the best ingredients of the blues and country music from the 40's and the rock'n'roll music from the 50's.
At the same time as they respect the old they have a creative touch to mould it to something new and unheard. So, in other words they have a good tradimodern touch in their music.
Pasi and Katarina somewhere along the way in Norway.
Their unique concept and sound have made Slap Sally Combo as a popular performer in many international festivals.
In the summer 2002 they attended a countryfestival in Seljord in Norway where there were over 20 000 people. – I always feel comfortable in performing in Norway, says Pasi Nyman.
– Norwegian roots music scene is very lively and people really are educated what comes to music and bands. I was also happy to notice that people came to see our show wearing our band t-shirts that they’ve bought the year before, he continues
- Performing is my way to communicate with people
Pasi in Provinssirock 2003.
Pasi Nyman is a performer and an entertainer by his nature. In addition to singing he has also been an actor for several years. - I feel performing is my way to communicate with people, he says.
Slap Sally Combo is a band that works good together. One reliable sign for that is, that during the past ten years it has been the only band project for all of its members. So, they really can invest their time and energy to develop their music further.
All members are active on songwriting. Olli Holopainen and Pasi Nyman are mainly doing the composing work while Katarina Blomqvist concentrates on lyrics writing.
- Slapping an upright bass is a shamanistic experience
Katarina before the show at Continental, New York City, 2003.
- I didn't choose words to be my form of expression, but the words chose me, she says. - Writing have always been in an important role in my life. In addition to songwriting, she is also active in writing other genres as well. She has for instance written radioplays to Finnish National Broadcasting Company (YLE).
She is very happy that her other interest is upright bass playing which is so different than working with words. - Slapping an upright bass is to me a shamanistic experience. There are no words in that state of mind, there's only rhythm and groove, she continues.
She finds her favourite bass riffs in the 40's blues music, for instance in Willie Dixon's playing. She is also inspired by the double bass slapping in New Orleans jazz, especially old Luis Russell and Duke Ellington recordings.
Slap Sally Combo made it's first record deal in 1995 and that was direct to the U.S. The devoted rock'n'roll man Willie Lewis was the first one to gave Slap Sally Combo the opportunity to get their music heard to the wider audience. And so they recorded to his label a song called Music Makin' Mama which has been a good starter and guiding light during the band's entire career.