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In 2001 Jore and Davy got to know each other thanks to Donovan and the internet. They both were members of an online Donovan group where Davy started to advertise his (and his friend Tom Grierson's) new Donovan magazine Get Thy Bearings. Jore bought one issue and was rather surprised to find it critisized Donovan more than it praised him. One sentence stayed in Jore's mind: "I have a guitar and an 8 - track tape recorder - and if Donovan cares to knock on my door I'll take a fortnight off work and we'll produce an album he can sell on his website with pride."

This made Jore write to the magazine. A fan magazine?? Jore, too, had an 8 track tape recorder himself, so when he wrote his reply to Davy he also asked about what kind of music he was doing? Soon they were exchanging music and they both liked what they heard. Davy and Tom Grierson had their own band called Thirteen Down and Jore was a member of the tj band with Tuomas Laitila (left).

The tj band played cover versions by other artists and also some of Jore's instrumental melodies. Davy's lyrical skills were obvious. So Jore decided to ask Davy if he could write lyrics to some of his tunes. Davy's answer was: "I was just going to ask if I may write lyrics to these tunes of yours which are crying out for words". The first one was a song called "Tell Me I'm The One" and that was the start of a long series of Heikkilä-McGowan songs - in fact there are now over 100.

At first the plan was to use Davy as a lyricist for the tj bands needs. The tj band was having a bit of a break and new songs with new lyrics were supposed to give an extra kick to the band's life. But because Davy seemed to be a real nice guy Jore asked him to visit Finland, to play some music and have fun. And in the summer of 2003 Davy did.


The first sessions in 2003 were mostly just about getting to know each other but very soon Davy and Jore felt how easy it was to play together. They started with the music they both knew very well, Donovan cover versions. Both play fingerpicking guitar style and know some mandolin chords, too. So it soon became obvious that Davy and Jore should form their own duo which they named as The Kvester Melkk Quintet.

(Read more on their own site here.) This band has always focused on a folky type of music.

There is "a 2 CD bootleg" (not available) from those sessions where the first Donovan covers can be found, also some blues songs by Davy and the first times when all 3 played together as "Davy with the tj band". Tarja Niittumäki, a "regular guest" on all the tj band's earlier albums, also features there. (left)


Davy is quite a master on blues harp, kazoo and washboard. He wanted to do jugband music - Tuomas and Jore fell in love with it right away. Tuomas's tinkling saloon piano and Davy's jugblowing were the key elements to the jugband sound on their albums. Davy not only gave the tj band back their life but also joined them (or did the tj band join Davy??), so The TJD Band was born. Under that name the boys did an album called Jugband Jukebox in 2004 during Davy's next visit to Finland. 2004 was a very productive year: the Kvester Melkk Quintet made 3 different albums and Davy made also a solo album.


Before Davy's 2005 visit Jore had managed to get a pile of 4CD jewel case boxes (he only needed 8 but got 25...) so he needed to fill those boxes. The year before they had made a lot of material and there was no reason to think that 2005 would be any different. And the plan worked. They actually got 86 tracks recorded for a 4CD box set called Cinnamon Salami. But should the name remain the TJD Band? Come on! Could there be sillier name? The box was full of tracks by Davy Mc Gowan as a solo artist, The Kvester Melkk Quintet and some by the tj band and of course The TJD Band , too, but also by Tarja and even Jore – all mixed together. A real Various Artists! Jore came up with a few suggestions for band names and the Mescaline Smugglers proved to be the best. Originally that name was planned only to use on the 4CD Cinnamon Salami collection set - but they still haven't changed it!

The Kvester Melkk Quintet also continued to prosper. Since then the policy has been more or less that if the music is blues, jugband or rock it goes to the Mescaline Smugglers CD, if it's folk it goes to the Kvester Melkk Quintet CD.


Davy was invited back to Finland three times in 2006 - in March, June and October. Each visit produced a new album, in March even two: Songs for a Winter's Night and Lost in the Music. "Lost" contained some "serious" jugband tracks and more blues material than usual, "Winter's Night" was somewhat experiental and had its fair share of humour. "Winter's Night" also featured a new instrument, a giant lute-like guitar handmade by Jore.

June brought the album Strange People and Black Sausage (something to do with Jore's 50th birthday party...). This time the material started to show some heavier influences - but jugband was still there. Koskenkorvapuusti (a funny Finnish wordplay made by Davy!) from October of that same year brought some suprises: Tarja as a guest sang two of her own compositions and Davy sang in Finnish for the first time! Every album since Jugband Jukebox has had at least one song sung in the Finnish language (okey, except "Strange People" ..or "Songs For a Winter's Night") but this time there were three of them!


Their next album called Take ´em off! from April 2007 keeps the story rolling. Some may think this is the best album from the group. Of course that is the case if he/she has not heard the album "Raking the Mules"... from July to October, 2007.

So far the band had been able to bring out 3 or even 4 cd's a year but in 2007 it was possible to do only two because of the water damage in Jore's apartment. First tracks for "Harlequinesque" were done in September 2007 but the whole album was not ready until 2008.

Here is how Colleen sees the Mescaliners.


The water damage didn't ruin anything, but the instruments and all the studio equipment had to be evacuated for many months. But at last - in April 2008 - Harlequinesque was ready. It's a totally different Mescaliners, it's psychedelic!

Only a month before Davy's visit in July he had no idea at all what to play next, when suddenly his muse found him again and started whispering track after track into his ear. Davy wrote down what he could and got about 100 new songs done. It was clear the next album would be a double. 36 tracks found their way onto the final release called Too Black Bad but Davy had still to come to Finland again in October, not to make any new tracks but to help Jore with the mixing so that everyone could be happy with the results.

Oh yes! There is another site where you can listen some tracks and made your comments which The Mescaline Smugglers would love to read: