Thursday, May 9, 2013

Let us Now Praise Jeff Finlin

I have known Jeff Finlin for many years. I represented his band, the Fur Trade (our first meeting was worthy of Spinal Tap). That band morphed into The Thieves, who had a major label deal on the short lived Bug/Capitol label.  Jeff was the drummer and Gwil Owen was the principal songwriter in that band.  When the Thieves broke up, Jeff began showcasing his own song around town.  And what songs they were, Jeff had a voice and direction from his first record. It was a pleasant shock.

Jeff’s done a lot. From his first release on Pete Anderson’s Little Dog label, to releases on major British labels (like all great American artists his work is probably more popular overseas than in his own country) to a song in Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown. The impressive thing about Jeff is that he just keeps on doing it-putting out great record after great record. With little fanfare, he’s creating his own universe.

To my mind, his new album My Moby Dick may be his best. He’s working with producer /guitarist Joe McMahan, who has helped Jeff create a musical setting that perfectly suits the songs. It’s probably a cheap comparison but it reminds me of the kind of atmosphere that Daniel Lanois has brought to records by Dylan, Neil Young and Emmylou Harris. In a neat full circle moment, Gwil Owen designed the extraordinary collage cover art.  Jeff has also just published his first book of poetry (with some prose) called Time Less Travel. I believe the works are currently available as a set.

Jeff will be doing an in store at Gwil’s Howlin’ Books Saturday May 11 at 4:00 p.m.  To me, at least, this is special because it’s one of his first gigs after moving back to Nashville after an extended stay in Colorado. We’re lucky to have him back. Go see him. Buy a record; buy a book.

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