you can tell whether an artist is good just by his album
titles. Just take a gander at the titles Jeff
come up with over the years: Somewhere South of
Ballad of a Plain Man,
and my favorite, The Tao of Motor Oil.
Outstanding titles. Poetic titles. Titles which made me want to
pick up the edge of the tarp just to see what was underneath.
first foray into Finlinland was The Tao and
it was every bit the musical adventure I'd hoped. I had not
expected a voice as unique nor with the depth of soul which
swept me away that first listen. It lies somewhere between,
say, that of Roger
the Nashville accent. Andnot
recent Winding Down the Road album
completely fried my brain, there was more substance to the
lyrics than I had expected. Change that to “is”.
Finlin continues the way of The Tao with
My Moby Dick,
the songs dripping life like water out of a leaking faucet.
Life from different angles. Maybe life from all angles, though
“all” presumes a finite world.
is something about Finlin which I find a bit disarming each
time I listen. Perhaps it is that he is, again like Tom
brutally honest in his approach--- to music, to poetry and
prose (there is a companion book to My Moby
to life. I would say “to love” also, but it seems
all songwriters pay homage to love and so few pay proper
respect to life. The positive and negative aspects.
hear soul in his voice--- a poetic soul. And there is a touch
of noir to his approach--- a not so distant reverb in the
guitar and sometimes the voice which screams high contrast
black & white. Certain moments, I expect to hear a howling
desert wind or sounds from a desolate mountainside. I even
conjure up scenes from the underground--- night time back
alleys with steam escaping through rusted grates. Those are not
Finlin's images. Those are mine. But they are painted with Jeff
music and Jeff
lyrics and, oh, don't I wish I had a copy of Time
Less Travel if
only to find out how his views and mine parallel or juxtapose.
I have yet to listen to all of Finlin's works, though I have
that in mind. The man intrigues me. He lived in Fort Collins CO
until just recently when he opted for the greener pastures of
Nashville. Perhaps in hopes of more success. Perhaps just
because he needed a change. We all do, sometimes. I just hope
it doesn't change his vision.
know, I once wrote a review for The Tao of
You should read it. Not because I want to deflect attention
because I think I got him down fairly well musically in that
review. You want to know what I think of Finlin's music? This
should give you an idea.