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Jeff Finlin | Original Fin (NBFNY)
I feel very sorry for Jeff Finlin. It seems to me that he may be destined to face the same fate as one Tom Ovans. For those that don't know, Ovans is a fine country-blues songwriter who has delivered a series of decent albums of cool story songs to a largely indifferent planet. The problem for poor Tom is overcoming the prejudices generated by the popular music press, that he is the-man-who-would-be-Dylan. It's perfectly understandable considering he sounds uncannily like ol' Bob, but isn't it sad that in such cases, so much quality beyond the voice is missed? Jeff Finlin is a case in point. It is impossible - im-poss-ible - to talk about Jeff Finlin without mentioning Graham Parker. And Bob Dylan. Finlin's voice is the perfect synthesis of both of theirs. Cleveland, Ohio born Nashville resident Finlin has assembled a sympathetic band around him, including Marc Ribot - hardly noticeable here - and others who have unsurprisingly crossed paths with his voice-sakes. Original Fin is a collection of pleasantly performed songs of familiar melody; nothing outstanding bar Kisses From A Train and lush closing ballad Moonlight Becomes You. Just like Tom Ovans, Jeff Finlin writes solid and poetic lyrics that will probably end up getting rocked up by Rod. At least that would make him some money. I've no doubt whatsoever that Finlin is sick to the back teeth of reading the likes of this - and I'm sorry Jeff, I truly am - but if it is of any consolation, have you heard Jimmy Webb sing?

Tom Sheriff
June-July 2001