When: Sat., May 11, 4 p.m. 2013
Singer-songwriter Jeff Finlin left Nashville for Fort Collins, Colo., 10 years ago because he was ready for something different, and he says that’s exactly why he moved back to Nashville in April. If that suggests a restless, yearning spirit, so does his new record, My Moby Dick. Opener “Walking on Air” sets the tone. Over moody tremolo guitar parts, Finlin sings in a reedy baritone, sounding like a less manic, more resigned Nick Cave: “All my plans are in pieces / I’m the ship that got lost / Ah, the flagon is empty / my faith double-crossed.” The whole album is a pleasure, and Finlin manages to avoid tired songwriter tropes, finding original angles. On “I Killed Myself Last Night,” he describes various scenarios of his own suicide — overdosing, shooting himself with a .44, driving his car into the moors — but it seems he’s really talking about killing his expectations of himself so as to be able to live fully in the moment, sort of a Zen reckoning. Like Kevin Gordon, he’s an exceptionally literate singer-songwriter. In fact, he’s also releasing a book of poems, Time Less Travel, to coincide with the album release, and at Nashville’s newest bookstore, no less — Howlin’ Books, located in Grimey’s Too. Also like Gordon, Finlin sought out the services of producer/musician/engineer Joe McMahan, whose ear for ambience and texture has made him Nashville’s answer to Daniel Lanois.