You know me as a big Hold Steady fanboy, I’ve got framed posters hanging in my house, I can pretend to air guitar all of Tad’s solos and you know… the lyrics have significant meaning to me or whatever. With the departure of Franz a few years back to go and pursue a solo career and then the release of Heaven is Whenever, the band’s sound had changed pretty significantly. So much so that the step of frontman Craig Finn to put out a solo record of his own actually makes a lot of sense. It’s a logical step for him to explore a little less rock and little more talk. Finn is a storyteller. Always has been, always will be. The poetic characters and chronicles in Lifter Puller and Hold Steady lyrics are identifiable even if you’ve never been in their situations. The dude’s got a gift.
The new record Clear Eyes Full Eyes is a collection of songs that Finn says “were outside of the norm for The Hold Steady, a little quieter and perhaps more narrative. I wanted to gain some experience and insight into the process of making a record by working with new people.” That desire to spread his wings outside of his Minneapolis hometown lead him down to the land of cedar fever and Lonestar beers – Austin! He recorded with producer Mike McCarthy who has his fingers in the bigger Austin namesakes like Spoon and Trail of Dead. McCarthy had the task of flushing out the anecdotes about other musicians and tales about hanging out behind bars with a full sound to envelope Finn’s just-right rushed vocals. The result is a treat. God bless the Hold Steady forever and everything that their members touch. Pick up the album online HERE.
Finn’s got a great little tumblr HERE!
STREAM on Soundcloud : Craig Finn- Honolulu Blues
(image: Daniela Bianchi in 1963’s From Russia with Love)