Dreamer: A Tribute to Kent Finlay
Dreamer: A Tribute to Kent Finlay (Eight 30)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., May 13, 2016
Little known outside of Central Texas, Kent Finlay had a major impact on Texas music. He discovered/mentored more than a few national breakouts, most famously George Strait and Todd Snider. Finlay, who passed away at the age of 77 last March, also ran songwriting incubator Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos. His daughter, promotions maven Jenni Finlay, just issued his biography, Kent Finlay, Dreamer, and put together an accompanying musical tribute, a collection of his songs performed by a wide range of Texas artists including James McMurtry, Jon Dee Graham, Slaid Cleaves, Terri Hendrix, and Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay. While Finlay turned a few hacks into respectable musicians, his own songs as performed here demonstrate a deep sense of humanity and distinctly Texan sense of humor. A duet between Randy Rogers and Sunny Sweeney, "Between You and Me," never gets sticky sweet, and HalleyAnna, another of his daughters, offers up the pensive "I've Written Some Life" to great effect. A respectable tribute and an easy listen.