With haunting yet hopeful arrangements and heart-wrenchingly poignant lyrics, R. Finn has put his kickstand down in the midst of the vast Americana landscape to create a bar-raising deep dive into the best attributes of the genre on his forthcoming album, Collecting Trip, set for release on January 19th.
Following a two-year stint working with The Band’s Levon Helm at his studio in Woodstock, New York, Finn returned to Los Angeles and started his own recording studio and creative space, The Heritage Recording Co., in a converted factory. It was in that studio that Finn recorded Collecting Trip—a ten-track collection of timeless Americana co-produced by legendary drummer Jim Keltner (Bob Dylan, Neil Young, John Lennon) which features contributions from Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), Sean and Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek), and many others.
The LP’s title not only references the “collecting trips” taken by folk musicologists John and Alan Lomax, but also what the album represents to Finn: all the years of accumulating songs, players, styles and gear that have resulted in his affecting, long-evolving sound. And then there’s his deep devotion as a student of songwriting and music history. “I’m just trying to do what I love and what I listen to,” Finn says. “I’m always trying to evoke Ray Charles or Woody Guthrie.”
Some thoughtful words from the man himself:
Here’s a chance to preview my album before it comes out in the coming days. I hope you enjoy our labor of love! It was certainly laborious, and I certainly enjoyed making it. I wanted to make a truthful record, with serving the musical muse my only compass. At the very least I did that. I can promise you. It’s no Ray Charles record. But it’s the best album I can make for where I’m at now. We’ll see where we go from here. Perhaps, what I enjoyed most about it, is to get to continue to be a student of a craft I enjoy so much. I, of course, have to thank my partner in crime the masterful Jim Keltner for given me the opportunity to sharpen my tools. As well as his co-productive genius, and making the album dance. I wouldn’t have started an album without him, neither would I have finished this one. Beyond that, there were many people who worked hard to get this thing to the finish line. Too many to mention. But if they are on the record it is because I admire them. We get through this life off the kindness and grace of others, and I am happy to be in their company. So in closing, roll up a J with some friends, if that’s your pleasure, and spend 40 minutes with us. Or put it on in your car and go get lost somewhere. However, you choose to enjoy music. I hope you enjoy this one.
Without further ado, Mother Church Pew proudly presents Collecting Trip by R. Finn: