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October is shaping up to be a crazy month

As I sit here at the computer when I really should be sleeping, considering I’ve got a pretty full day tomorrow (practicing with 2 bands, and gigging with a 3rd), I have to say I count it as both a blessing and a curse that I’m a multi-instrumentalist. Tonight’s — or, should I say, last night’s (it is 3am Friday morning, after all) open-mic gig @ Wabi Sabi went well. Although it was a bit of a letdown that I didn’t get to try out (nervously) my acoustic rendition of Bon Jovi’s “Bed of Roses” (yes, they do have more songs than “Livin’ On a Prayer” and “Wanted, Dead or Alive”), but the fact that so many musicians that I haven’t seen all summer actually came out of the woodwork and jammed with us tonight was a real plus, and was great to see.

I can already see this is going to be a rambling post. Such is the case when I can’t sleep and I know I desperately need to. But it’s the first time I’ve updated in a while, so why not.

Last night I was on bass. For most of the night. Such is the life of a bass player; every other instrument shows up for open mic. (We had flute, guitar, drums, trumpet, sax, numerous vocalists… but only one bass player besides myself. Eh. C’est la vie.

Tonight I’ll be playing at Livewires in Hopewell with What Price Victory, a punk band out of Matoaca, VA. Yes, there is a punk band in Matoaca. And I’m the lead guitarist for it.

Tomorrow and Sunday I will be at Chesterfield Berry Farm for their annual Pumpkin Festival. At least that’s what I’ve been told. I’m supposed to play drums for this one. It’s from 12pm to 3pm Saturday and Sunday (same time both days) and as far as I know, it’s kid-friendly…so anyone under 18 that can’t go to my other shows can go to this one. Unless I post otherwise, it’s on.

And sometime between now and later today I need to find some time for sleep… :-/

I know a LOT of songs…

 I guess should give me a good feeling to know that I have enough material to play a three-hour show with no repeats (which I would have done on my first time out (March 12, 2011) if it hadn’t been for the fact that someone requested I do an earlier song over again), but at the same time, it is a bit overwhelming when you realize that, after making a list of all the songs you have at your disposal, you have 91 songs in your songbook, and haven’t even scratched the surface of the music you know and can potentially perform.

Forget, for a moment, about the fact that the vast majority of the songs I perform acoustically are from rock artists, or the fact that I only have one Beatles song in my arsenal at the time of this writing. Forget also about the fact that I am still working on compiling the country songs I know (Garth Brooks, the Eagles, and Lynyrd Skynyrd only take you so far.) At last count, I have 91 songs. Yes, you read that correctly, both just now and earlier in this blog: NINETY-ONE SONGS. That’s a lot of music. And a couple of the songs I performed at the March 12th show (namely, “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd, and “Summer of ‘69” by Bryan Adams) weren’t even in the book yet - those were done from memory.

I’m going to need a second book before this is all said and done. In a way, I don’t want that (carrying around a 3-inch binder filled with music is enough), but I cover a wide variety of music, so I’m starting to think it’s inevitable.

Artists I cover (so far):

  • 3 Doors Down
  • Bryan Adams
  • Aerosmith
  • Beatles
  • Black Crowes
  • Bon Jovi
  • Garth Brooks
  • Johnny Cash
  • Counting Crows
  • Course of Nature
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Bob Dylan
  • Eagles
  • Steve Earle
  • Fuel
  • Green Day
  • Merle Haggard
  • Hank III
  • Hinder
  • Chris Isaak
  • Jaron & the Long Road to Love
  • Journey
  • Lifehouse
  • Live
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Dave Matthews
  • Metallica
  • Nightwish
  • Nirvana
  • Oasis
  • Pearl Jam
  • Tom Petty (solo, and with the Heartbreakers)
  • Pink Floyd
  • John Prine
  • Seven Mary Three
  • Smashing Pumpkins
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Thin Lizzy
  • Tonic
  • U2
  • Weird Al Yankovic
  • Zac Brown Band

In other words, if it’s out there, and you like it, I probably play it. And if I don’t, it won’t be any problem to add it.

  • Track Name

    In the Hands of Time

  • Album


  • Artist

    Kevin Finklea

This song dates back to 2005, and has had a few incarnations. It has been performed on acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and piano, and many combinations of the three. At the time I wrote it, I was starting to experiment with odd timings, and this song grew out of the first of many riffs I would write in 5/8 time.

It’s written from the point of view of a person who has lost so many times at the game of love that he (or she) wonders if it’s even worth continuing to ‘play the game’; that is, whether s/he might not be better off to give up on relationships altogether, and just be content with being single. But others’ perception of the decision s/he makes is taking its toll, so s/he finally asks the listener if the fight is worth it.

When I originally wrote it, I caught some flak for not resolving the problem in the story in some way (read: in a positive way), but I did that intentionally. The question is posed to the listener at the end of the song, so the listener can decide for themselves what the answer to the question is.

Comments are welcome :-)

Call me old fashioned…

Call me old fashioned if you must, but I much prefer the sound of an old vinyl record over a digital recording. You might not think I’m old enough to remember record players, but the CD didn’t come out until I was almost eight years old. (I always feel older than dirt when I say that, but it’s true.) Some of the first music I ever listened to was on 45 RPM singles.

While the advances of modern technology have made recording music much more accessible than it was even ten or fifteen years ago, the old vinyl records have a much more “organic” quality to them; to me, it’s a much more “live” feel.

Try this for a moment: Play an old LP through a high quality stereo system, and close your eyes. I would be willing to bet (if I were a betting man) that you will feel like you could open your eyes and see the artist(s) performing right there in your home.

Digital recordings lose that feel. A couple of years ago, I bought Lamb of God’s album Sacrament on vinyl, for two reasons: (1) intrigue; at the time, I had no idea labels were even still releasing LP versions of albums, and (2) I like the band, so that gave me a good excuse to get the old record player working again. The album sounds really good…but if you compared it with an older record, like Pink Floyd’s Animals, for example, even an untrained ear could tell the difference in sound. Sacrament is a great album, and they mixed it well for the format, but you can still tell it’s a digital recording that’s been pressed onto the vinyl.

It’s similar, in a way, to listening to an album (whether on LP, cassette, or CD) through headphones, versus listening to it on speakers. Headphones allow you to hear the subtle nuances of the music that might otherwise be lost when the sound travels out of the speakers and through the open air before reaching your ears. The vinyl, at least to me, allows more of those nuances to be amplified and projected through the speakers, while a digital version masks them.

These days, you have to search long and hard to find LP releases of albums. People just don’t have record players anymore. I guess most people got rid of them when they could get all their old favorites on CD. Many of the old records probably got scratched to the point of being unplayable. But those that have survived the test of time still sound as good as they did, I’m sure, when they first came out of the shrink wrap.

I think Amazon sells LP versions of newer albums. I think I’m going to go look for a few.


Welcome to my blog!

My name is Kevin Finklea, and I am a multi-instrumentalist from the Tri-Cities area of central Virginia, about 20 miles south of Richmond. I play guitar, bass, drums, mandolin, keyboards, and sing, and I am starting (slowly) to try to learn clarinet.

This blog will feature posts of all things music-related I am involved in. I’m fairly new to this blogging thing, so forgive me if I don’t update it enough (or too much!). I’ll try to keep things interesting for all of you out there in cyberspace.

Again, thanks for visiting!


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