Kevin Finn releases his second cryptic Folklore compilation | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Kevin Finn releases his second cryptic Folklore compilation

Various Artists
Folklore Vol. II
Polar Recordings


Periodically, singer-songwriter Kevin Finn will issue odd compilations -- his own music alongside that of acquaintances. Although perhaps the series, called "Folklore," isn't so much periodic as it is infrequent. After Folklore Vol. 1 came out, Finn and I discussed the follow-up, supposedly complete in May of 2009; the seven-track CD finally came out this year.

For this installment, Finn tapped some of the same talents from the first round: Michael J. Kaisner makes a second appearance, with a gorgeous guitar instrumental, as does the mysterious Man From The Woods, with the evocative, repetitive "Migration Song." 

Finn's contribution, the fingerpicked "River," comes off as introspective, emotional, darkly romantic -- qualities shared in part by the next track, Stephen Tribou's "How Quickly We'll Change." Some tracks are less successful: Leslie Addis' "Weeping Willow Blues" is a directionless amble, and Anita Fix's "G-ddess of Song," while criticizing those "force-feeding metaphors like 'gold' and 'the ladder,'" has plenty of forced phrases (and notes) of its own.

Colin Baxter's "Bird of Pleasure," though, sums up what I like about these Folklore compilations: words I can't quite make out and a sound I might never discover ... if it weren't for Finn recognizing the evocative combination and passing it along.

Pride Through the Decades Fashion Show
14 images

Pride Through the Decades Fashion Show

By Mars Johnson