Kevin Finn releases his second cryptic Folklore compilation | 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.