Life After Death – The Essential Jeff Finlin

Jeff Finlini - Life After Death artwork

I’ve not shied away from singing the praises of Jeff Finlin’s creative output in the past, he appears on Beat Surrender numerous times, if you failed to take the hint on previous occasions then now’s your chance to make amends as the singer-songwriter will release Life After Death- The Essential Jeff Finlin on the 9th September in the UK, it’s hard to to criticise the track choices on the twenty track career retrospective particularly when it features some of absolute favorite Finlin tracks, Sugar Blue Too, Postcard From Topeka, Alchemy and Somewhere South of Wonder – though if it were up to me I’d have released a double CDs worth as the man has so many great tunes in his back catalogue.

Here’s a selection for you, there’s more to feast your ears on if you search the blog archive, do yourselves a favour and get this album if you’re not familiar with Jeff’s work.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, the grandson of Irish railroad workers (who seemed to be in the habit of leaping from trains), music, writing and travel became fascination for Finlin. He began with a wanderlust, traveling America using every form of transportation, with the exception of tuk tuk (still on the bucket list). Having played in bands in Boston, Ohio and L.A, he finally wound up in Nashville with long-time mate and Academy Award nominee Gwil Owen to form the rock band The Thieves. They released the acclaimed ‘Seduced By Money’, produced by Marshall Crenshaw on Capitol Records. Venturing out on his own he went on to produce the self-released ‘Lonely Light’ before going on to produce the Little Dog/ Mercury release, ‘Highway Diaries’.

Never one for the convention of Nashville, he moved to the far west of America and set up shop. For the last 12 years he has been delivering writing and music of depth and candor that has consistently made its appearance around the world. His song “Sugar Blue” found its way into Cameron Crowe’s feature film “Elizabethtown” alongside the likes of Tom Petty, Elton John, Lyndsey Buckingham and My Morning Jacket. This new compilation of his work from brand new West London based label Man In The Moon Records represents a distinctive core of his music and poetic thought.

Sober since 1997, Finlin took up the practice of yoga to enhance and promote his spiritual life. His resulting work documents a spiritual path of experience that became the main focus and structure of his art and life. He recently began work on a foundation called Recover.Yoga with the hopes of giving back the practice of yoga to people in all forms of recovery. Jeff has also just released a new book of poetry which will probably blow a few minds alongside his prosaic music, it’s entitled ‘The Seduction Of Radha’.

Jeff Finlin / Facebook / Twitter

This track doesn’t appear on the album, but any excuse…….

Feel Bad For You – September 2013 Mixtape


This months FBFY just in time for the weekend – feeling lucky today?


For September we have a theme, Unsung Hero’s chosen by Scott who has also done the hard work and put the thing together for us – with a little help from @PhilNorman on the artwork, my choice the wonderful Mr. Jeff Finlin who you can find a bit more about by searching the site.

1. Title: Who Could Ask For More
Artist: Gerald Collier
Album (year): Breakin’ Down (2003)
Submitted By: @BoogieStudio22
Comments: Gerald Collier is a singer/songwriter I’ve submitted before, but in my mind, he epitomizes this month’s ‘unsung heroes’. He was a member of 90s alternative band Best Kissers In The World before going solo. He’s put out a bunch of albums from the mid-90s to about 2007, but ‘disappeared’ after his 2007 release. His albums plumbed the depths of addiction, lost love/friendships, etc… He’s back with a new album that is not nearly as dark sounding. While still exploring topics of addiction and loss, there’s a more hopeful side to his lyrics. He’s back in Seattle and starting to play around again.

2. Title: Hummingbird
Artist: Leon Russell
Album (1970): Leon Russell (1st Solo Album)
Submitted By: @popa2unes
Comments: oft overlooked

3. Title: Where the Fuckheads Roam
Artist: Big Fish Ensemble
Album (year): I Hate Parties (1994)
Submitted By: @philnorman
Comments: Gawd, I loved this band. Their live show was incredible, chasing each other around stage with a trombone. Atlanta had an incredible music scene in the early 90s.

4. Title: New Boy
Artist: The Connells
Album (year): New Boy EP (1994)
Submitted By: @mikeorren
Comments: The Connells were the hottest “power pop” band to come out of North Carolina in the 1990s. I first saw them play a party at somebody’s house in High Point in 1988. They were always supposed to become the “next big thing,” but never got there. Closest was this track which was huge in Europe, but not here. I remember how pissed I got when they finally played in Dallas, circa 1995, and their headliner slot got preempted by opener Cowboy Mouth who were cruising on their first (only?) hit. The Connells still gig occasionally in the Carolinas.

5. Title: Wanna Be On Your Mind
Artist: Valerie June
Album (year): 2013
Submitted By: Bryan Childs (
Comments: I’ve been completely addicted to this song.

6. Title: Soundtrack To My Summer
Artist: Two Cow Garage
Album: Sweet Saint Me (2010)
Submitted by: hoosier buddy
Comments: I love this band, and wish they would come around more often, ’cause whenever I see them play it makes the voices stop for a while.

7. Title: Just Poppin’ Out To Fight A War
Artist: The Cropdusters
Album: If The Sober Go To Heaven…(1989)
Submitted By: Mad Mackerel Music Blog
Comments: If ever a band deserved more attention than they got, then it surely was The Cropdusters. A ferocious folk rock/cow punk band that put on the best live show we’ve ever seen and who, in the late 1980s were rising fast on the back of the success of the Pogues, the Men They Couldn’t Hang, New Model Army et al, they seemed destined for cult stardom at the very least. Somehow though it never quite happened: record deals fell through, major support slots were cancelled (too threatening to the headliners), drink and drugs and in-fighting took its toll, and instead second-rate copyists like the Levellers somehow became the next big thing. In the end the band left behind a hasty mini album of early singles and live recordings and a hard to find, but undeniably brilliant follow-up album (Home Grown Agent Orange) released on a Dutch label. This is the adrenalin fueled, mosh-pit meltdown of Just Poppin’ Out To Fight A War.

8. Title: Georgia Rain
Artist: The Questionnaires
Album: Anything Can Happen (1991)
Submitted By: toomuchcountry
Comments: With Jason And The Scorchers leading the way in the 80s, Music Row’s traditional sound was expanding in infinite directions. Many up-and-comers rotated through the clubs of Elliston Place and later expanded regionally, nationally and in some cases even into Europe. The Questionnaires was one such band. EMI signed the band, and two albums were released. Then Shawn Colvin recorded “Window To The World”, the opening song and title track of their first album, for her Cover Girl release. Full steam ahead to The Big Time. And then… *pffft*. Guitarist and lyricist Tom Littlefield has remained a Nashville songwriting presence in the 20+ years since The Questionnaires no longer had an answer. He co-wrote “I Couldn’t Care Less” with Tommy Womack for Womack’s fantastic “There I Said It!” album. And in 2012, he and another performer released “Treatment Bound”, a ukelele tribute to The Replacements (

9. Title: Run Away West
Artist: Holidaysburg
Album (year): A Better November
Submitted By: Romeo Sid Vicious
Comments: Holidaysburg is a band I discovered years back due to the Lucero message board via their drummer Larry Fulford. (Larry has also beat on things for Matt Woods and Truckstop Coffee and is a now a comedian.) I wish these guys had stuck around and done more than the one album because the song writing was damn good as was the music. It’s always sad to see bands disappear when they’re really good and Holidaysburg was no exception to that for me. Every time I pull out this record I am a little sad that it’ll be the only one by them I ever get to play.

10. Title: Mama’s Baby, Daddy’s Maybe
Artist: Swamp Dogg
Album (year): Total Destruction to Your Mind (1970)
Submitted By: Trailer
Comments: One of my favorite soul artists ever. Probably didn’t get his due because he let his freak flag fly before flying your freak flag was cool.

11. Title: “Arousing Thunder”
Artist: Grant Lee Buffalo
Album (year): Copperopolis (1996)
Submitted By: @TheSecondSingle
Comments: These guys had a good run in the ’90s mixing alt. rock with Americana, anchored by Grant Lee Phillips’ incredible voice. They even caught the admiration of Michael Stipe who had GLB open for R.E.M., talked them up in interviews and contributed to some of their recordings. Unfortunately, they never built a big enough audience to make it big and broke up before Y2K. They got back together for some London shows last year and released an astoundingly good live album from the Royal Festival Hall earlier this year (really; few bands from the ’90s could get back together after 15 years and sound this good). This track is one of my all time favorite songs and is just plain gorgeous.

12. Title: Hymn #101
Artist: Joe Pug
Album (year): Hear Ya Live session (2008)
Submitted By: @tincanman2010
Comments: No one has had a sharper pen since Dylan than Joe Pug. When he writes, he bleeds. When he performs, he sweats. What he sings, he lives.

13. Title: Douchebags on Parade
Artist: Mudhoney
Album (year): Vanishing Point (2013)
Submitted By: scratchedsoul
Comments: Mudhoney’s always been there and I get the sense they will continue to always be there. Through all the ups and downs of their scene, the industry, even their own band, they stay true to their garage rock roots while continuing to grow. As always, they do it all with a great sense of humor. I wouldn’t want to be on the other side of a Mark Arm barb.

14. Title: Sugar Blue Too
Artist: Jeff Finlin
Album (year): Somewhere South of Wonder (2004)
Submitted By: Simon (
Comments: Struggled with picking out an artist and song to submit this month before settling on a favourite from Jeff Finlin, I’ve all of Jeff’s albums and truth be told I’d recommended all of them to anyone who cares to listen.

15. Title: Lil Caney
Artist: Glossary
Album (year): Better Angels of Our Nature (2008)
Submitted By: TheOtherBrit
Comments: I’ve seen these guys and gal in more cities and states than any other band. They’ve been going at it since the late 90s and are one of those bands who have paid their dues that you’d love to see hit it big. I’ve never seen them play a show where they didn’t give 100%.

16. Title: Mumblin’ Guitar
Artist: Bo Diddley
Album (Year): 1950s?
Submitted by: Gorrck
Comments: Always an underrated guitarist and performer, but without him, we wouldn’t have rock and roll as we know it.

17. Title: Golden
Artist: Radio Nationals
Album (year): Place You Call Home (2003)
Submitted By: @BoogieStudio22
Comments: Radio Nationals were a Seattle-based band that put out an EP in 2002 and LP in 2003. This is kick ass alt-country at its best. They seemed to disappear shortly after their first national tour, when they were touring behind their LP release of Place You Call Home. Jared Clifton, who I think was the leader, still does solo shows around Seattle.