Writing in 5280, Pulitzer Prize winner J.R. Moehringer declared that singer-songwriter Jeff Finlin, who headlines at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret on Friday, November 30, "might be one of the finest American troubadours since Bob Dylan." That's a bold statement, which Moehringer backs up with references to fans such as Bruce Springsteen — and Finlin likes Springsteen, too, judging by "Better Than This," from his 2006 CD Angels in Disguise, which features a melodic segment that strongly recalls a Boss fave, "The Promised Land." Such similarities between Finlin's work and that of assorted rootsy predecessors explains some of his struggles for recognition; it's mighty difficult to describe his songs without mentioning other artists. Yet Moehringer's not completely off base in lauding his oeuvre. Finlin's got a distinctively flinty voice, and if his themes are familiar, the imagistic language he employs in ditties like "Postcard From Topeka" is striking. He's not the new Dylan, but he'll do until the next one comes along.
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