Salt Breeze with Kites – album by Allen Finney

Salt Breeze with Kites by Allen Finney, released 22 October 2018

Salt Breeze with Kites – Allen Finney

The multitalented American musician and song writer, Allen Finney, releases a collection of 11 roots/americana originals. The album is produced by the Swedish top musician and producer, Robert Ivansson. Allen’s songs began with inspiration and were often extensively worked on. From somewhere between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains, with a taste of Mississippi muddy water, came the style. And then came Robert…

Along with Allen Finney on vocals, harmonica and guitar, a group of excellent Swedish musicians contribute to the sound. Christer Lyssarides, guitars and pedal steel, Robert Ivansson, electric and double bass and backing vocals, Jörgen Wall, drums, Ted Hector and Rickard Nilsson, organ, piano, Mikael Häggström, guiro, Ludwig Näsvall, shaker, tambourines, Mikael Augustsson, accordion, Per Nyberg, bass tuba, Albin Grahn, trumpet, Jana Persson, Charlotte Berg and Mona Johansson, backing vocals.

All songs written by Allen Finney except ”A Pink Sunrise, Palm Trees And Golden Sand” (Finney/Zetterberg)
Produced and arranged by Robert Ivansson
Recorded by Robert Ivansson at Studio Atlas and Jörgen Wall at Kapsylen
Mixed by Robert Wellerfors at Boo Studio
Illustrations by Joakim Ceder
Record label MoJo Music, Stockholm

Reviews

Lira - one of last year's best American albums!

(translation from Swedish)
Allen Finney is an American musician who has been living in Stockholm for over thirty years where he has been known in the local blues community. His latest album is not so bluesy however, although one of the songs is written together with Sven Zetterberg. Instead, it is roots americana that Finney explores here (though with touch of both blues and jazz). Which he does with great skill. His voice is very suitable for this kind of low-key swinging music. The album makes me think of J J Cale (whom Finney was the opening act for in France in the 1980s), Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. Americana in my ears can sometimes sound the same but Finney makes it swing. In addition, the comp musicians are talented and also have good material to work with. Like the amazing opening track The Jim Dandy song, the shrewd Who's got the twine and the captivating When you got it good. The album was released at the end of 2018 and thus one of last year's best American albums! (Daniel Gustavsson, Lira, March 2019. Read the article in Swedish)
Cashbox Magazine, Canada - a positive winner!

This is one of those surprising releases that sort of catches you unaware, pins you to the speaker and delivers loads of straight-forward pleasure and delight.
Finney is a USA-born, bluesman of some stature now long based in Sweden, where he plies his trade as a genuinely gripping guitarist and blues-based performer. Each track here holds elements of both beauty and surprise as Finney moves effortlessly from light jazz flourishes, full-tilt headlong blues, R&B and echoes of funk and soul.
Vocals are smoothly delivered, while the supporting musicians all come together perfectly to create a wholesome sound and vibe that simply works near-perfectly. In reality, this is an album that carries no dead-wood, no fill-ups or filling, instead of providing some deliciously emotive lyrics matched by some on-the-button musical support, melody, and flavour.
Among the support players here, we find Sweden’s Christer Lyssarides, a long-time guitarist buddy of Eric Bibb, and a guy with an evident ability and talent that is always apparent just below the surface. Finney himself is no mean picker, and his fretwork is always forefront together with his voice and soulful delivery. At times, there are sparks of humour to be found in the lyrics while at others there’s the usual gamut of emotions from love, loss, heartache and hurt to hope and desire.
‘Salt Breeze with Kites’ and Allen Finney is a positive winner, a keeper, an album to discover, savor, enjoy and play often.
(Iain Patience, Cashbox Magazine, Canada, January 2019)
Uppsalanyheter.se - 9 out of a possible 10!

(translation from Swedish)
Two albums from two American artists with close similarities, but still from two different worlds, Allen Finney and John Hiatt.

Finney has been living in Sweden for more than thirty years and has just released his album "Salt Breeze With Kites". He is a well known name in Stockholm blues circles, and yes, this album has blues elements, but I would call it mainly Roots-Americana. The album is made up of 11 original songs, one of them co-written with the passed away and greatly missed artist Sven Zetterberg.

The album is given out by the small Swedish company, MoJo Music. Allen Finney sings, plays guitar and harmonica and gets help from a gang of skillful Swedish musicians. Guitarist Christer Lyssarides has a prominant roll with his fine and sensitive playing. The album is very well produced by Robert Ivansson who also plays bass and sings some backup vocals with Mona Johansson, Jana Persson and Charlotte Berg. All the participating musicians do great work. The music is "comfy", laid back, and keeps a high international standard. Finney has a smooth and perfectly fitting voice for this type of music. Musically, I think of J.J. Cale, Guy Clark or, why not, John Hiatt. Hiatt's new album has similarities with Finney's fine album. I would think an internationally established musician like Hiatt has a much bigger budget to back him up. Nonetheless, Finney's album holds itself to the same high class.

.....The Eclipse Sessions", and Finney's "Salt Breeze With Kites" are fine albums in the same catagory of Roots-Americana. Allen Finney and John Hiatt are also similar "voice-wise". Finney's Americana is more blues influenced while Hiatt's is a little more country.

These are 2 very fine albums I've listened to. Right harmonious and fine music. In fact, Hiatt's song "Over The Hill" reminds me of J.J. Cale and the guitarist could just as easily be Christer Lyssarides as Hiatt's guitarist Yates McKendree.

I like them both and consider them very near the top. For each 9/10 (9 out of a possible 10).
(Per Dahlerus, Uppsalanyheter.se, November, 2018. Read the complete article in Swedish)
Jefferson Blues Magazine - release concert review

Efter att ha avnjutit ett promotionex av Allen Finneys nya CD tog jag tillfället i akt att höra och se honom på releasespelningen ett par veckor senare. Skivan hade lämnat mersmak. Och Allen är en cool cat, som kommunicerar väl med sin stillsamma humor.
Allen radade upp de elva låtarna från skivan, vilka han skrivit själv text och musik till, förutom en skriven tillsammans med Sven Zetterberg (och inspelad av Sven). Låtarna lutar sig åt – eller är väl rent av de flesta – americana. De flyter fram lugnt och fint. Så lugnt att efter låt nr 4 utbrast Allen ”Give me a 12-bar blues, shit!” (eller sa han ”…please!”?). Att kalla Allen Finney för estradör är väl att ta i, men i ett poetry slam skulle hans poetiska ådra – som jag tycker han har – klara sig bra. Vad sägs om:

The world don´t change, there´s a river of pain
Beyond the highway sign
You cry your tears, baby, I´ll cry mine
(från ”Who´s got the twine?”)

Eller 

Got my cornflakes in my bowl
Got my sweet potato
Life´s a dream inside a dream
Just like my El Dorado
(”The Jim Dandy song”)

Med sig denna kväll hade Allen musiker från skivan; Ted Hector på keys, Christer Lyssarides på gitarrer, Robert Ivansson på bas, som även svarat för den excellenta skivproduktionen, samt – ej med på skivan – Björn Gideonsson, trummor. De gjorde ett förbaskat bra ”jobb”. I sista låten, precis som på CDn, körade Mona Johansson, som driver Mojo Music, som ger ut skivan och ges alla tummar upp i nr 198.
(Tommy Löfgren, Jefferson Blues Magazine, December 2018)
Brian Kramer - A little slice of life for ya!

A little slice of life for ya,
I HIGHLY recommend Allen Finney's new release/CD; Salt Breeze with Kites.
It's a beautiful tapestry intertwined with gorgeous instrumentation and Allen's brilliant lyrics.
Each song is like a mini novel that takes you away!
AND you get a full dose of Christer Lyssarides guitar magic that will just make you want to hug yourself over and over and over...
Congrats on a masterpiece Allen!
(Brian Kramer, blues maestro, Stockholm, November 2018) 

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