Built To Last - Finn & The Sharks 
Upsouth FS003CD

Press Release:
Built To Last, the new CD by Finn & The Sharks is now available at CDBaby. It is a full length release of new music by the band. The 2004 release of Shark Therapy (also available on CDBaby) is a collection of previously unreleased material that was recorded more than 20 years ago. Built To Last, on the other hand, has been in production over the last year and a half and represents the current work of the band with veteran producer, Larry Alexander. All the songs in this offering are Sharks originals.

Author Richard Connolly, the director of Circumstantial Productions, wrote this about Finn & The Sharks and their new release on UpSouth Recordings, "... Built To Last, a CD of original new music that builds on their earlier work in powerful new ways. From the opening track, "Rip Roarin' Ready" to "Adios," the final track on this 16-song CD, every song is rooted in particular styles and forms of American music. Each song is produced with care and precision, as the talents of each band member are highlighted. The result is an amazing combination of vocal and instrumental creativity."

The band members, individually and collectively, are longtime music industry journeymen whose list of credits include having worked with B.B. King, Dave Edmunds, Wilson Picket, Sam & Dave, Robert Gordon, Sleepy LaBeefe, Commander Cody, Asleep At The Wheel, The Psychedelic Furs, Joe Ely, David Bromberg, Lenny Kaye, Wayne Kramer, The Sun Rhythm Section w/ Sonny Burgess & DJ Fontana, Luther Allison and many others. Steven and Eddie backed up Carl Perkins in the feature film, "The Other Side Of Nashville," while Jimmy played bass on a single called, "Let's Put The Fun Back In Rock'n'Roll," that featured Bo Diddley, Freddy Cannon and members of Dion's Belmonts. Billy and Muddy Roues have written and/or recorded with Vassar Clements, Johnny Johnson, Robert Junior Lockwood, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Bo Diddley, rapper DMC and Muscle Shoals greats Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham. Billy has also written songs with Danny Flowers ("Livin' On Tulsa Time") who co-wrote "Don't Get Me Started" which is featured on this CD. He has also written with Lonnie Mack and Jo El Sonnier. Brother Steven "Muddy" Roues played blues harp behind John Lee Hooker. Drummer, Eddie, plays a section on Pink Floyd's "The Wall." All are songwriters of some note and their songs have been covered by other artists and have also appeared in the soundtracks of movie and television productions throughout the world.

Their live shows are legendary for being high energy, heart pumping and roof shaking affairs. They are not to be missed!

On with the review:
This is an excellent album, filled with a variety you rarely find compressed to one CD by one band. Hey, I could sum up all the styles for you, but they already invented a word for it: Americana. The disc opens with "Rip Roarin' Ready", an explosive rock and roll song we all like so much when we're having a party. Classic one! Track two promises a jumpblues song in the intro but quickly shifts into a boppin' stroller with some greasy guitar and ultrasonic doublebass foundation. Track three showcases some great telepicking over a 1-6-4-5 progression (e.g. Just Because), a happy slappy bass, and swinging brushes, many kudo's for this track too. Cut 4 takes us into a fullblown blues stomper with some great bluesharp licks and matching lyrics in "My Checkered Past".

From the blues it's a logical step to "Build to Last", a rolling dark song in a minor key, but performed with soul (and saxes), great close harmonies in this one. Track six is a typical American country love song, a slow song, and with it's 70's/80's feel in it, a bit too modern for my fifties taste, but the short guitar solo with the filthy edge makes it up to me. Track seven stays in modern times, country pop but very well, I repeat very well performed, produced and recorded with some pleasant vocal treats in it. "The Way" switches back to good ol' rock'n'roll again with a danceable beat, an edgy but dense guitar and great accompanying lyrics. And the high quality level of the songs on this album goes on and on and on. If you're looking for 100 percent rockabilly, and if you only dig 50's and 60's diddy's then this not an album for you, but if you like a diverse album, strongly reaching back to the roots of old times, an album filled to the rim with high quality tracks and a variety that makes you want to play the CD over and over again, then you can rush straight to your local CD guy and take a copy home. You'll be the proud owner of a super de luxe album, rewarded with all five stars by us.

Rip Roarin' Ready / Slide A Little / As Soon As My Head Hit The Pillow / My Checkered Past / Built To Last / Don't Get Me Started / Voice In My Dreams / The Way / Everything's Different On Sunday / That's All She Wrote / Honey Hips / When You Dance / Test Of Time / Foolish Passion / You're My Desire / Adios

Finn & The Sharks are:
James Finnen - Lead Vocals, Standup Bass, Guitar, Baritone Sax
Billy Roues - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Steven "Muddy" Roues - Stand Up Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Ed "The Hammerhead" Steinberg - Drums, Vocals

Contact and ordering:
Billy Roues
P.O. Box 34
West Nyack, NY 10994
Phone: +1 845-358-8672


Reviewed by Uncle_B, 2007