CD Review



The Georgia Straight, Sept. 28 - Oct. 5, 2000

Les Finnigan
Live at the Cultch (String Plunker)

There's nothing more naked than a guitar alone, and in this live recording from the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, Surrey-based picker Les Finnigan offers himself up unadorned. It's a brave move, and a successful one: microscopic examination will reveal a couple of bum notes here and there, but for the most part Finnigan stands revealed as a gifted stylist and perhaps an even more talented composer.

He's best at slow, moody airs: the appropriately autumnal "September Again" and the haunted slide of "Hallow Evening" are simply gorgeous. But he can get funky, too, and his splintery "Kaleidoscope" is an enjoyable take on the blues. I'd like to hear more of the acoustic sound of his instrument, though: Finnigan gets a crisp, clear sound by combining magnetic and piezo pickups, but adding a microphone or two would capture more of the innate warmth of his hand built instrument.
-Alexander Varty