Trevor Finlay
Gig Seeker Pro

Trevor Finlay

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1996 | SELF

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1996
Band Rock Blues Rock





“Awesome - loved it” - Kevin Bacon

"Trevor Finlay's Above Average Southern Fried Roots Rock & Blues"

Bootleg, by Winnipeg-born, Nashville-based, Trevor Finlay was recorded live on March 12, 2010 at Norm’s River Roadhouse in Nashville, TN. It falls somewhere between an EP and an album, sporting 7 kick-ass rock and blues tracks meant for a great bar party that’s being rewarded with some serious rug-cuttin’.

Finlay is one of those artists that I’d heard of by reputation but hadn’t experienced his music until now. I was missing out. After listening to Bootleg several times, I can’t wait to see him and his band play live!

Trevor Finlay’s a distinguished guitarist who has been playing since he was 9 years old and whose voice is comparable to Kim Wilson (The Fabulous Thunderbirds) and Gregg Allman. His lyrics are clever and catchy and while his music may not be terribly original, Bootleg is damn good for what it is: above average, electric guitar & keyboard-laden southern fried roots rock and blues. One can visualize these songs on a movie soundtrack for a hard-luck story set in the South.

Bootleg presents Trevor Finlay on vocals, guitar & VioLap (a unique acoustic & electric instrument that’s part violin and lap steel guitar created by Cole Clark Guitars), Warren Beck on keys, Dan Seymour on bass, Mike Catone on drums and Jennifer Friend on backing vocals and opens with a tribute to some memorable three-chord classics (Louie, Louie; Hang On Sloopy; Get Off My Cloud) complete with a honky tonk piano solo in “Three-Chord RocknRoll.” “Burning It In,” a song about love and temporary insanity, offers a memorable melody & guitar hook that you’d expect to hear from the likes of John Hiatt (whom Finlay happens to have opened for on tour). A Joan Jett-style guitar riff introduces “Last Minute Romance” which “ain’t no one night stand,” but rather blues rock highlighted with a wailing guitar solo and a Fabulous Thunderbird sound.

A standout on the EP is the powerful and haunting, up-tempo ballad “What I was Dying For”: a story about drug abuse and a deal gone bad. “Send My Mail To Nashville” is another rollicking, tongue-in-cheek, electric guitar scorcher about the opportunities that await a band in Music City. Another noticeable winner is “Ain’t Gonna Make It To The Dance” which features an exceptionally fine vocal performance from Finlay. Warren Beck’s keys are prominent on this N’awlins dance number that will have your cowboy boot-covered feet shuffling and your hips swaying all over that dusty clapboard floor. It also features an interesting VioLap solo from Finlay that goes on just a bit too long (song is 5:41) for my liking but overall doesn’t hinder the piece.

Bootleg closes with “That’s Gonna Leave A Mark”, another funky butt shaker with playful lyrics that features more fine ivory tinkling from Beck.

Trevor Finlay has released four critically acclaimed CDs prior to Bootleg and in early 2008, he decided to move from Canada to Nashville “to focus on his songwriting and performing in a town famous for its down-home Southern roots and musical creativity.”

“I can’t be easily pegged as a bluesman, a country artist or a rocker. There’s way too much music out there to have tunnel vision.” says Finlay. “I’m fascinated by people. As a songwriter I inevitably write about the multifarious ways in which people try to relate to each other. There are all sorts of different angles that you can look at all this. That’s the stuff I really enjoy writing about.”

Finlay’s Bootleg has been a choice discovery for me, and according to his website, Bootleg 2 has already been recorded live at Tucson’s in Ottawa, Ontario in October of 2010. There’s also a 5-track Unplugged EP available, so you can get all 3 for the bargain price of $18.99 (plus shipping & handling).

Don’t just trust my judgment, listen to Trevor Finlay for yourself and see if you can sit still while you’re at it! - Scully Love Promo

"Show Me What U Got Review"

Trevor Finlay Band - "Show Me What U Got": Full - cd - (CAN)

Although reviewing CDs can be a lot of fun, sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly where a band or artist is heading, musically speaking that is. Now take for example the Trevor Finlay Band originating from Ottawa, Canada. This trio consists of Trevor Finlay (guitar/vocals), Barry Buse (bass) and Mark Rehder (drums). They show so much diversity that labelling them is almost impossible. But we comfort ourselves with the idea that labels are not always needed. 'I'll Come To You' is a pleasant bluesy opener with a contagious rhythm that sticks with you. Trevor’s voice strikes you immediately as agreeable. Variation is apparently Trevor’s key word. This album is a true exploration of the many styles which constitute the blues. There are acoustic numbers, blues/ rock, sparkling rock-'n-roll and even some straight rock. There’s also a lot of slide guitar. A striking example of how Trevor plays the slide offers the title number 'Show Me What U Got '. I do not like all numbers though: ‘Lions Mouth' for example is rather predictable soft - rock. Luckily the remaining tracks (only two out of twelve are covers) have enough to offer to keep me intrigued. My favorites are undoubtedly the acoustic 'Philly No More', Gene Vincent’s ‘Be-Bop-a-Lula (a tight blues rock) and ‘It's Over’ which starts acoustic and takes on a nice blues rock rhythm when the full band joins in towards the end. Also 'Kiss' by Prince gets another meaning when Trevor turns it into an acoustic track. Nice! All numbers are performed well and competently. The Trevor Finlay Band is without a doubt a band with a future. - Bobtjies Blues Pages

"Show Me What U Got Review"

I was asked to review this CD ahead of Trevor’s appearance at the 2007 Newcastle Blues Festival and I got my usual feeling of “OK, here’s another one of the thousands of pretty good OS bands – what can I say about this one?” But this one actually turned out to be quite easy to review because in my opinion it’s very good.

The band is a Canadian blues/rock power trio featuring Trevor Finlay (guitars, vocals), Barry Buse (bass) and Mark Rehder (drums).
In the Real Blues Magazine’s 2004 Awards, Trevor picked up Best Canadian Blues/Rock Artist, Best Canadian Blues Band/Central, and Best Unsigned Blues Act, and he was 3rd in the Top Canadian Blues Guitarist category. Not Bad eh? He also had Toronto Blues Society nominations for Male Vocal of the Year (02) and New Artist of the Year (99). So it’s obviously not just me who thinks he’s a very
good singer and guitarist. This is their 4th CD.
Trevor has a great voice for blues/rock – strong and spot on, with lots of light and shade. He handles softer ballads and big rocky numbers with equal aplomb. And his guitar playing is spot on too. Lots of big power chords and slide, some nice electric picking, and a few acoustic numbers. The rhythm section does what it’s supposed to do, and does it very well, providing a big fat, solid base for Trevor to build
The CD presents 10 songs by Trevor, and a couple of interesting covers. The first cover is Gene Vincent’s Bebopalula, which Trevor turns into a huge, slow, moody, power shuffle. “Monumental” is a word that springs to mind when I listen to this track - a very interesting treatment of an old standard. Just to relieve the tension, it’s followed by Trevor’s Dance Like No One’s Watching which is pure 50s rockabilly.
The second cover is Prince’s Kiss, which features just Trevor and his acoustic guitar, and again, this unusual treatment works well. The rest of Trevor’s songs are an interesting mix; there’s some big rocky numbers, some slower ballads, a big rocking boogie, a bit of rockabilly, and a nice bluesy number featuring just Trevor backing himself on acoustic slide.
If the quality and variety of entertainment presented on this CD is any indication of their live shows, I think The Trevor Finlay Band should win quite a few Aussie fans when they come here, and sell plenty of copies of the CD. - Sydney Blues Society

"Independent Musos Network"

Trevor Finlay Band:
“Refreshing original and cover tracks captured on this compilation, reflecting not only Trevor's energy but also his band’s
passion in the execution of these fine tunes.
I am looking forward to Trevor and crew performing live at the Newcastle Blues Festival in 2007. If the energy is as intense
live as it is on this album then we are in for a treat!” - Independent Musos Network

"Bumpy Roads Review"

Whenever a successful debut is released, expectations are always high and the pressure intense for an encore performance. Picking up right where Morning Man left off, Trevor Finlay Band isn’t affected by the sophomore jinx on Bumpy Roads (BKSA Records).

Again, he continues to avoid getting trapped into any one musical genre. His roots - based, radio - friendly tunes will appeal to many. Nine of them are original songs with the remainder taken from the band’s regular live repertoire. This package is anything but rocky, thanks to Finlay’s supreme songwriting / singing / guitar playing and the vibrant backing provided by Mark Rehder (drums) and newbie Barry Buse (bass). Throughout the disc, these three combine their chops for some scintillating, vocal harmonies. For just under 60 minutes, Trevor consistently delivers irresistible chord combinations played with a driving beat, as displayed on "Midnight Ferry Ride," "Bumpy Roads" and Heard Enough." There is sweet slide on "Mother Goose," supported by the humming organ of guest Ken Fahie, while Finlay’s eloquent guitar gets kickin’ on "Better Than Other Days." Enough steam comes off his guitar to cook the needed crawfish in "Jambalaya." Canadians will immediately know where the Ottawa, Ontario - based band prefers to
purchase their java. Trevor sings all about everyone’s favourite morning drink on a track simply called "Coffee." The tune’s grind is sure to jumpstart you. The rockabilly beat and guitar of "Hurry Up" will raise Scotty Moore’s eyebrows, while "It Ain’t Right" gets turned into a hillbilly boogie. Although far from being a purist, Finlay’s diverse sound is refreshing as it isn’t repetitive 12 bar blues nor blues rock. The packaging of the disc is as professional as its sound. Peter Gilroy and Trevor Finlay’s excellent production work captures a clear, crisp sound that swarms and surrounds. You would never know this is an independent release based on the highly professional packaging and production work.

Even big name labels struggle to achieve such standards. - Blues Bytes





If you called TREVOR FINLAY versatile, you would be right. 

Primarily, he’s been a professional musician for over 30yrs and up until the 2020 lockdown, logged a ridiculous number of over 300 gigs a year, touring all over the world as both a solo artist and as a hired gun for others. Even during the pandemic, TREVOR kept up his #MondayFunday weekly livestream that started 2yrs prior, easily transitioning from his regular club gig to his home and it continues to this day.

Artistically, he always leans towards the styles of blues and rock, or as Drum Media in Australia said, “a little bit Muddy Waters and a little bit David Lee Roth”. Maybe not that extreme, but TREVOR will definitely cop to the influences of not only both of them, but also the likes of the Rolling Stones and the Allman Brothers have made indelible marks on his music. Even though there aren’t any 17 minute songs in FINLAY’s repertoire, his guitar solos are tastefully melodic and often syncopated, and always serve the song.

Musically, TREVOR is a sought after sideman for his ability to perform many styles from country to blues and rock to pop. 

“Songwriter” is another title that fits TREVOR like a glove, having written multiple albums worth of material as well as songs that have appeared in film and TV (SEND MY MAIL TO NASHVILLE, ALL RISE, STUMPTOWN). FINLAY has also co-written songs that have appeared on other artist’s albums, from up-and-comers to award winners to legitimate cultural icons.

“Producer” and “Session Musician” go hand in hand as he’s worked on not only his own records, but on a constantly expanding catalog of others as well.

“Audiobook Narrator” has just been added to the ever-growing list of credits, lending the “power, gravity and rasp” (Music City Roots) of his voice to the spoken word.

What’s next for TREVOR FINLAY? We can’t wait to find out.

Band Members