The Fingers embody the spirit of midwestern honky tonk country music and then step it up a level or three. Soulful, diverse, consistent. Sometimes frank, sometimes surreal. No affected Nashville twang. Cinematic. This trio of songwriters: Jeff Held, Luke Sather, and Louka Patenaude (the latter best known as creator of The Optimistic (Layered) and his lead guitar work with jazz legend Ben Sidran -founding member of the Steve Miller Band-, and reggae roots rockers Natty Nation) take the listener through a trip from the dust and dirt to the metaphysical imaginings of the subconscious. Earthy acoustic movers, timely harmonies, and blazing guitars warming up the cold sink. The Onion called The Optimistic "addictive". The Very Best of the Fingers, their debut album, is more so.
Features "A Room in the Desert" and "Whiskey and Wine".
Produced by Louka Patenaude, Aaron Katcher and The Fingers
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The Fingers was initiated inside the great acoustic howl of a series of jam sessions in a basement studio centered in Madison, WI., a blue dot in a red state on the northern end of America's Midwest. There would be few stylistic limitations in a group like this and with talent that draws stylistically from jazz, rock and classical music so it's of curious interest that the limitation be set primarliy to country and folk. Early 20th century Russian composer Igor Stravinsky intimated that freedom is in the limitation. "It's difficult to make the toothpaste come out properly if the tube has a hole in both ends" - Patenaude. And when you have three guys and some acoustic guitars then country and folk are the natural tendencies. A season of residency at the historic Cafe Montmartre beginning in the blistering January of 2006 and ending with a sunshine summer sowed the seeds of The Very Best of the Fingers, their debut album. Of course. Recorded in a Madison house on wooden floors and a small A-frame cabin on a frozen lake in Minocqua, northern Wisconsin, in the dead of the next two winters, the sessions were focused and prolific enough to spark notions of a double album though ultimately carved into a singular Michelangelo's David-like vision minus the naked guy, a "Best Of". Now finally in 2012 the work is finally released! And their sophomore effort "Second to Last" is nearing completion.
... but who are they? After Montmarte they disappeared from the public view and were forgotten except a rumor here and there about "a country record". Louka Patenaude, known as one of the best jazz guitarists in the midwest (Wisconsin State Journal), is making a country album? Anyway... Well he teamed up with hitherto publicly unknown Jeff Held and Luke Sather who happen to be songwriters of rare depth and consistency. Often the best talent isn't concerned with notoriety, being satisfied with the bliss of artistic expression of the inner world, with or without an audience. This record also includes a few highlights by possibly the only musician to have her own official holiday in Madison: Joy Dragland. It may be puzzling but this album is the best kind of honky tonk alt.country that anyone can dig without all the crap.