The Fins

Superstar

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The Fins are primarily a blues band, but they aren't a predictable one. Very much a horn band, the Fins refuse to limit themselves to any one style of blues, and they don't insist on adhering to a 12-bar format 100 percent of the time. The New Jersey residents aren't afraid to show their diversity on their second album, Superstar, which came out in 2000 and finds them turning their attention to a variety of styles. Jazz-influenced jump blues (both instrumental and with vocals) are a high priority on this CD, and the Fins' affection for T-Bone Walker comes through on their own material as well as on a performance of Walker's "T-Bone Jumps Again." They also show an appreciation of swing, early R&B, and the tenor saxophone's honker tradition; one of the album's instrumentals is Willis Jackson's "Gator's Groove." But just when you're ready to place the Fins in the jump/swing/early R&B category, they will surprise you by detouring into soul on "Breakdown" or 1970s-like funk on the Tower of Power-influenced "Right Side Up." Superstar falls short of remarkable, but it's a decent, likable party album that makes you admire the Fins' diversity.

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