b. 1952, Sussex, England. Finnen’s family emigrated to Australia in 1967. He had begun playing guitar as a child and was attracted to the blues before he reached his teens. After playing professionally for some time he also began singing, his light, high-pitched voice offering an unusual take on his blues repertoire, which was broad based, drawing in music as diverse as that of Indian, Celtic and Native American origins. Finnen skilfully and tastefully blended these forms around a blues core. Finnen, who also plays percussion, lived and worked in Melbourne, Darwin and Perth before choosing to settle in Adelaide. In the late 80s he began an association with the Indo-fusion band, Indian Pacific, working with singer Dyah Singh, and he has also played with Colin Offord’s Great Bowing Company.
Recognition for Finnen’s work has brought him national and regional guitar awards and 1995 saw him inducted into the SAMIA Hall of Fame. In the early 00s, Finnen was still touring to considerable acclaim, appearing solo and with his Blues Band, members of which have included bass players Dirk Dubois and Michael Winter and drummer John Freeman. He has also worked with Phil Manning and Matt Taylor and in duo with guitarist Joe Lang and with Sherilee Hawkins. Among his own compositions are ‘Weepin’ Spell’, ‘Horn Rimmed Hoodoo’ and ‘Old Dog New Tricks’.