"Honolulu Blues"

Earlier this year, while the Hold Steady were on vacation, their workaholic frontman, Craig Finn, decamped to Austin to record a low-key solo LP steeped in the literate roots rock of his native Midwest. This seven-inch single is our first glimpse: "Honolulu Blues" is an artfully shambling Seventies boogie with plenty of dust on its mudflaps and loads of Catholic guilt tearing at its transmission, while "Rented Room" is a post-breakup blues on which Finn rolls out elegantly frayed guitar majesty that suggests he's more than just a brilliant lyricist.

Listen to "Honolulu Blues":

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From The Archives Issue 1144: November 24, 2011