Hard Times Again is the new single from Americana singer/songwriter R. Finn (aka Chris Rondinella), off his forthcoming debut LP, Collecting Trip. Co-produced by legendary drummer Jim Keltner (Bob Dylan, Neil Young, John Lennon), Collecting Trip is an ode to Finn’s deep dive into folk and Americana. The album also features contributions from Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), Sean & Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek) and more.
Following a serendipitous two-year stint working with The Band’s Levon Helm at his studio in Woodstock, Finn returned to Los Angeles and started his own recording studio and creative space, The Heritage Recording Co., in a converted factory. It was in that studio that Finn recorded Collecting Trip—a ten-track collection of timeless Americana that finds Finn channelling influences from Woody Guthrie to Leon Russell.
Finn’s new single, the first song on the album, “Hard Times Again” is a downtempo love ballad featuring Finn’s emotive crooning atop simplistic acoustic guitar, banjo and a lush orchestral backing.
R. Finn shared the following on Hard Times Again:
This song is about cycles of addiction. In this case metaphorically a woman. I wanted to see how far I could push the imagery negatively about this person, only to return to her again at the end of the song. Something most people can relate to in one way or another, whether pills, love, or video games. Everybody’s got something they’re running back to.
The song started off as a Ray Charles “Busted” list type song and kind of took off from there. Though not intentionally I hear a lot of Townes in there. Which I don’t mind, cuz’ I love his records.
In its essence, this is really a folk song. Oddly enough it became the one on the album with the most production. It got the kitchen sink treatment, but I’m happy where it ended up.
Although Collecting Trip’s ten tracks were written over a span of a decade, Finn says that this set explores relationships and how he feels about the world right now. He is fired up about finally getting Collecting Trip out into the world. “We make records for ourselves,” he says, “but once it’s done you want to share that experience with other people. Hopefully, they can get off on it, too.”
Find out more here: https://www.r-finn.com/
Photo Credit: Peter Dawson