Celebrating the Music Icons of Texas: Kent Finlay & the Legendary Cheatham Street Warehouse in S


I recently was invited to attend a book signing for the authors of "Kent Finlay: Dreamer, the Musical Legacy Behind the Cheatham Street Warehouse" by Texas singer songwriter, Matt Harlan. To celebrate the release of the book co-authored by Jenni Finlay & Brian T. Atkinson, Cactus Records in Houston held a special book signing and performance to celebrate the legendary Kent Finlay's impact on the Texas Music Scene. The event featured live performances from Kent's longtime songwriting friends James McMurtry & Matt Harlan. While Kent himself had no recorded albums, he has a songbook that was fitting for the co-authors to put together a special tribute compilation featuring several of Cheatham Streets favorite artists, such as McMurtry, Harlan, Jamie Lin Wilson & several other well known Texas musicians.

Cheatham Street started in 1974 by Kent Finlay, and it quickly established a reputation as one of the

premier honkey tonks and music venues in the great state of Texas. Artists such as George Strait, for whom forwarded the book and provided several great stories of his experiences with Kent Finlay. Everyone from Strait, to Willie Nelson, Ray Wylie Hubbard, & Billy Joe Shaver were spending time helping Kent build his Texas Hill Country venue. To play Cheatham Street as a Texas artist, meant that you are someone that people need to hear.

Over the last few years of Kent's life, his daughter Jenni was urged by family & friends to write a book based on recordings she had secretly made from conversations she had with her father. After compiling hours & hours of stories, such as how to make his famous Black Eyed Peas, to his role as a friend and mentor to some of the greatest musicians to come out of Texas. Upon gathering the recordings, she convinced friend and journalist, Brian T. Atkinson (writer of the recent biography on Towns Van Zant) to co-author her fathers biography. The book consists of both Jenni's documented stories from her dad, and interviews Brian had with several iconic musicians that graced the stage at the Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, Texas. George Strait was such a huge fan of Kent Finlay, that he also agreed to be a part of the nearly 2 year project to get the book together.

You can pick up your copy of the book at Cactus Records, Waterloo Records, & several of the book stores & record shops throughout Texas. In addition, the book is available through Amazon & other online retailers. If you are a fan of Outlaw, Americana, Texas Country, or any other genre of great songwriting & live music venues, this is a must read. With the recent resurgence of the Outlaw & Americana music scene, Kent Finlay is truly one to be celebrated as a founding father.


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