"Every song HalleyAnna writes or sings is great. Her voice really sends me.
She’s sunshine in a beautiful package. " - Walt Wilkins
HalleyAnna Finlay sings like her songs were stamped on her heart at birth. Evidence: The Country (2011). HalleyAnna’s superb debut collection swaggers (“So Heavy”) and sways (“Fast Train”) with effortless elegance. The album, which deftly spotlights her meeting point between Patsy Cline and Emmylou Harris, serves as a shining introduction to a skyward bound emerging talent. High watermarks – particularly, “Back in Your Arms Again” and “Peace Is Lonely, Love Is War”– demonstrated HalleyAnna growing exponentially sharp as a songwriter.
“Experience is what happens when you don’t get what you want, so songwriting makes me feel better,” she says. "You can’t write every single song about how somebody broke your heart, so some of the stuff I’ve done is more serious. ‘Back in Your Arms Again’ may sound like a song about somebody who dumped you, but it has a much deeper, eternal, death-related theme about meeting in the next life.”
For the last decade, HalleyAnna has honed her songwriting skills at Cheatham Street Warehouse, the legendary Central Texas listening room owned by her father, singer-songwriter Kent Finlay. She now leads the next generation of compelling writers who follow James McMurtry, Todd Snider, Bruce Robison and others who started out at Cheatham Street. “I grew up listening to people who play music in Texas,” says the youthful singer-songwriter. “I really love the traditional stuff that’s going on in East Nashville and here in Austin, I'm glad somebody out there is keeping it country."
All personify the literate storytelling so identified with the Texas music tradition and HalleyAnna has put her creative writing studies to good use following their footsteps. Find further proof on her sophomore self-titled effort (HalleyAnna, 2013). Americana all-star Bill Chambers (Kasey's father) produced the collection. “Working with Bill is so easy and great,” HalleyAnna says. “Bill came up and was here for the summer touring with Kasey and he had about a week window to make a record with me. He brought this really nice microphone that Kasey used on ‘The Captain’ and ‘Barricades and Brickwalls’ and we did vocals pretty much live. We cut the album in five days in the Woodshed in San Marcos.”
-- Brian T. Atkinson, author of I'll Be Here in the Morning: The Songwriting Legacy of Townes Van Zandt
HalleyAnna has been studying the art of songwriting and performance for nearly three decades. Her father, Kent Finlay, opened the legendary San Marcos, Texas singer-songwriter listening room, Cheatham Street Warehouse, birthplace for kindred spirits Terri Hendrix, Bruce Robison, Todd Snider and several others, HalleyAnna carries forward the spirit that has been embodied at Cheatham Street for decades: She writes, in the Townes Van Zandt tradition, simply "for the sake of the song."
Her latest release, produced by Bill Chambers, captures her unique soul, pairing youthful edge and energy with a seasoned songwriter’s lyrical elegance. HalleyAnna has taken her original music across the great United States on numerous tours, and is excited to join Delbert McClinton and Friends on this year's Sandy Beaches Cruise 22.
Her words flow as naturally as sunlit barroom daydreams, independent spirits reaching skyward over and over throughout her new album. Consider “The Bee.”
There’s a voice out here calling me to face what I must face to see, she sings. Not because of destiny, just the chance for what will be - and that is free.
“Any time I’d go through a heartache growing up, my dad would say, ‘Well, you’ll get a good song out of it,’” HalleyAnna says. “Sure enough, I really did.” Her debut The Country suggests as much. Now, the new self-titled album confirms: HalleyAnna’s unique songs effortlessly turn darkness into light.
“HalleyAnna takes a subtle approach to blowing people away with her music,” says Grammy-winning producer Lloyd Maines (Dixie Chicks). “She writes meaningful lyrics and her singing and guitar playing deliver her songs in grand form.” “Every song HalleyAnna writes or sings is great,” ace songwriter Walt Wilkins says. “Her voice really sends me. She’s sunshine in a beautiful package.”
In fact, few rays shine brighter.