Craig Finn's is known for fronting The Hold Steady, a job took up in '04. Finn lived in the Minneapolis area before relocating to New York City. As a result he blended Midwest sensibilities with big city angst. Narrative lyrics laced with literary references helped make The Hold Steady critic darlings. But their five albums released between '04 and '10 usually got no further than the mid-20s on the Billboard Album chart.
Finn and guitarist Tad Kubler were in a band called Lifter Puller that mutated into The Hold Steady. The group's debut album, '04's "Almost Killed Me," created a bit of a buzz.
Finn was raised a Catholic and graduated from Boston College. That experience no doubt influenced The Hold Steady's sophomore effort, "Separation Sunday," a loose concept album based on a character named Holly and her quest to find a balance between Catholicism and Rock n' Roll through drugs and a metaphorical resurrection.
The Hold Steady's profile rose significantly when they moved to Vagrant Records for their third album "Boys And Girls In America." The CD sold over 50,000 copies, more than the first two albums combined. '08's "Stay Positive" album was followed by "Heaven Is Whenever."
Prior to the release of "Heaven Is Whenever" in '10, keyboardist Franz Nicolay left the group. "Franz is a real ambitious guy, and I think he wanted to do a lot of different things, and we want to really follow this one Hold Steady thing to its logical end," said Finn at the time.
Two years later, with no Hold Steady album since "Heaven Is Whenever," Finn had a solo album out - "Clear Heart Full Eyes."
2012 Clear Heart Full Eyes