Joe Savage backs Craig Finn on Wits radio show

I try to catch events like this before they happen, but sometimes they just aren't on my radar screen. Like this one.

Earlier this month, singer/songwriter Craig Finn of The Hold Steady performed a few new tunes on Wits, a live Minnesota Public Radio show. Of note to steel fans was tone monster Joe Savage on his pedal steel. I always tend to think of Joe as an aggressive, in your face, take no prisoners kind of player, but this show was different. Craig Finn's songs are quiet, personal and reflective, and Joe's playing matched the mood perfectly. I asked Joe about it, and this is what he wrote:

My friend John Munson is responsible for me being there. John thought I (pedal steel) would be a good fit for the format and for the songs Craig was intending to do.

Of course, I always love to play the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul no matter who it's with. The "Wits" show is something new for me and in that situation with bass (John Munson), vibes (Steve Roehm) and pedal steel as the back up band, it presents something altogether different from the usual combos. It felt good at the time and since the songs were on the darker side, I tried to just let them breathe and enhance the vibe of the lyrics.

We are now scheduled to do a session with Craig in he liked it. Something new for him as well. Another "Wits" coming up in May is with Sandra Bernhardt and Rosanne Cash. That oughta be fun too.

Here are the YouTube clips. Enjoy.

One Single Savior

Western Pier

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