The highly anticipated book about an influential music man and his venue, Kent Finlay, Dreamer: The Musical Legacy Behind Cheatham Street Warehouse, hits shelves March 2, 2016 through Texas A&M University Press. “To have been able to listen to Dad unravel his yarns and capture his wisdom, wit and words like fireflies in a jar has been one of the greatest joys of my life,” says Jenni Finlay, who wrote the book with Brian T. Atkinson (author of I’ll Be Here in the Morning: The Songwriting Legacy of Townes Van Zandt). “Kent Finlay, Dreamer will help keep him alive and with us forever.”
Finlay, who passed away last year on Texas Independence Day at the age of 77, gained fame by developing aspiring artists for more than four decades. You know the names: George Strait. Stevie Ray Vaughan. Todd Snider. James McMurtry. Eric Johnson. Randy Rogers. The list goes on forever. Each songwriter is an unmatched talent with one common thread: Finlay launched their careers from the stage at his legendary Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, Texas. Finlay simply was the most respected lyrical editor and talent scouter in the Lone Star State and a singular songwriter himself.
Kent Finlay, Dreamer: The Musical Legacy Behind Cheatham Street Warehouse tells his story through Jenni’s intimate interviews with her father about an entire life dedicated to music, along with Atkinson’s detailed conversations with songwriters about his stunning influence. “[Kent’s] part of Texas music history is huge,” says country superstar George Strait in the book’s foreword. “He and his great little honky tonk gave me and a whole host of others a place to learn our craft and to learn how to be, sing and play music on stage. I’ll never forget those days. Thank you, my friend. You are The Man.”