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The guitar hero behind a stream of releases on the Italian Comet label, Scott Finch first came to prominence as a member of Gypsy, a heavily Hendrix-influenced, Milwaukee-based band that emerged in the early '90s.

Scott FinchFinch himself was the veteran of bands dating back to the early '60s. One early group was Bamboozle, another was simply named Finch, and as the

beat-crazed days of the mid-'60s turned into the stoned, hazed days of 1967, Finch's reputation had reached the ears of the industry big boys. High as they were on the raga-rock rage that was seeping out of the American underground, the band was offered the chance to cut an entire album of the stuff. Incredibly, they turned it down. "If we do that," the band members reasoned, "that's all we'll ever be remembered for."

A decade later, Finch was less idealistic. Alongside drummer Gregg Slavik, he was a member of White Lie, a band which apparently spent its entire career living up to its name with a vengeance, leaping onto every musical bandwagon it encountered until it finally landed a record deal. The band's one eponymous album did nothing, however, and White Lie broke up.

Finch moved on to the Hot Rods, gigging locally around Milwaukee until 1986 brought White Lie drummer Slavik back into the frame. With bassist Joe Steil completing the lineup, Gypsy debuted, again on a wholly local level, with a self-titled cassette which was recorded partially at Finch's own Velvet Sky studios, partially in concert. Much of this cassette was subsequently re-released on Finch's The Velvet Groove CD; a second tape, The Goddess, is featured on the Haze of Mother Nature compilation.

Gigging tirelessly, recording ceaselessly, Gypsy uncaged a third album, People from the Darkside, then slammed together a self-compiled best-of for fans who'd missed out on the rest of the experience. Finally, however, the redundancy of bashing their heads against the walls of record company indifference became too apparent to ignore and Gypsy split in 1991.

Finch promptly formed a new band, Illegal Smile, with his brother Tom and drummer Bo Conlin. It was one of several projects which would see him simply "trying to record anything that I thought was cool." None lasted long and in 1992, Finch set to work on a solo album, Pipedreams. In just six days, he completed 36 instrumentals, playing drums, bass, guitar, and keyboards himself -- 16 of them appeared on the finished (and again self-released) album.

That project out of his system, he reunited once again with Slavik to form the Waltzing Tunas with bassist Mike Kashou and vocalist Peter Alt; when Kashou quit, to be replaced by Mike Haasch, the band changed its name to Bluehand. (Live cuts by both bands complete the Haze of Mother Nature compilation.)

Finch hooked up with the Italian Comet label during the late '90s. Initial releases comprised the aforementioned anthologies; since that time, Finch has unleashed a wealth of additional material, including the live set Live Groove!, recorded with his latest band, the Blues-O-Delics, and an ambitious studio concept album (recorded with a re-formed Gypsy), Revelation. ~ Dave Thompson, All Music Guide