Wednesday, October 28, 2009

RIP, Barry Finn

From Joe Stead


Barry Finn

Barry was not feeling well a couple of weeks ago on a Friday evening so he was transported to the hospital on the following Monday for observation and tests. It was diagnosed that he had had a recent heart attack. By Thursday evening all seemed to be well and going in the right direction. He took a drink of water and all ended for him...his heart just stopped pumping and he died Friday October 16, 2009 at the Elliot Hospital, Manchester, NH. He was born on February 5, 1951 in Boston, MA a son of Elizabeth (Barry) Bent and the late Eugene Finn.

He formed a duo with Neil Downey whom he first met in the mid seventies while singing and playing at the Irish Music session in the ‘Village Coach House’ in Brookline, Ma. They performed primarily a cappella songs related to heavy work and hard labour, specializing in the performance of traditional sea songs, shanties and work songs originating in the southern prison system.

A gifted songwriter, together with Neil they performed at the Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival, New England Folk Festivals (NEFFA), New Hampshire’s Great Bay Festival, the Gloucester (US) Maritime Festival, Boston’s First Night, the San Francisco Maritime Festival, the Salem Maritime Festival, the Boston Antique & Classic Boat Festival, for Sea Revels in Boston, at Sail Boston Tall Ships Parades 88 and 92 and at the Massachusetts State House for the “Welcoming of the Captains” during Boston’s last Tall Ships Parade. They have also performed on board the USS Constitution, the USS Eagle, the USS Salem, the Unicorn, the Schooner Adventure, the Brig Carthaginian, the Polish schooner Zawisza Czarny, the Larinda, Canada’s schooner Empire Sandy, the Shenandoah & Nova Scotia’s Bluenose II. This very year he sang with Neil at the Scarborough Sea Festival and wrote to me afterwards thanking me for recommending the fish and chip shop on the main front just across from the performance area. Kimber’s Men were performing at Warwick.

My wife and I were fortunate enough to meet him when we toured America earlier this year; and I was able to film him after the concert I gave in South Portland, Maine. I recommend you look at it>

He is survived by his wife Justine Donovan of Derry; his daughter, Natalie Finn and his son, Gabriel Finn, both of Derry; his mother, Elizabeth Bent of W. Dennis, MA; two brothers, Daniel Bent of Walpole, MA and Earl Moore of N.H.; one sister, Cheryl Finn-Poole of Carlisle, MA. He also leaves behind countless friends in and out of the music community. I only met him for one evening, but he left a good unending impression.

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