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The Hold Steady: America's Bar Band

The Hold Steady.
The Hold Steady.
The Hold Steady in Studio on World Cafe - 01/04/2007

The Hold Steady might just be the best bar band in America. With its riff-heavy mixture of classic rock and Craig Finn's lyrically dense storytelling, the group crafts intricately detailed musical universes that have already made it a critical darling and fan favorite.

Formed in 2000 from the ashes of the outstanding Minneapolis band Lifter Puller, The Hold Steady released Almost Killed Me in 2004. Bolstered by an ambitious tour schedule, 2005's Separation Sunday further boosted the group's profile. A loose concept album, Separation Sunday concerns itself mostly with a set of recurring characters whose exploits are chronicled in Finn's complex lyrics.

Making the move to a bigger label for the recent Boys and Girls in America, Finn and company have crafted an immensely compelling and accessible set of songs. Taking its name from a line in Jack Kerouac's classic On the Road, the disc ranks among last year's best.

This segment originally aired on Jan. 4, 2007.

Copyright 2007 XPN

David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.