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Finnegan Blue's conga line starts to move

"We finally clawed our way into the North Park Festival of the Arts.”

Finnegan Blue's 'bones section (Willie and Anna Lee Fleming, left) spent time in SDSU's marching band.
Finnegan Blue's 'bones section (Willie and Anna Lee Fleming, left) spent time in SDSU's marching band.

Anna Lee Fleming was born and raised in North Park. “I have definitely seen a transition,” says the founder/songwriter/lead singer of Finnegan Blue. “When I was first going to school my parents wouldn’t let me walk to school. North Park was thought to be too seedy, too dangerous.”

Video:

Finnegan Blue, at the Rabbit Hole for Adams Avenue Unplugged

North Park and its land values have upscaled over the years. Fleming, 28, who teaches elementary school, still lives there. But she says her hometown music scene has not exactly swooned over her three-year-old band.

“It’s been difficult for us to perform in North Park. I tried to get us into the Office and Bar Pink and for whatever reason they were unresponsive. We finally clawed our way into the North Park Festival of the Arts this year.”

Part of the reason may be because her band doesn’t line up with North Park’s dominant musical DNA: “Indie music never really reached me,” she says.

Past Event

Finnegan Blue

  • Saturday, November 11, 2017, 9 p.m.
  • Dubliner, 554 Fourth Avenue, San Diego
  • 21+
Past Event

Grant Farm and Finnegan Blue

  • Friday, November 17, 2017, 8 p.m.
  • Winstons Beach Club, 1921 Bacon Street, San Diego
  • 21+ / $10

Finnegan Blue started as an Irish band three years ago. “We formed to play at a bar on St. Patrick’s Day. We branched out to include a broad spectrum of American folk, bluegrass, Americana, New Orleans funk jazz...and traditional Irish.”

The highly rhythmic New Orleans sound came via brother Willie Fleming, who plays mandolin, trombone, and guitar in Finnegan Blue. “When he was in the high school marching band he stumbled across the Youngblood Brass Band.”

Brother Willie segued into the SDSU marching band (all six Finnegan Blue members are SDSU grads). “I also wanted to be in the SDSU marching band,” says Anna Lee. “I was 22 years old when I told them I wanted to join. I said I knew how to play even though I didn’t. They still let me join. I threw myself to the wolves. I memorized how the slide was supposed to look during each song.”

Fleming played trombone with the SDSU marching band from 2009–’13. By the time she left, she knew how to play.

“Right now the jazz/funk and afrobeat scene seems to be heating up in San Diego,” says Fleming, pointing out that the Sure Fire Soul Ensemble, Elektric Voodoo, and the B-Side Players are everywhere.

Meanwhile, North Park seems to be opening up. “Yesterday this bouncer from Seven Grand came up and told me, ‘Oh my god, you guys had a conga line. You guys have to come back.’”

Besides their Dublin Square date on November 11, they appear at the Sam Ash music store in La Mesa from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

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Finnegan Blue's 'bones section (Willie and Anna Lee Fleming, left) spent time in SDSU's marching band.
Finnegan Blue's 'bones section (Willie and Anna Lee Fleming, left) spent time in SDSU's marching band.

Anna Lee Fleming was born and raised in North Park. “I have definitely seen a transition,” says the founder/songwriter/lead singer of Finnegan Blue. “When I was first going to school my parents wouldn’t let me walk to school. North Park was thought to be too seedy, too dangerous.”

Video:

Finnegan Blue, at the Rabbit Hole for Adams Avenue Unplugged

North Park and its land values have upscaled over the years. Fleming, 28, who teaches elementary school, still lives there. But she says her hometown music scene has not exactly swooned over her three-year-old band.

“It’s been difficult for us to perform in North Park. I tried to get us into the Office and Bar Pink and for whatever reason they were unresponsive. We finally clawed our way into the North Park Festival of the Arts this year.”

Part of the reason may be because her band doesn’t line up with North Park’s dominant musical DNA: “Indie music never really reached me,” she says.

Past Event

Finnegan Blue

  • Saturday, November 11, 2017, 9 p.m.
  • Dubliner, 554 Fourth Avenue, San Diego
  • 21+
Past Event

Grant Farm and Finnegan Blue

  • Friday, November 17, 2017, 8 p.m.
  • Winstons Beach Club, 1921 Bacon Street, San Diego
  • 21+ / $10

Finnegan Blue started as an Irish band three years ago. “We formed to play at a bar on St. Patrick’s Day. We branched out to include a broad spectrum of American folk, bluegrass, Americana, New Orleans funk jazz...and traditional Irish.”

The highly rhythmic New Orleans sound came via brother Willie Fleming, who plays mandolin, trombone, and guitar in Finnegan Blue. “When he was in the high school marching band he stumbled across the Youngblood Brass Band.”

Brother Willie segued into the SDSU marching band (all six Finnegan Blue members are SDSU grads). “I also wanted to be in the SDSU marching band,” says Anna Lee. “I was 22 years old when I told them I wanted to join. I said I knew how to play even though I didn’t. They still let me join. I threw myself to the wolves. I memorized how the slide was supposed to look during each song.”

Fleming played trombone with the SDSU marching band from 2009–’13. By the time she left, she knew how to play.

“Right now the jazz/funk and afrobeat scene seems to be heating up in San Diego,” says Fleming, pointing out that the Sure Fire Soul Ensemble, Elektric Voodoo, and the B-Side Players are everywhere.

Meanwhile, North Park seems to be opening up. “Yesterday this bouncer from Seven Grand came up and told me, ‘Oh my god, you guys had a conga line. You guys have to come back.’”

Besides their Dublin Square date on November 11, they appear at the Sam Ash music store in La Mesa from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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