By Matt Mattei - mmattei@timesleader.com

Aaron Fink & The Fury set for full-band performance at River Street Jazz Cafe

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Aaron Fink, right, performs with friend and frequent collaborator, Dustin Douglas, left, at the F.M. Kirby Center in December. Fink will bring his five-piece band, The Fury, to the River Sreet Jazz Cafe in Plains Township Friday to perform his original music.
Weekender file photo
Accomplished guitarist and burgeoning songwriter Fink said he learns a lot about his songs when he plays them acoustic, but that he’d play with a full band every night if he could.
Weekender file photo
Fink said he’s excited to have fellow NEPA rockers Underground Saints on Friday’s bill. He also mentioned plans to return to the studio to work on his fourth solo album, which he plans to release in 2018.
Weekender file photo

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    Over the course of roughly the last two-and-a-half years, accomplished guitarist and burgeoning songwriter Aaron Fink has taken more and more ownership of his original music as he’s navigated the art of the songsmith, acting as lyricist, producer and multi-instrumentalist on his records.

    He’s even learned to appreciate playing his style-fusing rock tunes in a stripped down format.

    “I don’t mind playing acoustic, and sometimes I learn something about (the songs) by playing that way. But I also like to rock out from time to time,” Fink said with a satisfied laugh.

    Aaron Fink & The Fury will perform at 10 p.m. Aug. 18 at the River Street Jazz Cafe in Plains Township. Underground Saints, a band with a considerable local following, will come together to open the show in their first performance since Dec. 30.

    Former long-tenured lead guitarist for alternative rock outfit Breaking Benjamin, Fink has embarked on a solo songwriting career with vigorous intent, releasing successive albums “Saint Sylvania,” “Heavy Feathers” and “Galaxies” since March of 2015.

    Well reviewed by critics, “Galaxies” showed Fink at his most versatile and creative thus far, but, not one to pat himself on the back, Fink takes an pragmatic approach to his work several months removed from the album’s release.

    “I’m far enough away from it now, that if I hear it, I can be like, ‘That song wasn’t that good,’” Fink said. “The good news about the record is that I still really like at least half the songs. I have a couple records under my best as a solo artist, so I’ve started to have a set list where I can look down and say, ‘These are all pretty good numbers.’”

    Working with Fink to bring those numbers to eager ears will be local guitarists Patrick Flynn and Dustin Douglas — who’ll play bass in The Fury — drummer A.J. Jump, and keyboard player Vince Saracino.

    “We’re going to have this great female vocalist, Leah Francisca,” Fink said, noting that he’s looking forward to featuring the singer on a few songs.

    The instrumentalists, he said, are no grab bag thrown together for a one-time performance.

    “I pick guys for a reason,” Fink said. “I’m hand picking them because I like them personally. I’ve seen them play, and I like their mojo.”

    Fink, who can be particular in the studio when trying to bring his creations to fruition, said he’s open to new spins on his songs in live settings.

    “I believe if a song is good enough, it can be presented in lots of different lights, and it’s still a good song,” he said. “I came from a band where everything had to be played exactly down to the note and the nuance. I don’t give a shit about that anymore. I’m shooting for songs that someone else could play on a piano or a banjo, and it still sounds cool.”

    The Jazz Cafe, Fink said, is “an open-minded space” where he enjoys playing.

    “It’s a creative, free place,” he said. “You can try stuff and fall on your face or find your way. The music there isn’t an accident. That’s why you’re there. The people are facing forward, and they’re not on their devices too much.”

    That unique, music-centric atmosphere, is the right place for Fink to bring his five-piece rock band.

    “I’ve only done a couple of (full-band shows), because the situations that allow for all that are limited these days,” Fink said. “I wish it was every night, but my current situation is this is what we’re doing. I try to do it big every six months and hype it up and have fun.”

    Never content to rest on his laurels, Fink said new music is in the works.

    “On a side note, I’m going into the studio again and starting another record. That’ll be out in 2018, so I’m always working. I’m always doing something.”

    Aaron Fink, right, performs with friend and frequent collaborator, Dustin Douglas, left, at the F.M. Kirby Center in December. Fink will bring his five-piece band, The Fury, to the River Sreet Jazz Cafe in Plains Township Friday to perform his original music.
    http://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_aaronfink-12.jpgAaron Fink, right, performs with friend and frequent collaborator, Dustin Douglas, left, at the F.M. Kirby Center in December. Fink will bring his five-piece band, The Fury, to the River Sreet Jazz Cafe in Plains Township Friday to perform his original music. Weekender file photo

    Accomplished guitarist and burgeoning songwriter Fink said he learns a lot about his songs when he plays them acoustic, but that he’d play with a full band every night if he could.
    http://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_aaronfink-14.jpgAccomplished guitarist and burgeoning songwriter Fink said he learns a lot about his songs when he plays them acoustic, but that he’d play with a full band every night if he could. Weekender file photo

    Fink said he’s excited to have fellow NEPA rockers Underground Saints on Friday’s bill. He also mentioned plans to return to the studio to work on his fourth solo album, which he plans to release in 2018.
    http://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_aaronfink-2.jpgFink said he’s excited to have fellow NEPA rockers Underground Saints on Friday’s bill. He also mentioned plans to return to the studio to work on his fourth solo album, which he plans to release in 2018. Weekender file photo
    Celebrated guitarist turned songwriter to bring five-piece band to Jazz Cafe

    By Matt Mattei

    mmattei@timesleader.com

    IF YOU GO

    What: Aaron Fink & The Fury with special guests Underground Saints

    When: 10 p.m. Friday

    Where: River Street Jazz Cafe, 667 N. River St., Plains Township

    Additional information: Tickets cost $7 in advance and are available online at bit.ly/2fFfyuI. Cost for admission can be paid at the door the evening of the show. For more information, call 570-822-2992.

    Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.

    Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.

    IF YOU GO

    What: Aaron Fink & The Fury with special guests Underground Saints

    When: 10 p.m. Friday

    Where: River Street Jazz Cafe, 667 N. River St., Plains Township

    Additional information: Tickets cost $7 in advance and are available online at bit.ly/2fFfyuI. Cost for admission can be paid at the door the evening of the show. For more information, call 570-822-2992.