Robert Finley

Hailing from the town of Bernice, Louisiana, Robert Finley is an American singer/songwriter delivering traditional blues and soul music with elements of R&B and gospel. He developed an early affinity for music when he purchased a guitar from a thrift store at the age of 11. This would be the beginning of a lifelong obsession with the instrument, learning to play by ear and eventually writing his own songs. Frequent visits to gospel quartet groups had a major impact on him, and his musical abilities flourished in his teens after he signed up for the Army in 1970. Originally enlisted as a helicopter technician in Germany, his skills were quickly recognized and he was soon moved to guitarist and bandleader duties for the military band -- touring with them across Europe and performing songs by artists such as Issac Hayes and Marvin Gaye until he was discharged. Upon his return home, Finley found work as a carpenter and pursued his artistic passions in his spare time, also working as a street performer and leading the gospel group Brother Finley and the Gospel Sisters. Years later, Finley was forced to retire from carpentry due to health reasons and as a result was unable to fully support his love of music-making. However, he went on to meet a member of the Music Maker Foundation (an organization dedicated to promoting the careers of blues musicians) who helped him make a welcome return to the scene. He put out his debut solo record, Age Don't Mean a Thing, via Big Legal Mess in late 2016. Written entirely by Finley himself, the album was recorded in Memphis, Tennessee with Bruce Watson (Junior Kimbrough, Hasil Adkins) and featured guest performances from the Memphis-based jazz ensemble the Bo-Keys. The album was stylistically compared to the work of artists such as James Brown and B.B. King. Finley kept busy and got to work on his sophomore effort with producer Dan Auerbach (Lana Del Rey, Ray LaMontagne) of blues rock band, the Black Keys. The album -- titled Goin' Platinum -- saw release via Nonesuch Records in the fall of 2017. ~ Rob Wacey

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