In 2019 Robert Finley was introduced to a national audience on America’s Got Talent – at age 65. That slipped by me until Helga tipped me off to the excitement surrounding the release of his new album, Sharecropper’s Son. Thanks, Helga!
As with most “overnight success” stories, Finley’s musical career goes back many, and in his case many, many, years. He played guitar while an enlisted man in the Army in Europe in the early 70’s. After his discharge, back home in Louisiana, he led Brother Finley and the Gospel Sisters in the 80’s. Fast forward a few decades, making a living as a carpenter, and Finley was heard busking at the 2015 King Biscuit Blues Festival in Arkansas by Tim Duffy. Duffy heads the Music Maker Relief Foundation that assists aging Southern roots artists. By September 2016 Finley released his debut studio album, Age Don’t Mean a Thing. Listen to the whole album or at least check out the first track, “Just Want to Tell You”, to get a listen to this classic voice.
Shortly after the release of Age Don’t Mean a Thing, Finley began working with Black Keys co-founder and uber-producer, Dan Auerbach. Finley’s second album, Goin’ Platinum!, was released at the end of 2017 on Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound label. Here is the official video for “Medicine Woman”, co-written by Finley and Auerbach. In addition to Finley’s incredible voice, you can hear Auerbach’s influence on the arrangement and his unmistakeable guitar tone.