North Louisiana Bluesman Gets Tapped for Big Tour
Robert Finley has had quite the late career resurgence. The Bernice, Louisiana Blues players waited along time for his moment is the sun. And while he had to wait a long time, the 68 year old musician is making the most of his opportunity.
His story is equal parts fascinating and inspiring. Finley started playing guitar at the age of 11. However, as life goes sometimes, he was afforded the opportunity to pursue music as a career. His family were sharecroppers. He joined the Army in 1970 as a helicopter technician. There he got the opportunity to keep the musical fires stoked as he played in the Army band and toured all over Europe.
However, when he got home, he made his money as a carpenter while playing gigs where he could (mostly with the Brother Finley & Gospel Sisters group). Then, he was forced to retire from being a carpenter due to becoming legally blind. However, as fate would have it, the universe brought music back into his life in a big way. The Music Maker Relief Foundation (which helps aging blues musicians) discovered Finley performing on the streets and put him on tour with Robert Lee Coleman and Alabama Slim.
From that point forward, as the saying goes, Robert got a rocket strapped to his back. And a lot of awesome things started happening for him. From a recording contract to aligning with Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys. In fact, Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys has produced most of Finley's albums other than his debut album in 2016.
Now, Finley is hitting the road with another big name rock band - Greta Van Fleet!. If you're not familiar with Greta Van Fleet, they are one of the hottest new rock bands on the planet with numerous #1 albums and songs on the Billboard charts. To put it plainly, they don't play small clubs, they play large venues all across the world. So, getting an opening spot in front of those guys is a pretty big deal.
And this is just the latest in a series of awesome breaks from Robert. Back in 2019, he was featured on America's Got Talent (making it all the way to the semi-finals). He's played along side bands like the Black Keys. Robert Finley has been making a lot of waves in a short period of time. Not bad for a legally blind musician from a tiny town in North Louisiana. Especially one that didn't even get started until his 60s.
Now, if you don't get the chance to see Robert on tour with Greta Van Fleet, never fear. Robert Finley plays quite often in Monroe at Enoch's Irish Pub.