Soul and blues singer Robert Finley will release his second studio album, Goin’ Platinum! on November 8th Easy Eye Sound. The album captures a singer at his prime, surrounded by all-time- great session musicians with skill to match his singular voice, including drummer Gene Chrisman (Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin) keys player Bobby Woods (JJ Cale, Bobby Womack) horns players from Preservation Hall and legendary guitarist Duane Eddy. Goin’ Platinum! was co-written and produced by The Black Key’s Dan Auerbach and also features writing credits by legendary songwriters John Prine, Nick Lowe, and Pat McLaughlin. “These guys are legends in their own time,” Finley says. “I’m grateful to be part of the team and working with such extraordinary guys. We hooked up the soul and rock and roll and made one hell of a record.” Goin’ Platinum! is available for pre-order on CD, vinyl, and digitally here.
Hailing from the small town of Bernice, Louisiana, Robert Finley, a self-taught musician, is no stranger to collaborating with and leading an elite group of musicians. Finley joined the army as a teenager to become a helicopter technician, but quickly found work as the leader of the Army’s band and toured the continent many times with them on guitar and vocals. Following his military service, Finley settled back in the States and made a living as a carpenter, still playing music, but more as a hobby than professionally. It wasn’t until Finley lost most of his eyesight and was forced to retire from carpentry that two happenstances rejuvenated his career.
First, while playing to a street crowd in Arkansas, Finley met a member of the Music Maker Foundation, an organization that provides direct support to older and underprivileged musicians. This lead to his first LP, Age Don’t Mean a Thing, which was released on Big Legal Mess Records in the fall of 2016. A video of Finley performing songs on the street also made its way to Dan Auerbach, front man of The Black Keys and new Nashville-based record label owner. Auerbach immediately recognized the singer’s immense and innate talent, and writing and recording sessions with the Easy Eye Sound house band, which Relix Magazine named “Nashville’s New Wrecking Crew,” spawned the songs on Goin’ Platinum! From the lovelorn bombast of “If You Forget My Love” and the soul-stirring “Medicine Woman,” to the home-on- the-road ripper “Empty Arms” and the yearning “Honey Let Me Stay the Night,” all capped by Finley’s ethereal falsetto on album closer “Holy Wine,” Finley’s sublime and stirring vocals, anchor Goin’ Platinum! and elevate the album’s ten original songs, making them feel equally contemporary and timeless. “I realized very quickly Robert’s capable of doing so much more than old blues songs,” Auerbach says. “He’s a blues guitar player, but when he puts his guitar down, you could set him in front of an orchestra and he would sing just as good as Ray Charles on the first take. He has that magnetic hugeness about his voice and just knows where to put it in the pocket, always.” Goin'; Platinum! is the second release on Dan Auerbach’s new record label, Easy Eye Sound and is distributed by Auerbach's longtime label Nonesuch Records. Easy Eye Sound is built equally around Auerbach’s Easy Eye Studio in Nashville, where The Black Keys recorded their last two albums, as well as the collection of famous session musicians that have come to call the studio home. Auerbach says, “Sometimes I feel I created my own Field of Dreams. I built the studio because I knew something was going to happen. I built it to accommodate live musicians playing, and then all of a sudden the best musicians in Nashville show up, and it’s happening.”