“Louisiana-based singer Robert Finley is a prime example that talent only improves with age.”
8:00 PM—The Oxford American is excited to welcome Robert Finley to Little Rock! This is the second show in their 2018-19 Archetypes & Troubadours Series. Doors open at 6:00 PM, with dinner and drinks available for purchase at that time. The series is made possible in part by presenting sponsors Chris & Jo Harkins and J. Mark & Christy Davis.
Additional season partners include UCA College of Fine Arts & Communication, Stella Boyle Smith Trust, EVO Business Environments, Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Stacy Hamilton of Pulaski Heights Realty, Margaret Ferguson Pope, Arkansas Arts Council, Department of Arkansas Heritage, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Capital Hotel, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Rosen Music Company, and Steinway Piano Gallery of Little Rock.
Tickets are $28 (General Admission), $34 (Reserved), and $36 (Premium Reserved). Please take a look at this very important ticketing and seating information before purchasing your tickets (view reserved seating chart). Full season ticket pricing and options are also available in a consolidated format, here.
When you’ve been making music for as long as Robert Finley has, you know that the key to success is in your instincts. You learn to trust your gut, you learn to trust your ear, and most of all, you learn to trust your company. Fortunately for us, Mr. Finley has all three in spades.
The singer lives in the tiny, forgotten town of Bernice, Louisiana, right near the Arkansas line, but in his younger days his music took him all over the world. Joining the Army as a teenager, Finley was sent to Europe as a helicopter technician but found more appealing work as the leader of the Army band, and toured the continent many times over on guitar and vocals. Following his rambling military service, he learned the trade of carpentry and settled back home in the States. He leaned on his gospel and blues songs for a hobby rather than career, and mostly confined his artistry to the streets of the South. But now, in the true spirit of the American Dream, Finley’s music is once again primed to reach doors and shores at home and abroad, as his new LP Goin’ Platinum! is released through Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound.
Finley, who has lost most of his eyesight and was recently forced to retire from carpentering, is a self-taught musician who started writing his own songs at age ten. Learning to play by ear, he developed a unique personal style that continues to serve him well today. “When you train yourself by ear you don’t always get the chords as perfect as they should be—and sometimes you stumble upon a better chord,” he says. “It really is a never-ending process; I’m constantly learning, and there’s always room for improvement. I’ve been playing for about fifty-two years; if you’re satisfied with everything you do, that don’t leave no room to grow. But the main thing, I got a great team putting this stuff together. God blessed me with the voice, but the connections are getting me in the right place at the right time in front of the right people, so I can display what I got.”
For Finley, all praise is due to the practice itself, and to the instincts, ear, and company of which he is proud to be part. And from this point on, his focus now shifts to his performance and his bringing it to the people, which he is finally—magically—able to do again on a global scale.
“Now I’m concerned about delivering the message to the audience,” he says. “We did a great job on the recording but it’s not over yet, it’s gotta be done before the live audience, that’s when my real task comes in. What comes from the heart goes to the heart; constantly pouring your soul into it so that when you deliver it, people can feel what you feeling. To me that’s the ultimate challenge, to get them to feel what you feel. And if they do, you will know it by the end of the song.”