Robert Finley Rocks Out in Memphis!
inAlbum Releaseon October 13, 2016
Robert Finley arrived like it was any other night, excited, grinning from ear to ear, guitar in hand. He wore pressed jeans, cowboy hat and boots and a Western shirt accented by a belt buckle larger than my hands. He looked like he was ready for the rodeo.
Instead of herding cattle, he was wrangling an audience. It didn’t matter that most had never seen him before, he knew exactly how to grab them. Being mostly blind, his swagger was stifled by Music Maker’s producer and long time musical director Ardie Dean, helping him on stage. But when he made it to center stage, he transformed into a bull on parade. Within moments of the band striking up and him lighting into the first lines of the song, the crowd leapt from their chairs and filled the dance floor. It was on!
Finley led the band through the 9 songs from the record and a few special numbers he worked up with them the day before. Though the band and Finley were playing live together as a unit for the first time, these were the cats who pulled his record together, some of the most revered Memphis session musicians, and they revealed no handicaps. They were tight and hot!
The excitement from the stage and in the crowd grew from set to set. When Finley remarked that he wasn’t gonna stop until the cops came, the crowd cheered with glee. When he said he was gonna share something special that even his producer wouldn’t let him put on the album, the crowd got even more excited.
By the time he wrapped up the show, we were all undone. He stood by the merch table as members of the audience vied for an opportunity to shake his hand.
— Aaron Greenhood