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Posted March 22, 2021 by Jeff in Tunes
 
 

Robert Finley Filters Life Story into ‘Sharecropper’s Son’

Robert Finley
Robert Finley

Blues singer Robert Finley just announced that his latest effort, Sharecropper’s Son, will come out on Easy Eye Sound on May 21. Written by Finley and co-written and produced by Dan Auerbach of Black Keys fame, Sharecropper’s Son features blues veterans and studio legends who’ve worked with everyone from Elvis Presley to Wilson Pickett.
 
“Souled Out on You,” the album’s debut track features Auerbach on guitar and a striking video directed by Tim Hardiman. “Ain’t it a pity, it’s a crying shame,” Finley offers in his weathered voice, which alternates between baritone and falsetto, “I’m in the heart of the city, and I still feel the pain.””

“[‘Souled Out on You’ is] the story of a relationship that’s ending,” Finley explains in press materials, adding, “It’s about someone who takes on everything in the relationship. All the good and the bad and even after all of that, they notice that it just isn’t going to work out and the relationship has run its course. I took all I could take and I’m starting my life over.” 
 
Sharecropper’s Son showcases Finley’s vocals, which take center stage and encapsulate his remarkable life story and reflect on his childhood during the Jim Crow-era south. Finley’s stories of pain and joy will uplift as he shares his belief that you are never too young to dream and never too old to live.
 
An army vet who was a skilled carpenter before losing his sight in his 60s, Finley has overcome divorce, house fires and an automobile accident. After becoming blind, he had to retire from carpentry but it allowed him to pursue his musical inclinations.

“Losing my sight gave me the perspective to see my true destiny,” says Finley.
 
Auerbach also produced Findley’s previous album, Goin’ Platinum, which helped Finley become a contestant on the 2019 season of the TV competition America’s Got Talent.
 
Auerbach says he saw Finley’s potential straight away.

“He walked in like he was straight out of the swamp.” Auerbach recalls. “He had leather pants, snakeskin boots, a big country & Western belt buckle, a leather cowboy hat and a three-quarter-length leather duster . . . basically, he was dressed for national television.” 
 
Songs such as Sharecropper’s Son’s title track were inspired by Finley’s childhood. His family was sharecroppers, and he was unable to regularly attend school and often worked with his family in the field picking cotton. He later attended a segregated school but dropped out in the 10th grade.
 
“Working in the cotton fields wasn’t a pleasant place to be, but it was part of my life,” says Finley. “I went from the cotton fields to Beverly Hills. We stayed in the neighborhood most of our childhood. It wasn’t really all that safe to be out by yourself. One of the things I love about music is that, when I was a boy growing up in the South, nobody wanted to hear what I had to say or what I thought about anything. But when I started putting it in songs, people listened.”
 
With songwriting by Finley, Auerbach, Bobby Wood and respected country songwriter Pat McLaughlin, Sharecropper’s Son also features an all star band including guitar expertise from Auerbach himself, Mississippi hill country’s Kenny Brown and studio legends like Russ Pahl, Billy Sanford and Louisiana guitarist Billy Sanford. They are joined by drum legend Gene Chrisman, who played a historic role in Memphis and Nashville music. The line-up was completed by bass contributions from dap king Nick Movshon, blues legend Eric Deaton and former Johnny Cash bandmate Dave Roe, as well as a full horn section. Sam Bacco adds percussion.
 
Finley, 67, cites a range of vocal influences, including Al Green, Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, Elvis, James Brown and The Beatles.

I want people to understand that I can’t be kept in a box. I like to do all kinds of music — everything that means anything to me, from gospel to blues to soul to country to rock ‘n’ roll.

The album will be available on exclusive sunrise yellow vinyl from the Easy Eye Sound store only. To pre-order and for more information please visit https://found.ee/sharecroppersson.