By T. Scott Boatright
Daq’s Wings and Grill in Ruston has announced it will begin hosting live music events on its patio on the first and third Thursday of each month, beginning with singer Robert Finley performing an acoustic set at 8 p.m. this Thursday.
Finley, who was born and raised in Bernice, followed a stint in the Army by returning to Louisiana, where he worked as a part-time street performer, leader of the gospel group Brother Finley and the Gospel Sisters, and as a carpenter.
He was later determined to be legally blind and was forced to give up his career as a carpenter, but that didn’t slow his love for music.
In 2015, Music Maker Relief Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports aging blues musicians, discovered Finley busking before a gig in Arkansas. That began a musical comeback that saw Finley featured on packaged tours with acts like Robert Lee Coleman and Alabama Slim.
Finley released his debut studio album “Age Don’t Mean a Thing” in September of 2016, and while Finley started as a bluesman, his record producer Bruce Watson keyed in on more of his soulful compositions for that recording.
His second album, “Going Platinum,” was produced and co-written by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and released in December of 2017.
The following year Finley joined Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound Revue tour followed up with a series of headline shows around the world.
In 2019 Finley probably received his most attention when he made it all the way to the semifinals as a contestant during the 14th season of the “America’s Got Talent” television show.
Finley has announced Finley his next album “Sharecropper’s Son,” which centers around Finley’s upbringing on a crop share here in north Louisiana, will be released on May 21.