Last night I saw Robert Finley, an American blues and soul singer-songwriter and guitarist on America’s Got Talent. He is also a legally blind Vietnam War Vet, who sang one of his original songs, “Medicine Woman”. He is 65 years old but his voice completely transcends age and disability. His voice is very soulful. His first audition on America’s Got Talent, he sang his original “Get It While You Can.”
Finley is a Louisiana native. He put singing on hold for the Vietnam War. In 2016 he released his debut studio album, Age Don’t Mean a Thing. His original songs are very good. Medicine Woman starts off like this: “Medicine woman, have pity on your man. Medicine woman, I know you understand, you know I got a deep need that only you can fill. It don’t come in no bottle, it don’t come in no pill. Medicine woman, have pity on your man.” His lyrics convey a deep soulful longing and his delivery is perfect. One forgets that he is blind and 65 years old and only hears his yearning soulful emotions.
I went to You Tube and saw his Official Video on Medicine Woman. It was excellent. His live performance on America’s Got Talent got him into the finals that start next week. He is one of the oldest singing contestants that got to the finals.
Finley has much experience in performing in front of sold out crowds. His knows how to grab hold of the audiences’ hearts as he pours his heart out in each performance. He could easily be seen as one of the greatest soul singers.
Finley’s influences are many including Sam Cooke and Edwin Hawkins. Finley sang as a child in a church choir. When he was 10 he bought his first guitar and was mixing blues, soul, and R&B. He took up carpentry to pay the bills since stardom eluded him. Maybe now he is getting the chance he always deserved.