“I don’t take any type of medication,” declares 63-year-old soul singer Robert Finley at the start of his new video for “Get It While You Can.” “They wanted me to take an aspirin a day and I said, ‘Why not just take a shot of brandy? The doctor says, ‘Yeah, it’s about the same’ – I got a cool doctor.'”
Finley also has a cool producer. When his debut album, the cockily titled (or, if you prefer, aspirational) Goin’ Platinum! is released on December 8th, it’ll cement his relationship with Dan Auerbach, who harnessed Finley’s raw energy in his Nashville studio Easy Eye Sound.
“He opened up and it was this huge, bellowing voice,” says Auerbach of the nearly blind Finley. “He’s one of the greatest soul singers that I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Finley credits the Black Keys singer-guitarist with letting him find his own voice in the booth. “He said, ‘I’m just giving you the song, I’m just giving you the idea and I want you to express it. Just be yourself,'” Finley tells Rolling Stone. “The songs and the music were produced so well that it never became work.”
In the clip for “Get It While You Can,” Finley claps, stomps and points his way through the shoot, gesturing wildly with his hands as he deliver lines like “you got to take it when you can get it / get it while you can / wrap it up in bacon, sizzle in a pan.” The video’s director Gus Black says he just stood back and turned Finley loose.
“Working with Robert was a totally inspiring experience. Every take of his performance resonated with authenticity, conviction and joy,” he says. “He’s the real fucking deal and he made my job simple. I kept thinking the same thing over as we’re shooting: do not fuck this up.”
In February, Auerbach will gather Finley and another artist he produced, Shannon Shaw, for the Easy Eye Sound Revue Tour, a national trek that also includes Auerbach’s house band of session legends like Gene Chrisman and Bobby Wood.