Kick Off Your Weekend with Powerhouse California Soul Singer Kelly Finnigan at the Woodward Theater

The jaw-dropping singer/songwriter pulls through Cincinnati Friday on the tour behind his stellar solo debut, 'The Tales People Tell '

click to enlarge Kelly Finnigan - Photo: Whitney Pelfrey
Photo: Whitney Pelfrey
Kelly Finnigan
For nearly a decade and a half, Psychedelic Soul band Monophonics has been a consistent Bay Area presence, renowned for its sweaty, high-octane live shows and deeply funky style. As the group honed a broader national/international reputation, singer and keyboardist Kelly Finnigan joined the group in 2010 and upped the Monophonics game even more.

The son of singer/organist Mike Finnigan — a Troy, Ohio native and ace session player who has worked with artists like Jimi Hendrix, Etta James and Crosby Stills and Nash — Kelly developed an affinity for artists like Otis Redding and James Brown while growing up in Los Angeles. Kelly initially found his groove in Hip Hop, working as a DJ in L.A. and doing production work (something he still regularly does for artists across the country).

Once you hear Kelly’s stop-you-in-your-tracks voice, it’s hard to imagine it was ever not front and center in his musical pursuits. His talents are on glorious display on his recently released solo debut, The Tales People Tell, which was issued by Loveland, Ohio’s Colemine Records, also home to a handful of Monophonics singles and a slew of other vintage-styled Funk and Soul acts. Though he wrote all of the music and plays nearly a dozen different instruments on the LP, Kelly’s father and Monophonics bandmates helped him in the studio, as did musicians who’ve worked sessions for Daptone and Big Crown releases.

While certainly buoyed by insistent rhythms, The Tales People Tell shows the more silky side of Kelly’s Soul, swirling the salt-of-the-earth Otis and JB inspiration with some of the smoothness of Philly Soul and groups like the Delfonics and Chi-Lites. But Kelly can still wield the Funk like a mighty sword when he wants to, something he proves on the crackling “I Called You Back Baby.”

The sublime mix of grit and grace on The Tales People Tell is riveting and makes for a fantastically dynamic listening experience.

Finnigan performs with his backing band The Atonements this Friday (May 31) at Over-the-Rhine's Woodward Theater. Click here for tickets/more show info.

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