Label: Coalmine Records
Type of Music: Soul Management: Terry Cole - Coalmine Records
Booking: Jake Lankheit - Intrepid Artists
Legal: Vivek Sridharan - Counsel LLP
What’s an artist to do when he wants to take a break from his band to do a solo record? As a member of SF Bay Area psychedelic soul band the Monophonics, Kelly Finnigan has made a name for himself as a wonderfully emotive, honest and eclectic songwriter. That band has released a string of superb, genre-bending albums, and Finnigan has played a key role in their creation.
But there comes a time in an artist’s career when he has to step out of his comfort zone and try something new. That’s the basic story behind Finnigan’s 2019 solo album Tales People Tell, released via Coalmine Records.
“It’s a different kind of approach,” Finnigan says. “Also, there’s somewhat of a conscious wanting to do it different. The last thing I
want to do is––as big of a piece as I am to the Monophonics puzzle––I definitely don’t want to do a record the same. The first question was like, “Did you use the Monophonics as your band?” Why would I? It doesn’t make any sense. I need to step outside of that and just do this. Which is just doing me. Instead of thinking of it as a ‘we,’ it’s ‘I.’”
The singer-songwriter admits that the process is slightly scary, a little anxiety-building, as he doesn’t have his band members to fall back on. But ultimately, he’s finding the solo route rewarding. The sound is noticeably different, too. The Monophonics blend soul and rhythm and blues with psychedelic rock and ‘60s pop.
“With this, I wanted to make a traditional R&B record steeped in soul, with doo-wop and gospel influences sprinkled in,” he says. “From the get-go we made a decision that we love the Sharon Joneses of the world, but we don’t want to try to go in that direction, whereas me being a solo artist I would definitely say it’s more in that straight-up R&B soul thing.”
He’s certainly made a deeply personal record, highlighted by the fact that his dad makes an appearance on it. Meanwhile, he says that Coalmine Records is the perfect home for it.