Robert Finley was born in the small town of Winnsboro, Louisiana, in 1954. From an early age, he had a passion for music. He bought his first guitar at age eleven with money his father had given him to buy shoes.
Finley joined the army and was stationed in Germany. When he arrived at his duty station, he learned that the US Army Band needed a guitarist, and he was performing the very next day. Finley spent the rest of his military career touring Europe as the band's leader, performing for top brass, and honing his skills as a performer.
After completing his military service, Finley attempted to make a living as a musician but eventually began working as a carpenter to make ends meet. He continued in this profession for many years until he was diagnosed with glaucoma and forced to retire.
During the 2015 King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas, Finley was busking on the street when he was noticed by Tim Duffy, head of Music Makers Relief Foundation. Shortly thereafter Finley signed with Big Legal Mess Records and released his debut album, Age Don't Mean a Thing, in 2016. In August of that year, Finley returned to Helena to play onstage at the King Biscuit Blues Festival.