April 4, 2018 | Bob Boilen — The last time Dan Auerbach came to the Tiny Desk he brought a mariachi band (we supplied confetti cannons). That was our 500th performance at the Tiny Desk, with Dan playing alongside his band The Arcs.
This time out, we have a different kind of celebration — and an explosion of talent — as Dan brings his Easy Eye Sound Revue to the Tiny Desk. It’s an abundance of gifted musicians who have all played with a long, long list of legends, including Elvis, Don Williams and John Prine. Their set recalls a time and sound from the ’60s when southern R&B, including Nashville, was a force.
Midway through the four-song set (that includes tunes from his 2017 album Waiting on a Song), Dan introduces a powerhouse: the seasoned but relatively unknown blues-and-soul singer Robert Finley. The husky voiced gentleman, with a giant smile and magical charisma, is heart-winning and heart-warming. It’s remarkable that this legally blind singer is only now getting the attention he deserves. Hopefully this inspires you to go digging to hear the album Robert Finley and Dan Auerbach released at the end of 2017 called Goin’ Platinum.
For those of you who saw the recent Tiny Desk Concert from fellow Nashville musician John Prine, you may remember John telling tales of writing songs with Pat McLaughlin in the morning, going to town for some meatloaf and then recording the song by day’s end. Well that’s Pat on the mandolin here in this Tiny Desk set. His playing is both astonishing and low-key. The small band for this stripped-down version of the “Revue” is fleshed with Dante Schwebel on guitar and Russ Pahl’s resonator guitar sounds.
Dan Auerbach is a master of ceremonies, a community maker and a great songwriter. His world is one where it’s hard to tell if this pool of talent has gathered around to join Dan, or if he’s managed to reconnect some old magic in hopes of going along for a great ride himself. Either way we win.
“Waiting On a Song”
“Never In My Wildest Dreams”
“Get It While You Can feat. Robert Finley”
“Shine On Me”
Dan Auerbach, Dante Schwebel, Russ Pahl, Pat McLaughlin
Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, CJ Riculan, Dani Lyman; Production Assistant: Joshua Bote; Photo: Eslah Attar/NPR.