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Mike Finnigan

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Mike Finnigan
Finnigan in 1970.
Finnigan in 1970.
Background information
Birth nameMichael Kelly Finnigan
Born(1945-04-26)April 26, 1945
Troy, Ohio, U.S.
DiedAugust 11, 2021(2021-08-11) (aged 76)
Los Angeles
Occupation(s)Session musician
Instrument(s)Keyboards, vocals

Michael Kelly Finnigan (April 26, 1945 – August 11, 2021) was an American keyboard player and vocalist, his speciality being the B3 Hammond organ. Working primarily as a freelance studio musician and touring player, he played with a wide variety of musicians in pop, rock, blues and jazz.

Life and career[edit]

Finnigan was born in Troy, Ohio, and attended the University of Kansas on a basketball scholarship.[1]

Finnigan toured with and sessioned for Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Etta James, Sam Moore, Crosby Stills and Nash, Dave Mason, Buddy Guy, The Manhattan Transfer, Taj Mahal, Michael McDonald, Maria Muldaur, Peter Frampton, Cher, Ringo Starr, Leonard Cohen, Tower of Power, Rod Stewart, David Coverdale, Tracy Chapman, Los Lonely Boys, and Bonnie Raitt.

Finnigan recorded Early Bird Cafe with the Serfs in the late 1960s, with Tom Wilson producing. The Serfs were the house band at a nightclub in Wichita, Kansas at the time. He then toured and cut an album with Jerry Hahn, The Jerry Hahn Brotherhood released in 1970. He recorded two solo records in the 1970s, one with Jerry Wood. He later collaborated with two other Columbia artists, Les Dudek and Jim Krueger, with whom he formed the DFK Band (Dudek, Finnigan, and Krueger) in 1978. Subsequently, his work featured on a CD by the Finnigan Brothers (NashFilms Records), a collaboration with his younger brother Sean and founding member of Bread, Robb Royer.

Finnigan was twice a winner of a Blues Music Award (formerly W.C. Handy Award) for his work with Taj Mahal as a member of the Phantom Blues Band.[2][3] He was always active politically and was, for several years, a regular contributor to the weblog Crooks and Liars.[4] In 2013 and 2014, he was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the 'Pinetop Perkins Piano Player' category.[5][6]

Personal life[edit]

He was married for 50 years to Candy Finnigan, an intervention counselor who appeared on the television show Intervention. They have two children: a daughter, Bridget, and a son, Kelly.[7] Finnigan was an active blogger, with a fondness for liberal/progressive causes and commentary.[8]


Finnigan died from liver cancer on August 11, 2021, in Los Angeles at the age of 76.[1]

Partial discography[edit]


  1. ^ a b Writers, CelebrityAccess Staff (2021-08-11). "Legendary Keyboardist & Session Player Mike Finnigan Dead At 76". CelebrityAccess. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  2. ^ "Past Blues Music Awards (2001) – 22nd W.C. Handy Blues Awards". Blues.org. Archived from the original on 2009-06-16. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
  3. ^ "Past Blues Music Awards (1994) – 15th W.C. Handy Blues Awards". Blues.org. Archived from the original on 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
  4. ^ Amato, John. "Crooks and Liars". Crooks and Liars. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
  5. ^ "Blues Music Awards Nominees – 2013 – 34th Blues Music Awards". Blues.org. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
  6. ^ "2014 Blues Music Awards Nominees and Winners". Blues.about.com. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
  7. ^ "Intervention's Candy Finnigan – the last drink's on her". Archived from the original on 30 January 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  8. ^ "Mike Finnigan". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
  9. ^ "Whirlwind – Tommy Bolin – Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Whirlwind – Tommy Bolin – Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  11. ^ "Black Rose". Cherworld.com. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  12. ^ "Alive & Amplified – The Mooney Suzuki – Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  13. ^ Tim Sendra. "Alive & Amplified – The Mooney Suzuki – Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  14. ^ "Mike Finnigan – Mike Finnigan – Releases". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  15. ^ "Mike Finnigan : Mike Finnigan". Discogs.com. 1976. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  16. ^ "Future's Past – Dave Mason – Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  17. ^ Thom Jurek. "Future's Past – Dave Mason – Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  18. ^ "Hilary Scott – Freight Train Love". No Depression. 2014-11-05. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  19. ^ Gunther, Marty (17 February 2017). "Annika Chambers – Wild And Free | Album Review". Bluesblastmagazine.com.
  20. ^ "Cry No More". 28 February 2018. Retrieved August 14, 2021.

External links[edit]