Finis Tasby

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Finis Tasby

Powerhouse blues vocalist Finis Tasby was born in Dallas, Texas in 1940, and grew up immersed in the vital Texas blues tradition. As a teenager, Finis got his first professional music experience as drummer with the swinging local combo the Blues Blasters. By the early 1960s, he'd switched instruments and was playing bass and singing backup with local legends the Thunderbirds, working regularly with Z.Z. Hill, and also backing Clarence Carter, Lowell Fulson, and Freddie King on regional tours.

By the mid '60s, Finis had stepped out in front of the band and began establishing his reputation as one of the most soulful blues singers on the circuit. In the early 70's Finis moved to Los Angeles and picked up where he'd left off in Texas. As a bass player, he worked with many of the greats, including B.B. King, Percy Mayfield and Big Mama Thornton. But it is as a vocalist that Finis really came into his own, and in the '70s he made his first recordings as a front man. It was during this period that he also formed a lifelong friendship with blues great John Lee Hooker, with whom he often performed locally. Finis' reputation as a strong and soulful singer reached new heights with the releases of several CDs, including "People Don't Care" on Shanachie, from which three songs were used in the film "The Babysitter."

In the late 1990s Finis began his alliance with Randy Chortkoff, when Randy independently produced Finis' CD "Jump Children," which was released to wide acclaim on Evidence Records (Finis also released the CD "Tribute to John Lee Hooker" on the small Kon-Kord label in 2002). Finis and Randy worked closely together from that point forward, collaborating on several other recording projects and numerous live performances, culminating in the formation of the Mannish Boys in 2004. Finis continued working with the band until 2012, appearing on the first six Mannish Boys albums, including the 2-CD set, “Double Dynamite,” which won the Blues Music Award for Traditional Blues Album in 2013.

Finis Tasby died in Orange, California, on November 2, 2014 at age 74, nearly two years after suffering a debilitating stroke which left him paralyzed on his left side, tragically ending his five-decade-long musical career.