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Kelly Finnigan says he was touched and gratified at the outpouring of love for his father, Mike Finnigan, who died in August.
“You never think about how the world will react or the music community that he was a part of,” Kelly Finnigan said in a phone interview. “It’s too bad he can’t experience all this love.”
The younger Finnigan will be in Wichita on Saturday night for a performance with his band, Monophonics, at Wave.
His father, who lived in Wichita for several years, was a keyboard player who performed with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Rod Stewart, Dan Fogelberg, Etta James, Peter Frampton and Joe Cocker. Kelly Finnigan said his father’s legacy was impressive.
“I probably know more about my dad’s career than anybody — I’m his biggest fan and know how amazing he is,” said Kelly, 40. “It was very impressive for a lot of people to see everything compiled — all the credits, all the names, all the records and tours. He was a force to be reckoned with, there’s no doubt about that.”
Kelly Finnigan said his mother, Candy, was from Wichita, which was why the family frequently returned here. She now lives in California; he still has cousins in town.
His father was “only encouraging” when he decided to follow him in a career as a musician, Kelly said, but also gave him some “hard truths” about the industry.
Kelly said he likes to think he not only inherited his father’s talent but other aspects of his career.
“His work ethic was incredible,” Kelly said. “He was a hard-working guy, always 10 minutes early and stayed late and was a great team player and collaborator and just a fun guy to be around. He was just really good at his job, and his job was being around people and making people feel good and comfortable. Besides being a great musician and singer, people just loved being around him.”
Kelly Finnigan said he’s proud his father was also his musical mentor.
“He was a great person I could lean on,” Kelly said. “He was a well I could go to and get water from when I needed it. It’s a very nice thing to have.”
Monophonics’ performance in Wichita this weekend wraps up a North American tour that was delayed from 2020 because of the pandemic.
“As a band in 2020 we were pretty mellow outside from a couple of livestreams,” he said.
Finnigan has his own solo career and used the pandemic time to release a Christmas album. The band also recorded a new album, due out in April or May.
“There’s some changes but nothing startling or anything that (will make people say), ‘What are they doing? It’s crazy,’” he said.
Monophonics has played Wichita five to six times in the last decade, Finnigan said. His name may get local folks in the door, he said, but the music keeps them coming back.
“They dig the band and obviously I get a lot of people who love my dad’s music so ultimately, they give my music a shot,” he said. “They usually walk away pretty happy.”
Monophonics, with Ruby De Anda
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4
Where: Wave, 650 E. 2nd St.
Tickets: $17-$22, from waveict.com