Yankin Covers
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Yankin Covers

Toledo, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2016

Toledo, Ohio, United States
Established on Jan, 2016
Duo Rock Country




"Pandemic opens doors for local musical duo"

Opening up: Pandemic opens doors for local musical duo

The Blade

First Published June 23, 2021, 7:00am

As the pandemic stretched on like an endless highway, local music duo Yankin’ Covers found themselves paving a new lane to what they hope will be an even richer artistic journey.
They would be the live opener for national acts doing virtual concerts.
The duo of married couple John and Susie Finley, of Toledo, said that prior to the pandemic they were just breaking into the Toledo music scene when the entertainment world as everyone knew it came to a stop.

“There’s been a lot of downtime since COVID, and it was really a bummer because we had always played locally in the smaller surrounding towns, but we had just broken into the Toledo crowd,” Susie said of the band, which was formerly known as Dusk. “We were booking around here, which was fun, and then, boom, COVID hit.”
Even during the pandemic, the duo managed to play at private and outdoor events.
The couple caught the musical opportunity of a lifetime when they were booked to open for national acts Bon Jovi and Florida Georgia Line. Both headlining acts streamed concerts at the Field of Dreams Drive-In located in Liberty Center.
Rod Saunders, the owner of Field of Dreams Drive-In, partnered with Encore Drive-In Nights, a global showcase that streamed never-before-seen concerts with renowned acts, to host a Bon Jovi concert in May. He booked Yankin’ Covers as the opening act.
“We were there to hype up the crowd and get them going. We played about an hour beforehand. It was nice to set the mood for the show and get people hyped up,” Susie said.
She said the experience of opening up for Bon Jovi during the pandemic was an unexpected blessing.
“Rod has done a really good job of bringing entertainment to people safely during COVID. He went out and got big-name bands and brought them here via the screen. Bon Jovi was one of the nice big-name bands, and amazingly Rod packs the crowd in. We play out there at least three or fours time throughout the summer. Rod provides a platform and it’s a neat family place,” she said.
Saunders said the idea of merging music and film at the drive-ins was a response to the extreme lack of entertainment amid the pandemic.
“It started last year because of COVID. We were fortunate that the drive-ins were able to open last year, and to have that opportunity to be able to bring music to people was pretty amazing. We’re trying to combine both live music and the movies since the movies aren't quite as strong as they’ve been in the past,” he said. “We’re trying to combine the best of both worlds. … this is a result of COVID and trying to stay afloat and ahead of the curve.”
As coronavirus provided downtime for many entertainers, John and Susie decided the pandemic was an ideal time to rename themselves to better represent their dedication to performing covers of varying musical genres including classic rock, country, pop, ballads, and blues.
“I always pay attention to band names, and some aren’t very unique and others are, and I really enjoy the unique names. We felt like our name was boring. We’re called Yankin’ Covers because we mainly do covers. John has some original music but we haven’t gone in-depth with,” Susie said.
John said the name best describes their appreciation for the discographies of legendary musical acts.
“We play covers so we’re yankin’ the covers right off the shelves, you know,” he said. He added that the duo’s tagline is “right off the vinyl.”
With restrictions banning large gatherings lifting, Yankin’ Covers is looking to spice up their performances.
“When you’re just two people you need to be unique, and what’s unique about us is that we sound like a full-size band. John writes our own backing tracks and he puts in different instruments. It’s not like just listening to acoustic guitars,” Susie said. “And don’t get me wrong, I love acoustic music, but we decided we needed to be different.”
The couple’s affinity for performing runs deep. John works in the sales department of Spirit Facility Services, and Susie is the director of Toledo Technology Academy.
“John has played music for years, he’s the guy that’s had a guitar since he was 16. I had sung at a few weddings when I was younger, and when I was growing up my mother would play piano, my sister would play guitar with my brother and we’d all harmonize, so I had music in my background,” Susie said.
John graduated from Spring Arbor University in Michigan with a bachelor of fine arts in music in 1979.
The couple returned to their roots of performing nearly 10 years ago, when close friends requested they performed at a pumpkin patch in Monroe, Mich.
“One day some friends of ours [who were already performing live] said, ‘Hey, do you and John want to come over to this pumpkin patch and play with us in two weeks?’ And we agreed and learned a few songs and started working on it. That was our beginning, our friends inviting us out. That’s where we got the idea and we continued from there. We started getting local gigs and some Christmas parties and it’s gone from there and branched off,” Susie said.
From there the duo has performed in more than 100 shows, including private parties in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. However, for Yankin’ Covers, there’s no music scene like the 419.
“We’d like to get back out there [Toledo]. It’s a fun market to play in just for the simple fact that people around here do appreciate live music. You can go to Tekela and enjoy the music, you can go to the Mail Pouch in Swanton, Levi and Lilac’s, Frontera, Sand Bar, I mean there are so many different places,” Susie said. She added that local artists are a great company to keep.
“The local artists are very supportive of one another. It’s a nice group of people,” she said. “The 419 area has a strong commitment to music and supporting one another.” - The Toledo Blade


Still working on that hot first release.



Yankin' Covers provides a wide array of music - from classic rock, blues, rock, country, and everything in between. Yankin' Covers caters to whatever the event calls for. Whether it is dance tunes to get people out of their seats, a concert setting, or lighter music to sit and enjoy, Yankin' Covers has it covered! Yankin' Covers has a very large catalog of music to choose from. 

Yankin' Covers is comprised of the husband and wife team of John & Susie, and they reside in Toledo, Ohio. They have entertained for private parties, corporate events, festivals, campgrounds, county fairs, fund raisers, bars &restaurants, and wineries & breweries.

With Susie's energetic personality & smooth vocals, along with John's sense of humor & accomplished guitar work, Yankin' Covers will provide a fun-filled time of entertainment for all, and your event will be successful!

Band Members