Rob Robinson

My Story

 

My name is Rob Robinson and I am an American Singer/Songwriter, Guitarist, Drummer and Producer. I have performed a variety of musical styles over the years including Pop, Rock, Country, Folk and Blues. I have also been involved in performing Jazz, Classical and Show Music as well. My music roots were largely based on my involvement in drum and bugle corps within the well-known DCI movement. From the age of nine into my early twenties I was immersed in the drum corps activity. In the late nineteen-seventies I became very interested in solo snare drumming and would go on to win several major competitions including the coveted DCI national snare drumming championship. I was very fortunate to win the DCI title three times and as a result of that I received a lot of attention. I was constantly getting calls to teach or give presentations on snare drumming. I did accept many offers and went on to teach and write for several university marching bands and drum corps. But while this snare drumming frenzy was going on I was always thinking about playing drum set and performing with a rock-n-roll band. I continued to look for bands to play with while remaining dedicated to the drum corps life. In hindsight I probably stayed in drum corps a little too long. I really gave up a lot in life for that activity. It consumed me and controlled me for a long time.

My interest in performing popular music started during my teenaged years. I loved playing drum set and started playing in a neighborhood rock band at the age of thirteenBy the time I reached high school the drum set was playing a bigger roll in my music life. I enrolled in my school music programs and was contributing to both concert band and the school musicals. Upon graduating from high school I moved to California for a year to continue my drum corps experience and further my music education. But after only a year I moved back to Pennsylvania and quickly got involved in several original music projects around the Philadelphia area.

For the next eight years I moved in and out of bands with some of them lasting longer than others. It was during this time that I discovered my love for singing and writing lyrics. I began to contribute to the writing of songs and shared the lead vocal duties in an eighties mod band called the "Buggy Boys". By mid 1988 we decided to call it quits and I found myself without a band or steady gig. It was at that point that I answered an ad taped to a trash can outside of a music store in South Jersey. The band was the reforming of the Ben Vaughn Combo. I went on the audition and got the gig. Ben Vaughn had just released his "Blows Your Mind" album and was looking for a drummer to tour and eventually play on future records. It was just what I was looking for and at the blink of an eye I found myself on the road playing five nights a week and opening for some pretty well known acts.

As I toured around the US and Europe extensively I was introduced to a variety of new music and artists. These influences had a huge impact on the direction of my own music appreciation and eventually my own original music. My focus would soon shift from drumming to writing and singing my own songs. After almost a year on the road with Ben Vaughn, the band started rehearsing for a new record. We were in the recording studio by mid summer 1989 and cut all the rhythm tracks for "Dressed in Black". In September of 1989 my son Sean was born and I became a father. I opted not to return to the road in support of the new album. It was at this time that I started to seriously explore and develop my own songwriting ideas. In the winter and spring of 1990 I recorded my first serious collection of original music. A collection that is still unreleased to this day.

 In the Studio recording "Dressed in Black" with Ben Vaughn Summer 1989

 

During the nineteen-nineties and up into the 2000's I started to battle with myself and entered into a very dark period where alcohol and drugs took control of my life. I continued to write songs but couldn't really maintain any consistency and I just wandered in and out of different projects looking for some answer to my life's purpose. I returned to the drum corps activity and once again experienced some success and comfort in doing something that I'd done well throughout my life. I was also playing drums for a few artists around the Philly area including Suzanne Gorman and Amy Carr. I moved around a lot and lost touch with reality, my family and my faith. I started sinking deeper into my addiction and wound up in several rehabs trying to figure it all out. I would get brief periods of sobriety and pick up some work here and there but then it was back to drinking and the damage just got worse every time. 

In 2008 I went to a rehab facility in Havre de Grace, Maryland and I've been living here ever since. My life changed drastically and I began to revisit my songwriting again. Things were different and I was able to remain consistent and dedicated to my work. By early 2009 I started working on my first solo album along with my new friend and producer Tim Sperty. It was during this time that I met another talented musician and producer by the name of Ray Tilkens. Ray would play bass on most of my album and recorded and produced the title track. In the fall of 2013 "Catchin' A Ride" was released. It was a dream come true and I set my sights on getting as much milage out of this time as possible. I started booking gigs everywhere and any place that would have me. In 2014 I released the single "I Believe" along with a song from that very first collection in 1990 called "Walk Away". I even booked a couple tours with no idea of what I was doing. But I played in Nashville and Memphis and I figured that wasn't to shabby.

I eventually signed on with my old friend Lou DeMarco and the Momentary Love Management Group. I've tried to stay dedicated to something that truly inspires me. I've continued to tour the eastern and central areas of the US including New York, Philadelphia, Norfolk, Kansas City, Nashville and Memphis. I've been a featured guest on NPR's Acoustic Highway with host Barry Graham. I've also tried to keep up with my first love of drumming. I've had the opportunity to drum for Suzanne Gorman again and Memphis based singer-songwriter Dan Montgomery. Over recents years I've even had the opportunity to return to my roots as a rudimental snare drummer by giving clinics to young students following their dreams. In 2006 I was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame and even though I wasn't in a good spot in life at that time I do appreciate that honor today. 

I know this isn't the end of my story but this is it so far...