From early on, Annie Robinette has had artistic urges bursting out of her in all directions. As a child she rapidly became an accomplished ballet dancer, could sit down at a piano and pick out just about anything by ear, was a quick study on the guitar and banjo when she felt like giving them a try, and could create intricately detailed pencil drawings of anything she saw. In her late teens and early twenties, she started singing lead in several cover bands in the Raleigh-Durham NC area. All it took was one audition, and her clear, powerful vocal style landed her the front position in bands playing everything from pop to rock to blues.
Annie studied fine arts at UNC Greensboro, and became a portrait artist and illustrator. She also freelanced in marketing and graphic design. At the same time she worked as a professional model and actress, which landed her jobs for clients like Calvin Klein, Liz Claiborne, and Levi's. Annie had numerous roles in national and regional TV ads as well as principal roles in corporate and independent film. And when she took a sudden notion to, Annie dove into the stage scene in Raleigh, wowing audiences in both musical and dramatic theatre.
After becoming the mother of two daughters, Annie began writing songs, playing bass and sharing the lead vocals in an all-girl alternative rock band. But this endeavor was short-lived, as Annie moved back to her hometown, Bristol, TN to marry the "one that got away". This union added two more children to the mix. The stresses of dealing with divorce, remarriage, custody, raising four kids, and the unexpected deaths of her father and brother, would have been enough to squelch many artists' creative impulses. But Annie found poetic inspiration in these events and returned to song writing and performing.
Her lyrics are direct and visual, intelligent and relevant. Her sound is uniquely her own, delivered with power, emotion, and intensity. The music is sophisticated without being complicated and has a firm acoustic texture with just enough electricity. Her voice is extraordinarily powerful and still easy on the ear. It's polished without losing the raw connection with the performance. Her debut CD, "Last July" is a potent display of her gifts, and another milestone in the continuing journey of her creative pursuits.
•Virginia Highlands Festival 2009, 2011
•Kingsport Concert Series/Twilight Alive 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
•Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
•Holston River Rally 2009
•Leon Fest 2010
•Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 2008, 2009, 2011
•O’Mainnin’s - Bristol TN 2005 to present
•The Down Home - Johnson City TN 2007 to present
•Java J’s - Bristol VA 2006 to present
•Machiavelli’s - Bristol TN 2007 to present
•Stir Fry Cafe - Kingsport TN 2010
•Lebanon Old Mill - Lebanon VA 2010 to present
•The Bus Pit - Kingsport TN 2008 to present
•State Line Bar and Grille - Bristol TN 2007 to present
•Kingsport Grocery Company - Kingsport TN 2008 to 2010
•House On Main - Abingdon VA 2010-2011
•The Shack - Abingdon VA 2009 to present
•Acoustic Coffee House - Johnson City TN 2007 to present
•Cabaret - Bristol VA 2008 to 2010
Annie Robinette: guitar and vocals
Scott McKinney: lead guitar
Johnny Rasar: bass
Brian Seiler: drums
Paul Robinette: percussion
Album: LAST JULY
(1) All That I've Done
(2) When I Get Home To You
(3) You Won't Get Away With This
(5) Chip On Your Shoulder
(6) Last July
(7) You Might As Well
(8) Grow In The Rain
(9) As Needed For Pain
(10) Way Too Old
Bristol Rhythm and Roots, Charlene Tipton
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"Mother. Dancer. Artist. Actress. Musician. What do you say about a woman who excels at literally ev..."Mother. Dancer. Artist. Actress. Musician. What do you say about a woman who excels at literally everything she fancies? From practically birth Robinette was playing piano, guitar and banjo by ear. With her album, Last July, this Bristol native and wildly creative singer/songwriter expresses herself as honestly and skillfully as Carole King and Carly Simon did in their day. Her song 'As Needed for Pain' could have easily been ripped from the diary of any current Hollywood starlet: 'Take this one today to keep you on your feet / take that one tonight if you can't fall asleep / and take all these to keep you from going insane / take three to four daily as needed for pain.' Robinette is among the top tier of female artists performing in our region today."
Charlene Tipton, Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion
Special Article by Tom Netherland
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Annie Robinette article BY TOM NETHERLAND?SPECIAL TO THE HERALD COURIER December 2007 Music so...Annie Robinette article
BY TOM NETHERLAND?SPECIAL TO THE HERALD COURIER
Music sometimes defies pinpoint description. Think of John Mayer. Is he rock, folk, what?
Same goes for Bristol’s Annie Robinette. Sometimes she rocks and yet she also features folk in her sound.
“I don’t know what style I do,” Robinette said by phone Monday evening while taking a break from Christmas shopping in Johnson City. “I can’t equate it to anything.”
Hear Robinette each Thursday night upstairs at O’Mainnin’s on State Street in Bristol Tennessee. Few opportunities to see her hereabouts exist because she rarely plays solo shows beyond Bristol. That’s fine with her. She said that she loves playing O’Mainins.
“If it was all I did, that’d be great,” Robinette said. “The atmosphere is great and the people are enthusiastic and responsive.”
Robinette’s shows in part include songs of such influences as Bonnie Raitt. However, she also writes songs, including all 11 tracks on her latest album, “Last July.”
Recorded in her studio in Bristol, the album was issued in Oct. 2006.
“Some of the songs were written 12, 13 years ago,” she said. “I’m not a very prolific writer. It took a long sabbatical from playing to do.”
Robinette’s songs reflect her life and that which she observes. She said that they tend toward the hopeful, substantive songs for life.
“There’s good times and bad times, family, regret, joy,” Robinette said. “Some are just fun and aren’t deep.”
Interested folks can buy a copy of her latest album from Robinette either at her shows or via her myspace website.
Now back to Robinette’s style. Music didn’t exactly come early in life for the North Carolina native. Early in life she was more drawn to visual arts including ballet and acting.
“I started singing in covers bands when I was 19,” she said. “Then a few years later I got into theater and musical theater. Someone approached me in the mid-‘90s about doing something original, which was when I got into writing.”
“I had a couple of babies and stopped,” Robinette said. “Then I moved back to Bristol and resumed some writing.”
Married to her childhood sweetheart and with four children under their roof, music has a way of falling in terms of priorities. Don’t read that wrong. In addition to performing solo Robinette also tours with April Taylor, playing guitar in her band.
Music means an awful lot to Robinette.
“Right now, it’s up there,” she said. “It’s something that can be mine. And yet it’s also something that I can serve other people with, my music.”
Her 17-year-old, Elise Robinette, sure seems to enjoy her music. She chimed in that she’s not just a performer but also quite a showman.
“She’s original and talented and a type of entertainer you can’t find anywhere else,” Elise Robinette said. “It’s sophisticated music.”
And with her sophisticated music at her fingers and on her tongue, Annie Robinette said she intends to stage shows that wows crowds whether playing to one or a thousand.
“I really, really want to deliver,” Robinette said. “I want to please.”
IF YOU GO?Who: Annie Robinette?When: Thursdays at 9:30 p.m.
Where: O’Mainnins Pub & Grille, 712 State St., Bristol Tennessee
Info: (423) 844-0049
Web: HYPERLINK "http://www.myspace.com/annierobinette" www.myspace.com/annierobinette
TOM NETHERLAND is a freelance writer. He can be reached at HYPERLINK "mailto:email@example.com" firstname.lastname@example.org
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I've known Annie for years, but had no idea how incredibly talented she is until she came on our aft...I've known Annie for years, but had no idea how incredibly talented she is until she came on our afternoon newscast to perform.
I was, and am, floored.
This is a singer/songwriter who frankly, I shouldn't know personally because people like me in small town America don't know famous singer/songwriters. She should be living in Nashville or L.A. and touring the world.
She's that good.
I think it's the clarity of Annie's voice I'm most impressed with. It's natural, it's expressive, and it's what I dream I would sound like if I had her talent.
Her latest c.d. is in the car with me always, and I play it for people when I go home to Atlanta, "I go to church with her!".....
The disk is flawlessly produced. I love music, and likely have 500 cds in my collection. (I'm old fashioned, I like to own the disk and look at/read the insert.) The one thing that can ruin a talent like Annie's is over-production. This cd is smartly under-produced. You hear her, you understand her message, and there's a direct intimacy to it.
Her songwriting is true and honest and real. Aside from over-production, lame lyrics can kill a song. There's nothing "expected" here. But the words are familiar. You relate to them right away.
No complaints... just great music. Timeless music.
Special Article by Tom Netherland
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By Tom Netherland Special to the Herald Courier Published: November 26, 2009 » 0 Comments | Post... By Tom Netherland
Special to the Herald Courier
Published: November 26, 2009
» 0 Comments | Post a Comment
You won’t find Norm or Cliff or Woody or Carla, but O’Mainnin’s Pub stands as Bristol’s Cheers.
So sidle over to where everybody knows your name to hear the singer whose songs everyone should know, Annie Robinette. Bristol’s beaut of a talent will rock O’Mainnin’s Pub in Bristol, Tenn., on Nov. 28.
So give thanks on turkey day. Dump the green on black Friday. Then sit back and love life one tune at a time courtesy of Robinette. She can sing like a bird on a wire. Just one sip of a song from the captivating Robinette, and it’ll be cheers indeed.
IF YOU GO
Who: Annie Robinette
When: Nov. 28, 10 p.m.
Where: O’Mainnin’s Pub, 712 State St., Bristol, Tenn.
Info: (423) 844-0049
There are no upcoming dates at this time.