Meet Ronny Robinson: Home-schooled mama's boy. Self-described misfit. Mechanic by day and songwriter by night. Until he turned 18, Robinson never celebrated a single holiday or birthday. His songwriting style pulls together these uncommon life experiences to create songs that tilt on the edge of somber but are ultimately saved by tones of childlike wistfulness.
Robinson roots in the over-saturated Chicago pop-punk scene of the early 2000s would surprise you -- especially after hearing the soulful melodies and nuanced and intelligent lyrics of his Elliott Smith-esque offerings on his current EP "Just Another Boy". The ironically titled EP includes tracks which will all at once stun you, comfort you and let you sink into a deep hole -- while leaving glimmers of light to guide you through. The songs expose a familiar, human voice -- not overproduced and alien, but warm and real. With lyrics like "Like a die with no dots / A brain in a box / I am as useless to you" you can feel the prowess of this underground and yet-to-be-recognized talent from the windy city.
Robinson was formerly in the Chicago band Witroy, and has recorded with Craig Miller of Danger Is My Middle Name. His debut release of his EP "Just Another Boy" garnered positive reviews and impressive iTunes downloads through grassroots and word-of-mouth marketing. Robinson has played at Chicago music landmarks like Beat Kitchen, Double Door and Elbo Room.
Ronny Robinson - Vocals, keys, Acoustic Guitar
Just Another Boy EP (2010)
"Just Another Boy" by Ronny Robinson
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"Ronny Robinson Just Another Boy (Self Released) Ronny Robinson’s (formerly of Chicago’s “Witroy”) i..."Ronny Robinson Just Another Boy (Self Released) Ronny Robinson’s (formerly of Chicago’s “Witroy”) independently released single, “Just Another Boy” exceeds expectations. This melancholy ballad like track showcases his incredibly somber finger picking folk style acoustic guitar playing and his soft, soulful vocals. “Just Another Boy” exhibits the artist’s ability to project a real connection to the song. It’s bound to leave masses of ladies wondering if the song was written about them or someone they know...in an existential sense. Men who are in touch with their emotional sides, whom are able to break through the testosterone, may find that they’ve experienced those same feelings that come pouring out of Ronny Robinson in this tearjerker of a wounded heart melody. A winner in our book, Ronny Robinson is bound for greatness with this sneak peak of his talented guitar strumming and touching vocals. Keep an eye on him, his writing will take him to great places" NICOLE HOLLANDSWORTH ~ INCLINATION MAGAZINE
Ronny Robinson "Just Another Boy"
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Chicago's Ronny Robinson sings so as to soothe and sounds as modern as today's hottest acoustic arti...Chicago's Ronny Robinson sings so as to soothe and sounds as modern as today's hottest acoustic artists. It's nice to hear someone just sing and play their guitar, without a backing band, and do it well. There's nothing to hide the mistakes and the artist knows when he makes one everyone will hear it. When the focus is on one person, an off-time strum or a forgotten lyric sticks out like a blistering red thumb jabbing into an unsuspecting rib cage. So, when in the Chicago area, support Ronny Robinson by checking out one of his live shows.
In “Just Another Boy” the harp-like arpeggios, on the guitar, drag the listener, ear first, into a familiar story of love and loss, and the different stages of its beginning and end. The chorus line changes slightly each time going from, “You don't give a damn if I'm immune” to “abused” then “amused.”
The lyrics for “Bullets For You” are very thought-provoking, with phrases like “I'm bleeding like a gun with bullets for you” in a style reminiscent of Days Of The New. Hearing creative lyrics instead of straight forward sentences with bland vanilla phrases spices up the music. Some might say that the lyrics are drug-induced delusions, and sometimes they are, but sometimes the creative and artistic use of metaphor tickles the brain into a memorable state of consciousness.
With “Made Of Flames” you hear Mr. Robinson in a normal band environment. The singing, throughout the song, seems to be influenced by Michael Stipe from R.E.M. The chorus line, “You wouldn't notice me if I was made of flames,” sticks out which ironically seems to be about being invisible and unnoticed, which is something that everyone can relate to in one way or form.
All three of these songs are available for purchase on I-Tunes.
Find out more about Ronny Robinson here: http://www.ronnyrobinson.com
Review by Russell Eldridge
Local Bands To Know
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What makes your live show great? My live show is all about being myself. It's pretty well known t...What makes your live show great?
My live show is all about being myself. It's pretty well known that I suffer from pretty a crazy social anxiety disorder, so onstage I have to imagine that I'm sitting alone in my garage singing to myself just like when I first wrote the song. If anything, it forces me to play with more heart and sincerity. Does that make me great?
Describe your sound in five words or less.
Elliott Smith on uppers
Tell us something random about the band, and why that's significant.
Well, aside from the anxiety issues I've had since I was about 11, I was home schooled my entire life and somehow I've made it this far. Much of what I write about is about living a life without ever fitting in, due to my home schooled past. Also, I used to be pretty serious about a career in bowling and I have a few 300 games to prove it! Why is that significant? I have no ideal, but now you know.
Who would you want to work with, and who would you never work with? Why?
I'd like to work with John Lennon, Elliott Smith, Jeff Tweedy--the list goes on. I consider them at the top of my list of songwriters that keep/kept it real. I'd never work with the Rolling Stones because for some reason they make me cringe.
If the band was a cartoon character, who would it be and why?
I really would have to say Krang from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" because he lives in a box and he's always pissed off about something.
What's the best album you've heard recently?
Nationally, I'd say the last great album was "Take This to Your Grave" by Fall Out Boy, "Clarity" by Jimmy Eat World and "The Stories and the Scars to Prove It" by United Federation Of Planets.
What song do you never want to hear again?
That god awful sound ("Friday") Rebecca Black calls a song. The fact that that song is so popular and viral is a clear sign of the apocalypse of the music industry.
What is Chicago's best music venue and why?
Schubas is my personal fave. The sounds is amazing. Second is Double Door.
When: 9 p.m. Thursday, April 28
Where: Rockit Bar & Grill, 3700 N. Clark St.
Price: Free (21+); 773-645-4400
Before You Even Asked (Ronny Robinson)
Dies & Dots (Ronny Robinson)
Bullets For You (Ronny Robinson)
Playground Full Of Strangers (Ronny Robinson)
I'm a Liar (Ronny Robinson)
Made Of Flames (Ronny Robinson)
Just Another Boy (Ronny Robinson)
Cover songs sometimes played:
Miss Misery (Elliott Smith)
Punch & Judy (Elliott Smith)
Waltz #2 (Elliott Smith)
Going Nowhere (Elliott Smith)
Thirteen (Big Star)
Space Oddity (David Bowie)
Parking Lot (Witroy)
In My Life (The Beatles)
Rocky Raccoon (The Beatles)
Blackbird (The Beatles)
You're A Big Girl Now (Bob Dylan)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.