Beth Robinson
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Beth Robinson

| INDIE

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Band Folk Acoustic

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Feb
23
Beth Robinson @ Bread & Roses

San Rafael, California, USA

San Rafael, California, USA

Feb
13
Beth Robinson @ Pacific Bay Coffee

Walnut Creek, California, USA

Walnut Creek, California, USA

Feb
08
Beth Robinson @ El Rio

San Francisco, California, USA

San Francisco, California, USA

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This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Singer Beth Robinson tells all at the Freight.

BY JONATHAN KIEFER
feedback@eastbayexpress.com

From the Week of Wednesday, September 17, 2003
 
Listening to Beth Robinson's music alone in the dark might make you feel like a special confidant, as if, long after midnight when everyone else has gone to sleep, the two of you have conspired to cut the small talk and stay up late discussing what really matters. Good conversation is the balladeer's worthiest currency, and Robinson's debut album makes a generous outreach; it's her half of a heart-to-heart.

Her half, of course, is the self-described Heart of a Hunter, but the description seems invitingly unguarded when enfolded in the fabric of her husky singing voice. As told chiefly through that voice and the 1965 Gibson Hummingbird guitar that once hibernated in her closet, Robinson's songs have confessions to make, and they limn the emotional nuances that distinguish lament from regret.

"I went through a sort of dark period where nothing seemed right anymore," she says. "Nothing satisfied like it used to. Only music made me feel happy." Robinson's largo folksiness, infused with accents of jazz, has been especially well received at the Freight & Salvage, where she and the new album will officially go public this Tuesday.

"I feel very comfortable at the Freight," she says. "I've done so many open mikes there I can't even tell you. I got encouragement whenever I was starting to fade."

It seemed like the logical choice for her first CD-release celebration. Robinson, who lives in Kensington, says she has been writing and playing music "furiously" for the past six years. "And I just decided to make a big investment. In me. Why not? The stock market was crashing. The economy was tanking. Time to spend a whole bunch of money on me!" It was also, she admits, the most productive way to mitigate a midlife crisis. She enlisted her most trusted musician friend, Doug Blumer of the trio the Westerleys, to help assemble an album.

"I was struck immediately by the beauty of her melodies and chords," says Blumer, who produced, arranged, and performed on Heart of a Hunter, and, to promote his own new solo album, Doug Blumer's Ten of Hearts, will join Robinson onstage this Tuesday evening. "There are a lot of commercial posers out there," he adds, "but Beth really has something to say." And with all due modesty, Robinson seems to agree: "There has been a recurring feeling all my life of standing on the outside looking in. Of not quite fitting in," she says. "I am learning that the way "in' is through my music. Instead of using my music as only a way inside myself, I am starting to see it as a way to reach out and connect with others."

That threshold is the musician's sacred ground; in order to confide in folks alone in the dark, one must put in some crowd time under the stage lights. "I want my performance to hold up to the expectations of my album," she says. "This is new. And hard. And scary. Not just putting the songs out there, but putting me out there, too." Beth Robinson and Doug Blumer play Tuesday, September 23, 8 p.m., at Freight & Salvage Coffee House, 1111 Addison St., Berkeley. Tickets $16.50 at the door. For more info, visit FreightandSalvage.org - Jonathan Kiefer


"This CD contains some of the most beautiful poetry and haunting melodies you will ever hear. Each cut plays like a chapter in Beths life. Listen closely as she takes you on a musical journey, parts of which may be reflective of your own life! This disk has not left my CD player in six months!"

"Beth, your CD is a knockout. The production is excellent, the arranging is killer, the songs are very substantial and fun to listen to. (Some nice grooves for dancing, too.) I give it a 9.6 (.4 points off for being too intelligent for the lowest common demonimator)."

"Listening to Beths music alone in the dark might make you feel like a special confidant, as if, long after midnight when everyone else has gone to sleep, the the two of you have cut the small talk and stay up late discussing what really matters..."

Reviewer: Martin Smit -- Hannover, Germany
"...I am really enjoying your music..I know its a good song when it becomes hard to edit it down to a minute sample.. a lot of songs are at least 60% filler.. yours are not.."

"I know a winner when the music stays with me long after the CD has played. The singing and arrangements are wonderful and diverse. And the lyrics! What wonderful poetry! Cetainly on parr with the greats!"

"I can't say exactly why...but everytime I listen to Heart of a Hunter, I'm overcome with the feeling that everything is going to be okay.... that all is well in my life and on planet earth."

"entertaining, musical, poetic, insightful, poignant, up-tempo, exhilerating, melancholy, touching, provacative, original, a little bit sexy, a little bit country ... this is a wonderful, eclectic compilation of obviously personal experiences ... an excellent debut ... can hardly wait for your next project ... best wishes for success!"

- my fans


Discography

2003 -- Heart of a Hunter LP
Produced and arranged by Doug Blumer
Recorded at Hyde Street Studios
Engineer: Patrick Conway
Mixed by: Patrick Conway and Doug Blumer
Mastered by: Michael Romanowski
at Paul Stubblebine Mastering and DVD
Photography: River Gurtin
CD Design: Beth Robinson
Printing: K/P Corporation

1. Heart of a Hunter
Beth Robinson: vocals, guitar
Doug Blumer: guitars, xylophone, harmony

2. Stop Believing
Beth Robinson: vocals
Doug Blumer: guitars, harmony
Dallas Wayne: upright bass
Ken Owen: percussion

3. She’s Going Down
Beth Robinson: vocals
Doug Blumer: guitars, harmony
Dallas Wayne: upright bass
Ken Owen: percussion
Joe Goldmark: peddle Steel

4. Unexpected Pair
Beth Robinson: vocals, guitar
Doug Blumer: guitar, harmony
Rob McLucky: bass
Ken Owen: drums
Joe Heinemann: piano
the SF Straight Man’s Chorus*: harmony

5. Cannonball*
Written by Beth Robinson, Doug Blumer and Nancy Irish
Beth Robinson: vocal, guitar
Doug Blumer: guitar, harmony
Rob Mclucky: electric bass

6. New York Boy
Beth Robinson: vocals, guitar
Doug Blumer: acoustic guitar, telecaster
Rob McLucky: bass
Ken Owen: percussion
Joe Heinemann: Hammond B3

7. Lonely
Written by Doug Blumer
Beth Robinson: vocal, guitar
Doug Blumer: guitar, harmony
the SF Straight Man’s Chorus*: harmony

8. 9th Obsession
Beth Robinson: vocals, guitar
Joe Heineman: Wurlitzer
the SF Straight Man’s Chorus*: harmony

9. My Own Eyes
Beth Robinson: vocals
Doug Blumer: guitars, harmony
Dallas Wayne: electric bass
Ken Owen: percussion

10. Her Name Was Nan
Beth Robinson: vocals
Joe Heinemann: piano
Marika Hughes: cello

11. Miles Away
Beth Robinson: vocals, guitar
Doug Blumer: acoustic guitar
Marika Hughes: cello

*The “SF Straight Man’s Chorus” consists of
Doug Blumer singing a whole bunch of parts, and Patrick Conway singing a whole bunch of other parts. They sound like angels, don’t they?

Selected songs can be heard on: garageband.com/bethrobinson/ & CD Baby.com/bethrobinson/

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

I was born in New Jersey and raised in New York City on the upper east side. I attended Music and Art Highschool. I bought my first and only guitar, a Gibson Hummingbird, at Manny's music store in NY, in 1968. It has served me well through the beginning folk singing years, when Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and James Taylor became my basic frame of reference. Writing songs has always been my favorite way to express myself. I am always writing in my head. I try to hold back on the flowery "furniture" and just cut to the heart of the matter. I try to be very precise and expressive at the same time. I always write about what I know and have felt or seen first hand. My singing has evolved slowly and for the first 20 years I thought someone else would eventually be singing my songs, but about the only good thing you can say about getting older, is that all that experience, wisdom and hard knocks come out in your voice. So now I feel I can fully express the emotions I'm trying to convey with my own brand of soul.