Rob Barteletti

Rob Barteletti


"Rob Barteletti delivers a grizzled smoky grainy seasoned growly amused patient openhearted open-eyed rueful gentle merciful prayerful wincing storyteller's voice singing songs hauled kicking and mewling new from his salty soul; and the music's damn fine too." Brian Doyle, author of SPIRITED MEN


“Music is universal poetry composed by the soul and played through the heart.” -- Rob Barteletti

Rob Barteletti is a gifted songwriter, gritty singer, wry performer, savvy consultant, spirited companion, visionary promoter, trusted mentor, and critically acclaimed recording artist in the Portland music scene.

As a teenager and as a young man Barteletti wrote love-songs and broken-hearted songs whenever he fell in love or felt heartbreak. He wrote sardonic and sincere political songs during the painful Vietnam, Watergate, and Iran-Contra debacles. He still writes love-songs and broken-hearted songs and sardonic and sincere political songs because, as he says, “the times they aren't a-changing.”

For those who know him, Barteletti is not your typical singer/songwriter.

“I wear many musical ‘sombreros,’” he explains. “First I wear my loner’s cap, enjoying the solitude and introspection of songwriting. Then I have my producer’s hat, which I wear in the studio for my various recording projects. I also take pleasure in working with people in the music business, sometimes consulting with them about their careers, sometimes acting as a matchmaker by initiating and aligning new artistic relationships among them. I love writing songs and I also love encouraging other songwriters.”

As founding organizer of the annual Shakers’ Ball benefit for Parkinson’s research and support, Barteletti works to bring awareness and assistance to those suffering from a disease that struck him in 2002.

About Parkinson’s, he exclaims, "Best thing that ever happened to me. Seriously, I'm not trying to sound stoic or heroic. Frankly, I'd rather play the guitar as I used to. But there's good in everything, and the good I've taken from PD, so far, outweighs the effects of the illness. I've learned to go for it when it comes to life's dreams. I've learned to slow down, enjoy my moments, take naps, walk with gratitude, and laugh at myself. PD has made me humbler and, therefore, I hope, wiser - and a better singer/songwriter."

Born in the hills of San Francisco and raised in an Italian neighborhood near the Bay, Barteletti was musically reared on the accordion. As a young teen, he rebelled in favor of rock and roll when he first heard the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and crossed over to guitar when he first heard The Byrds. He began songwriting when he first was inspired by Dylan, and bought his Martin D-28 in 1968 once he saved three-hundred dollars.

Barteletti recalls with nostalgia, “I played that Martin in the first snow of the season in South Bend, Indiana, instead of going to my college football game. I first used a capo because it was so damned easy to change keys without hyperextending my knuckles, I learned open tunings when I first discovered those magical transformations, and I taught myself piano when I first heard Jackson Browne play it live in Berkeley. I’ve been hooked on this whole music gig every since.”

Music also runs in Barteletti's family. His uncle was the house piano player at San Francisco's renowned "Hungry I" nightclub for many years and leader of the George Campanelli Trio. His cousin, Aldo Banfi, is one of Italy's most respected keyboardists and arrangers.

When it comes to praise for his many talents and gifts, Barteletti claims with typical paradoxical deflection that everything Brian Doyle – “who has written in SPIRITED MEN about the Gaelic poet-songster Van Morrison and the Australian Springsteen-icon Paul Kelly, and, who, therefore, should know about such things” – that everything Doyle says about him is true AND exaggerated.



Written By: Rob Barteletti

You’ve got your dreams ahead
You’ve got magic in your pocket
And I’m just a rodeo-used-to-be-never-going-anywhere-again
Rider on the back streets of your life

You’re changing hats so fast
You’ve got my head spun in circles
Oh, I’m feeling like an old sombrero sitting on the floor
While you dance around me through this life

And every time I try to get a little closer
I take that stumbling step and fall all over again

You’ve got a world ahead
You’ve got laughter at your shoulder
And I’m just a quizzical-vagabond-looking-for-the-Holy-Grail
Sailor off the shores of your life

And every time I try to get a little closer I take that stumbling, tumbling step and fall all over again

You race right past me
A hurricane-lady on a mission
While I’m just out strolling through the dandelion field
Retracing my tracks through this life

Yes, I’m feeling like an old sombrero sitting on the floor
While you dance around me
You dance around me
You dance around me through this life


STEADYGIRL (songwriting collaboration with Paula Sinclair; associate producer) - 2009
Even If I Fall (with Reina G Collins) - 2006
Old Sombrero - 2005

Set List

None for now.