Robin Stine
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Robin Stine

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"Daydream Believer"

It's not what singer-songwriter Robin Stine does during her live performance that takes our breath away. It's what she doesn't do.

"Shirley Horn is one of those jazz vocalists that has always resonated for me," she says, sitting in the Independent News' office on Palafox. "I obviously don't have the pauses and the pain, but I identify with her style. You don't consciously try to sound like another singer and I don't think I sound like anybody in particular, but her music is always in the back of my mind."
Working in a genre that easily could be all about style over substance, Stine's true talent lies within her subtle nuances coupled with complex crescendos that could easily be executed with a blonde-haired bravado dressed in fishnet stockings. Stine doesn't knock us over the head with her vocal ability. She teases us. Pulls away. And then brings us back wanting more.

Yes, a little mystery is good.

Armed with a new CD of originals called "Daydream" that's slowly earning spins on NPR stations across the country, Stine says her full-time focus has shifted to music after Hurricane Ivan.

"I lost my job for six months after the hurricane and I had lots of time to start writing," she says with a laugh. "I had all of this free time and no job. As far as giving me the skeleton to create this space in my life, it definitely gave me that. I could easily dedicate this whole thing to Ivan."

With "Daydream," Stine creates a truly unique sound infusing traditional jazz with a youthful, bluesy folk vibe. As far as industry labels, the 35-year-old says she's been warned to stay away from the "jazz vocalist" moniker.

"When I met with managers in New York, they told me I had to be a mix between Ella Fitzgerald and Mariah Carey for them to be able to do anything with me," she says. "It's extremely difficult to simply be a jazz vocalist singing the old songs. I knew that for me to go to the next level, I had to write my own music."

Stine's successful live-performance formula is her ability to weave the standards with her magical originals, including the single "Sweet Blossom."

"I don't play an instrument," she explains. "In January after the hurricane, I started to be open to the idea of writing songs. It's really weird how the whole thing happened. The songs started coming to me and I came up with the melodies in my head."

The vocalist, who attended the University of Miami in the late '90s, enlisted the help of her old college friends to collaborate with the music.

"The fuel was there. I was going through difficult relationships in my life," she says. "It just started flowing."

As for the "Lust for the Arts" performance on Monday, Feb. 13, Stine says she's excited to unleash "Daydream" to the masses with Cynthia Nieves-Decarie on keyboards. "I was hoping that somebody would nominate me," she jokes about the upcoming Independent News' Lust List bash. "Maybe I'll win 'Most Lust-Worthy Vocalist' that night." - Sam Baltrusis, Independent News (Feb. 2006)


"Perdido Key Vocalist Has Jazz in her Blood"

Some musicians have talent running through their veins. Robin Stine is one of those musicians. The talented jazz vocalist and Perdido Key resident literally grew up with jazz. As a child growing up in Kansas City, Stine watched her mother perform on the jazz circuit in that famous town, but it would be years before Stine took to the musical form.

“I’ve sung lead in pop groups, but that didn’t really do it for me”, Stine said. “Eventually, jazz just felt natural the first time I performed it. Today I consider myself a modern jazz singer and songwriter”.

Whether jazz found Stine, 35, or she found the genre is unclear, but there is no question that she had a natural ability trapped within her.

“I didn’t receive any formal training. I just listened to as many jazz performers as I could and picked it up. I’m basically taking what I know and creating something new within jazz, she said.”

After attending the University of Miami, where she earned her degree in psychology, Stine remained in Miami and performed regularly on the jazz circuit. Later, she returned to earn a master’s degree in music. Eventually, she settled in Pensacola, and she currently performs with various jazz groups all over Northwest Florida.

Stine’s sultry vocal style is best exemplified in her debut CD, “Daydream”. This superb collection of original ballads blends jazz with a mixture of folk and a touch of blues. She has spent the last few months pushing the CD and performing at various regional festivals, including Nashville, Atlanta and Tallahassee. Stine has also done interviews all over the world.

“One of the things I’d love to do is pitch my compositions for movie scores”, she said. I think my music lends itself to the movie format.” Stine has already begun working on her next CD, a project she said will be more contemplative in nature, and less Tin Pan Alley. For now, Stine will continue to promote her new release while touring and taking care of her three Siamese cats.

Like Joan Osborne and Norah Jones, Stine is making her own mark in the jazz and blues world. “When I write and sing, I don’t want to sound like anybody else”, she said. “I hope the numbers I do now will become new jazz standards for other vocalists. I like to think I’m writing jazz compositions from the perspective of a woman of the 21st century.” - Brian Kelly, Pensacola News Journal-The Pelican (Feb. 2006)


"Interview with Marsha Noble"

Daydream is by far one of the best CDs I have heard in years, coming from a rising new artist. Robin Stine ranks high in my book. Her jazz style of singing is authentically, jazz; her wording is poetic, sultry and makes sense, hitting home and the hearts of anyone who hears it...

When she sings, you'll listen. Her voice is rich, sexy and classic. Robin is confident she can render her own personal music style and win you over; and she does. She has a sound you can be comfortable with listening to all day.

She can stand toe to toe with any of today's jazz artist and hold her own. Daydream is a hit on the JAZ'N'U Show, here in Chicago. Once it hit the airwaves, our listeners lit up the phone lines with approval ratings, confirming my thoughts. Chicago will get a chance to see you soon, Robin, if I have anything to do with it. My favorites from the CD Daydream are, Don't I Know, Sweet Blossom, the classic Nature Boy and Made For Two. Robin makes me want to sing again. - WSSD 88.1 FM and Chicago Jazz Magazine (Feb. 2006)


"CD Lowdown...Robin Stine...Daydream"

On her debut album, Robin Stine, a Pensacola based singer-songwriter, creates a truly unique sound infusing traditional jazz with a youthful, bluesy folk vibe. Highlight: Sweet Blossom is the kind of laid-back love song that evokes another era, one where subtle was sexy. Bottom Line: This album is a slinky and seductive listen, that makes listeners yearn for a smoky bar, a strong cocktail and good, slow dance. - Independent News-Pensacola, FL (Oct. 2005)


"Daydream"

Traveling the independent circuit many times than not offers struggles for an artist with their talent, as the road becomes a tedious one. From bar to patron-less lounges from rejection to dissection it many times can extinguish that fire in the belly.

However once in a while an artist carries a vivacious and tenacious urge to succeed in the business they choose. For vocalist and songwriter Robin Stine she took her wants and needs within that desire and encased them in her debut offering Daydream release in 2005 by Sweet Blossom Records.

What is so enjoyable about this recording is the sensual yet innocent approach to her performance. Along with a diverse repertoire of cuts from swing to ballads the jewel box exhumes a fine illustration in sound of a life long education in jazz.

Within the spin of this effort notice the range and expression of notes she displays. For an out of the gate talent it is rare. Ms. Stine proves she is ready to go forward.

Ms. Stine takes Daydream and showcases her blues feel along with other genres in a daring exhibition of vocal tantalization. Sultry maybe? Captivating I am sure! Gifted without question…

However this passionate personality from the Panhandle has soul built into this performance and with the right guidance from this point forward can make it even with the industry barriers ahead.

Daydream is what a debut should be, a foundation of future success. Ms. Stine has presented a sensual piece of melody-generated energy for us to examine in any way we choose too.

Ms. Stine is sculpting a future and the clay has been set on the wheel, which is turning as we speak. A very strong start…let’s sit back and see what else this siren has to offer! - Karl Stober, JazzTrenzz (Nov. 2005)


"Artist Interview with Robin Stine"

Singer, songwriter, Robin Stine has made her CD debut, with Daydream hitting #9 on the Podcast charts, after enjoying success for more than two years as a local favorite across the Gulf Coast. Surviving two hurricanes, including Ivan, the Terrible, Stine determined she would produce her album regardless the weather. Three weeks before Katrina hit New Orleans, Stine had gotten together with a studio to record her album but was moved, again, as the storm barreled down on the famous city. This time, Stine ended up in New York, after a call from producer Mark Bingham.

To her surprise, she met up with musicians who were ready to perform and eager to help her put her CD together. “All of the tracks were recorded live in the studio. We did them all in two days,” says Stine. Stine wrote all the songs on her album, except “Nature Boy.” The title track, “Daydream,” was co-written with Chris Whiteman from the University of Miami.

Daydream has a distinct New Orleans flavor on several tunes with a sharp yet muted, brass background. “Four of the musicians were from New York and three of them actually were there from New Orleans,” says Stine. “They were displaced from the storm too. The musicians who joined me included Steve Cardenas on guitar, Warren Bernhardt on piano, Gary Burke on drums, Steven Calandra on bass, Mark Bingham on guitar, Steven Bernstein on trumpet and Matt Rhody on violin.” Smokey, sultry, with just a hint of innocence, Stine carries her songs with subtle seduction—a little jazzy, a smidgeon of blues, caressing each note with exquisite care.

Beginning her album with the song “Don’t I Know,” Stine sets the stage for the exciting venture through her 13 track album with a perky tempo, playfully sexy tune, backed by sublime piano roll. “Nature Boy” takes on a sultry air with definitive drumbeats and soft swinging sax. Following with “Half My Heart,” Stine takes us into an airy, thought provoking melody with the stretch of New Orleans style piano and pulsating bass. “Sweet Blossom” makes a statement of pure seduction in a not so subtle, ‘come with me invitation.’ Drums take a stealthy lead on “I’ve Got A Secret” with a pronounced deep guitar strut. While all the tracks feature Stine’s divine vocals, she leaves plenty of space for each musician to shine, varying tempo, time and space.

Robin Stine is known for her ability to integrate jazz, blues and pop flavor with her writing and her vocals. Consistently asked to perform across the coast, deep into Miami, Nashville and Atlanta, Stine came out with her feet on the ground, launching her own label: Sweet Blossom Records. www.robinstine.com is worth the visit. - Nina Goodrich, JazzReview.com (Nov. 2005)


"Robin Stine...Daydream...Sweet Blossom Records 2005"

Sweetly swinging is the byword for Robin Stine. Stine has penned 12 originals with first class melodies and superb lyrics. The 13th tune is "Nature Boy" which is done in an unusual mode, but works nicely.

"Don't I Know" is a bluesy number that lopes along gracefully. Stine sings in tune and enunciates cleanly with no undo histrionics. Warren Bernhardt at the piano comps artfully which adds much to the overall effect.

"Sweet Blossom" Again Robin Stine shines brightly...Gary Burke on drums times out perfectly and boots this song along in fine fashion.

"Never Say Goodbye" Artfully crafted lyrics are refulgent in this composition.

"Shy Boy" The words are clever and the melody fits the message in a
sensually sophisticated mode.

Robin Stine is a first class lyricist and songwriter whose vocal
tonality and cadence make this album dance nicely in one's ear. - John Gilbert, eJazzNews.com (Nov. 2005)


"CD Review"

Let me set the scene. The lights are low. A fire crackles and pops in the fireplace. Two glasses of Chardonnay sit half empty and forgotten on the coffee table. You and the one you love are in each other’s arms as you dance slowly across the floor. The music is Robin Stine’s debut CD Daydream. The mood is perfect.

The first thing you notice when you listen to this CD is Ms. Stine’s voice. She delicately entices you as she winds her way through thirteen Jazz selections. Her voice is warm, subtle and evocative. She is never over the top. She doesn’t try to impress with feats of vocal legerdemain or audio pyrotechnics. She uses her considerable talent to serve the needs of each song. She succeeds mightily.

Listening to Daydream it is easy to get lost in Ms. Stine’s vocal talent and forget that she also wrote 12 of the 13 selections on the CD. These songs are not the work of an amateur songwriter wannabe. They are well written, well structured, and creative both lyrically and melodically. While clearly in the Jazz genre, she brings in elements of blues and folk music into her songs which make her style distinctly her own.

Daydream was recorded in New York in September of 2005 at The Clubhouse and at Millbrook Sound Studios. Drew Vonderhaar and Mark Bingham deserve kudos for creating a sonic landscape that is open and airy and never overshadows the vocal. The impression one gets is of a small, intimate Jazz club without the sound of clinking glasses and conversation to distract you from the music.

Robin Stine’s Daydream is a wonderful CD on every level. It is going into the regular rotation at my house. If you would like hear some samples of Ms Stine’s work or find out more about her, please check out her website: www.robinstine.com. The website is a treat in itself.

Now if you will excuse me, I believe my lovely wife would like to dance. - J.J. Biener, Muse's Muse (Nov. 2005)


"Robin Stine - Daydream"

...The other one that just rocked my world was Robin Stine. She has got an absolutely classic voice that perfectly matches the jazz that is played behind her. When I heard "Nature Boy," the old Nat King Cole classic, I was totally hooked. I can almost guarantee that within a few years she will be very well known, and I can claim to have played her music "way back when." I'm not the only one with that opinion, as today I heard her music on Adam Curry's Daily Source Code. He had some very positive comments to make. He beat me to playing her music, but folks will be able to really hear her when I feature her wonderful talents.
- George Smyth, Eclectic Mix (Nov. 2005)


"Robin Stine, Daydream (Sweet Blossom Records)"

Ballroom-jazz chanteuse who’s got enough already – she’s cute enough to borrow a few hits of Chai tea from, possessed of a Protestant songwriting ethic that helped her fill up an entire album (save for a benchmark version of “Nature Boy”...Naturally the acid test is whether Stine’s original pieces can make like they’re from the 40s, and she gets scooby-dooby-doos all around.
- Eric Saeger, Skope Magazine & Glide Magazine (Dec. 2005)


Discography

1. Don't I Know
2. Nature Boy
3. Half My Heart
4. Sweet Blossom
5. Never Say Goodbye
6. Daydream
7. I've Got a Secret
8. Shy Boy
9. I Could Have Loved You
10. Made for Two
11. For Me
12. Get Over Her
13. Singing to Me

Photos

Bio

Seduction comes in many forms. Those who can seduce with style make it seem effortless, unintentional, irresistible. Robin Stine's music seduces with a whiff of subtle perfume and a casual graze of her hand as she walks past, leaving the listener powerless to do anything but follow. As a singer, her voice floats on the stylish edge of contemporary cool—light, but never lightweight. As a songwriter, her enchanting originals set her in the upper echelon of today's songwriters.

Born and raised in Kansas City, Robin began her musical journey as a child singing with her family and in school groups. When she left for college she had no idea that music would take her around the world. For three of her collegiate years she performed with groups, traveling across the U.S. as well as in Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Hong Kong and China. She then moved to Miami in 1996 to begin her graduate studies. During this time she performed with “Mike Suman’s Swing City” and her own band “Simply Stellar” at festivals, hotels and clubs throughout South Florida. In 2003 she moved to Pensacola to focus on the next phase of her musical career—writing and recording her original music.

Her debut album Daydream is a sleek collection of a dozen original jazzy, bluesy numbers that immediately sound like comfortable standards. The melancholy title track “Daydream”, the only co-write on the album, was written with Chris Whiteman at the University of Miami. The album's other originals were written over a six-month period while Robin rebuilt her home in the wake of Hurricane Ivan. “These songs are very personal. They were gifts from ‘the muses’ of genuine emotion, faith and hope—and they’re my gift to the world.”

Her opening track “Don't I Know” is a playful tune about finding happiness within, which according to Robin is “Something that most people struggle with in life, but the only way to enjoy it.” The album also features the bittersweet tune “Half My Heart”, a song she wrote about being separated from the one you love, while the flirty “Sweet Blossom” is about love’s anticipation. “Never Say Goodbye” is a sultry tune where Robin conveys by her own admission, “Life can be more fun if you let yourself be naughty sometimes.” As one of Robin’s favorite jazz songs and the only cover on the album, she includes the haunting “Nature Boy”, by Eden Ahbez.

Under the guidance of producer Mark Bingham, who's worked with everyone from Dr. John to the Blind Boys of Alabama to the Black Eyed Peas, she's assembled an enviably experienced crew including pianist Warren Bernhardt (Steps Ahead, Jack DeJohnette, Gerry Mulligan), drummer Gary Burke (Joe Jackson, Bob Dylan), trumpeter Steven Bernstein (Roswell Rudd, Medeski Martin & Wood, Don Byron), and her fellow Kansas City native, guitarist Steve Cardenas (Norah Jones, Madeleine Peyroux, Paul Motian, Mark Isham).

A lifelong love of performing inspired by family and further fueled by the completion of her album, have culminated in a desire to return to the touring stage after a rebuilding period in the post-Hurricane Ivan year. Now based in Pensacola, Florida, Robin is ready to follow the upcoming release of Daydream with a festival and club scene tour in a way that will also leave the world powerless to do anything but follow.