The Robbie Jay Band
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The Robbie Jay Band

Hubbard, Ohio, United States

Hubbard, Ohio, United States
Band Rock Country


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Real Stories, Real People Recollected By Robbie Jay Band"

Local alternative country stalwarts The Robbie Jay Band just completed their first studio three song EP at Youngstown's Ampreon Recorder. The Robbie Jay Band has been blazing the stages of Barley's, The Royal Oaks, and Cedars brewing their warm rendition of outlaw country and rekindling the spirit of Waylon Jennings.

On Jan. 31 at Cedars Lounge The Robbie Jay Band will perform with the New Jersey power-pop act, Readymade Breakup. Proving that roots country spans beyond the mainstream fluff of Nashville, The Robbie Jay Band draws in the working class rock influences of Damn The Torpedos-era Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers with the artful edge of The Drive By Truckers. Despite modern influences, The Robbie Jay Band sheds light on the classic Johnny Cash influenced approach on their somber track, "Slow it Down."

The conception of the band began in early 2006, when front man, guitarist Robbie Jay McFarland, was working at Hubbard Music and met drummer Dan Dominic. McFarland invited Dominic in for an open mic gig when he started out solo and the musical chemistry clicked. The pair discovered they had identical music tastes and started tinkering with acoustic songs together. In came bass player Ryan Rexroad, who began working at Hubbard Music at the time. Rexroad was not playing bass yet, but gave it a good attempt and was instantly a part of the band. Lead guitarist Jason Hinrich completed the circle and the creative working-class sound of The Robbie Jay Band was born.

The factor that makes The Robbie Jay Band similar to their modern alternative country peers is the fact that they write material about everyday situations. McFarland adds, "I think that is why people are listening to us; it's real stuff about things that really happened." The band remains true to their astute Americana songwriting ethic in that they don't embellish stories for the thrill of writing songs.

The band plans to expand their following beyond Youngstown by planning shows in the regional areas of Pittsburgh and Cleveland. They are playing at Cleveland's famous Beachland Ballroom on Feb. 4. On Feb. 6 the band aims even higher taking the stage at Cleveland's House of Blues. - The Jambar

"Alt country in the Valley? Robbie Jay Band embraces it"

The band is putting down roots and getting some experience here while looking ahead.

A shot of rock ’n’ roll with a country chaser.

That’s exactly the sound relative newcomers The Robbie Jay Band calls home with its alt country vibe.

“I guess I pretend to call us country, but if you showed up [expecting] to see a Kenny Chesney show at our concert, it would be totally the wrong group,” said Robbie Jay McFarland.

“I guess we’d be more old school rock ’n’ roll. Very jangly like old [Rolling] Stones and Tom Petty, but my big influences are like Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Steve Earle.

“I like what they call country stuff from Texas. It’s kind of west of what they do in Nashville.”

Among the new songs in the Hubbard act’s repertoire are group favorites “You Can’t Love Me” and “When You Were You.”

The former song is a rocker, while the latter is more of a happy tune.

McFarland has no idea when the group’s debut album will be released.

“I write about what I know,” said McFarland. “I wish I could write beer-drinking songs and all of that good stuff, but most of my songs center around life and love. Usually it’s like the bad side of love.”

Formed roughly a year ago, The Robbie Jay Band only recently started playing out.

Though most groups get on stage as soon as possible, this act — McFarland (vocals, guitar), Jason Hinrichs (guitar), Dan Daniels (drums) and Ryan Rexroad (bass) — decided to take a different approach that could be construed as, well, backward thinking by many in the local music scene.

“I know,” said McFarland, a 1997 Hubbard High School graduate. “With the business here we see the right way to do things and the way people expect things to be done. Also, we traded out a couple of guys, so there’s been a couple of different line-up changes even before we started to gig.

“It definitely took time to find the right pieces to the puzzle that we currently have. The only thing we asked for was members to be committed to the project and be willing to go play whenever, wherever and to whoever.

"We had some guys who only wanted to do Friday and Saturday nights, and we’re not a cover band.”

While not a cover band per se — the foursome does often kick out old Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Reckless Kelly tunes in its set — the Robbie Jay Band is already attracting quite an audience with its live show.

McFarland said the band is excited about its Cedars show, planned for Friday at the popular Youngstown venue.

“The Youngstown area is a good place to be for anyone with good music,” McFarland said.

“We’re taking it seriously. We have shows coming up, so we’re going to push the product as far as we can.” - The Vindicator

"For Robbie Jay Band, it’s full steam ahead"

The Robbie Jay Band played back-to-back gigs this month at Cleveland’s Beachland Ballroom and House of Blues.

Not bad for a band that has been together for just 10 months.

The Youngstown-based alt-country (or is it Southern rock?) band has been together for just over a year. So how on earth did they make the leap to the Cleveland venues so quickly?

“I asked them,” said Robbie Jay McFarland, the band’s singer and songwriter, in a recent interview with The Vindicator.

Well, it wasn’t quite that simple. The band got its music into the right hands for the concerts — Randy Rogers on Feb. 4 at Beachland and Rodney Atkins on Feb. 6 at HOB — and were deemed a worthy opening act.

“We were wondering if we’d fit in with Rodney Atkins’ fans,” said Jason Hinrichs, the band’s lead guitarist. “But the show went great.” Atkins is a pop-country Nashville heartthrob and a rapidly rising star. That contrasts with the Robbie Jay Band’s rock edge and sturdier sound.

The Robbie Jay Band released its first CD this month, a three-song sampler recorded at Ampreon Recorder in Youngstown. “We would have preferred it be longer, maybe eight or nine songs, but we needed a CD quickly,” said McFarland, explaining that promoters require one for consideration.

With a repertoire of dozens of originals, RJB’s sound reflects McFarland’s love of what he calls “old country. I like the realness of it, the grittiness,” said McFarland. “It bleeds across into my own stuff.” At shows, the band likes to throw in some rocking covers of stalwarts such as Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings.

Although it best fits in with the Texas-based alt-country movement, RJB is at home in Northeast Ohio’s rock clubs. That’s because the area’s country bars aren’t that interested in booking local acts who play original music. “There’s no room for us. Maybe we could open a show for a national act, but on a regular Friday night, they want a cover band,” said McFarland. “The rock clubs are more accepting.”

The Robbie Jay Band started as a duo, with McFarland and drummer Dan Dominic honing their skills at open mic nights. When they decided to flesh out their act, they enlisted bassist Ryan Rexroad. “He was a guitarist, but he wanted in so bad that he learned to play bass,” said McFarland.

The final piece of the puzzle was lead guitarist Hinrichs.

“I was a chef at the Emerald Diner in Hubbard, and I got to know Dan because he always ate there,” said Hinrichs. “We started playing together, and one day he called and said, ‘We’re looking for a guitarist; are you interested?’”

Youngstown fans can catch RJB Saturday at Cedars, where the quartet will be on a bill with Pete Drivere and the Pretty Demons and the Jellybricks.

Hinrichs said those who come to the show can expect a lot of energy. “We’re an excellent live band,” he said.

Listeners might also feel a connection.

“What we’re about comes through in our songs,” said McFarland. “People relate to them.” - The Vidicator


The Robbie Jay Band EP 2009



The Robbie Jay Band has set out to blaze the same trail that their heroes have. One that focuses on the music and doing things their own way. Living by standards previously set by outlaw country singers of days gone by, alt-country, and the vicarious Texas music scene, front man and songwriter, Robbie Jay, pens songs of real life and love. He says, “The stuff we sing about is real. Real stories about things that have really happened. Things that people can relate to.”

That may be why they find themselves rapidly gaining attention across the mid-West. The Robbie Jay Band truly is a band that people can relate to. Not only are the songs loaded with infectious hooks, but the live show is packed with a good time. Fueled by the band as a whole, with drummer Dan Dominic, Ryan Rexroad on bass guitar/vocals, Jason Hinrichs as lead guitar/vocals, and Robbie Jay on lead vocal/guitar, the band willingly cranks out songs and plays shows anywhere and everywhere that people will listen.

The bands’ slogan, “Shot of Rock n Roll, with a Chaser of Country” sums up both their style and intentions. With each member bringing their own style to the table, the Robbie Jay Band was quite literally formed in both a “honky tonk bar” and a “garage”. Robbie and Dan, stumbled onto the idea, in a bar one night, with Robbie singing and playing his originals and country covers from the likes of Steve Earle and Waylon Jennings, as Dan played along on the drums. As interest in the project began to grow, Robbie and Dan looked to complete the band. A little over a year later, both Ryan and Jason were added to round out the sound that is now unique to the Robbie Jay Band. It has been a non-stop ride ever since.

And now, in an effort to continue to take the music to larger audiences everywhere, the Robbie Jay Band is booking regional and national shows in the year 2009.