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Santa Maria Sun / Music

The following article was posted on August 27th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 25 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 25

Janet Robin's fiery fingers ignite Michael's Place

BY JOE PAYNE


STRINGED TUNES
Singer/songwriter and guitarist Janet Robin brought her masterful brand of new-acoustic rock to Michael’s Place on Aug. 22.
PHOTO COURTESY OF JANET ROBIN

Lompoc has the reputation as a sleepy town, but the community wakes up when a world-class musician strolls through town. Janet Robin, a powerhouse guitarist and singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, made a stop on Aug. 22 at Michael’s Place in downtown Lompoc and exhibited her masterful skills with the instrument.

“I’ve played Lompoc once before, and that was at Howlin’ Byroon’s, and that was a few years ago,” Robin said. “So it’s been a while since I’ve been back.”

Robin’s style is a form of new-acoustic rock, which demands every trick she keeps up her sleeve, from electric guitar skills to especially intricate acoustic techniques. Her sound is a mesh of so many genres it takes her lifetimes to explain them.

“My background is very eclectic,” she said. “Out of survival and keeping working and keeping my stuff out there and working with sounds, I have combined all these different styles.”

Her guitar education began at a young age, but during her teenage years, she studied with iconic hard rock guitarist Randy Rhodes. Rhodes taught Robin—his only female student, she explained—until he began touring with Ozzy Osbourne at the end of the 1970s. Robin cites Rhodes as a great influence in her past and current music.

“His techniques with the electric, I definitely use them in my playing,” she said. “Hammer-ons, pinching, harmonics, it’s all in my electric and acoustic playing.”

Inspired by her teacher, who died in a plane crash while on tour in 1982, Robin began performing professionally at the age of 16 in the all-female hard rock band Precious Metal. The group was signed to Polygram Records and later Capitol Records and included Robin’s hard rocking electric expertise.

“We were more glam and hard rock,” Robin said. “Whatever you want to call the word metal, we were Precious Metal, but we weren’t what I would call heavy metal.”

After spanning out from Precious Metal, Robin joined a band with Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham. She also played with Air Supply for less than a year, just as she got serious about her solo career. Her solo work celebrates the vast diversity of music Robin enjoys and employs. Almost exclusively on acoustic guitar these days, Robin performs technically intricate music with a stripped-down roots sound.

“A lot of people don’t know this, but Randy taught a lot of the blues,” she said. “He is known for metal, neo-metal, classical, all that stuff, but he started his students on good old blues, Chuck Berry riffs and pentatonic scales.”

Robin enjoys quite the following beyond Southern Californian guitar fans; she tours yearly in Europe where she performs in music capitols like Prague in the Czech Republic and Germany’s Hamburg. Her last album Everything Has Changed was released by the German label Hypertension Music and was recorded and produced by John Carter Cash at Cash Cabin Studios. The album was made possible by a fan-funded campaign, which foot the bill for a session at Cash Cabin.

A new album is currently in the works, but all of  Robin’s albums are available to listen to and purchase at janetrobin.com, which also features tour dates, videos, and more.

 

Make the NTMA’s

The New Times Music Awards returns for its sixth annual event, with singer/songwriters and bands performing and competing for several awards, including album of the year, best song, and awards in several genre categories. The judged performance event is Aug. 28 at the SLO Brewing Company, San Luis Obispo. Non-performing award winners will also receive their Newtie awards if attending the event.

More information about the New Times Music Awards is available at newtimesslo.com.

Keeping it smooth

The Chumash Casino Resort offers a live concert featuring R&B favorite Jeffrey Osborne on Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. The resort is located at 3400 E. Highway 246 in Santa Ynez. Cost is $25, $35, and $45. More information is available at 1-800-CHUMASH or chumashcasino.com.

Park yourself

Concerts in the Park is a free concert series featuring live music, including The Bomb on Aug. 31 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Priesker Park, Santa Maria. Free. More information is available at 925-0951, Ext. 260, dsmitherman@cityofsantamaria.org, or cityofsantamaria.org.

Get down at GreVino

Ca’ Del GreVino Café and Wine Bar presents live music, including Noach Tangeras performing on Aug. 31 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the café and wine bar, 400 E. Clark Ave., Santa Maria. More info: 937-6400, dcp@grevino.com, and grevino.com.

Maverick country

The Maverick Saloon offers live entertainment each weekend. Coming up are performances by Dusty Jugz on Aug. 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. Concert on the Deck with Travis Mersola is Aug. 30 at 3 p.m. Suds, Songs, and Sandwiches features Melissa on Aug. 31 at 3 p.m. at the saloon, 3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. More info: 686-4785 or mavericksyv@aol.com.

 

Contact Arts Editor Joe Payne at jpayne@santamariasun.com.