Janet Robin is one of the best guitarists in the country: male or female. Michelle Shocked
Her songs have power and passion as they surge and rise to phenomenal levels. Only a matter of time before she breaks through the industry walls. Music Connection Magazine
Rockin with excellent songs and guitar work. LA Weekly
Janet Robin can be defined in a single word: musician.
Many people attempt to make music, but few earn that illustrious title. Those in this business reserve that label for the rare individuals who consistently demonstrate a high level of talent, perseverance, taste and sensitivity over a period of time. To these people making music is not simply a pastime; it is a matter of blood and guts. That a serious addiction to making music runs through Robins veins is made clear from a quick review of her career.
A Southern California native, Robins musical education began the moment she met her guitar teacher, Randy Rhoads Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne. Under Rhoads tutelage, Robin became an ace six-string player and, while still in high school, parlayed this education into a position as the lead guitarist for the all-female rock band Precious Metal. Discovered by Rodney Bingenheimer of the legendary L.A. rock radio station KROQ, Precious Metal was soon signed to Polygram Records.
Later moving to Chameleon/Capitol Records, Precious Metal released several albums, wrote with Heart, Poison and Cheap Trick, toured extensively and gained accolades from both fans and critics alike.
Following the demise of Precious Metal, Robin joined Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckinghams band in support of his 1992 solo album, Out of the Cradle Reprise Records. A consummate pro, working with Buckingham profoundly influenced Robins guitar playing, singing and songwriting, as well as her general approach to the music business. This new direction led to Robins 1998 debut solo album, Open the Door. Released on her own label, Little Sister Records, Buzz Weekly described the CD as smart, savvy, fuzzy, hooky pop. She has seen songs from this album featured in film and television; most notably on the then popular T.V. show Felicity. Ever the road warrior, she supported the disc by opening for such acts as Heart, Loudon Wainwright III and the Smithereens, steadily building a wide fan base. Robin has since continued to tour heavily and averages as many as 150 dates per year.
Encouraged by the warm reception of her debut, Robin released three more albums on Little Sister including the acoustic After the Flood which was recorded in Laurel Canyon and features Beautiful Freak which has since become a fan favorite and one of Robins defining songs. Also among these records is 2007s Days of Summer. Recorded with producers David Bianco Tom Petty, Teenage Fanclub, Mick Jagger and Steve Baughman Eminem, 50 Cent, this acoustic based EP is the work of an artist willing and able to explore the poignant emotional states of adulthood while avoiding the stereotypes brought on by most acoustic singer-songwriters. Working on the album was an experience that greatly affected her style and led Robin to many new and exciting opportunities including multiple tours of the Czech Republic.
2009 sees Robin release her newest album Everything Has Changed that bridges the gap between passionate acoustic music and gutsy rock n roll. With the help of her dedicated fan base, Robin was able to raise the funds for this latest studio effort. This loyal support enabled her to team up with producer John Carter Cash Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band at Cash Cabin Studios outside of Nashville. The son of Johnny and June, Carter Cash was a producer on the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line and produced several records with his father as well as a Grammy Award winning record for June. Built by Johnny in 1979, this studio is where the country legend recorded much of his later work including his final recording, American V: A Hundred Highways, which was released posthumously and co-produced by Rick Rubin and John Carter. "We have talked at great length about this project and he understands my desire and vision to record an album that is representative of the energy brought out in my live performances," Robin says of Carter Cash. "Its just great to work with a producer that lets me be myself, yet brings out the best in my work. There werent many restraints working with John and the vibe and history at Cash Cabin is overwhelmingly inspiring. John seems to get me.
New opportunities have arisen for Robin with the advent of Everything Has Changed, coupled with the strength of her growing European following. Introduced to German based company Hypertension Music by friend and frequent touring partner Colin Hay Men At Work, Robin recently signed a licensing and distribution deal with Hypertension for a Winter 2010 European release of Everything Has Changed. The company will also be booking Robin throughout Europe and has already secured a January 2010 tour with Midge Ure Ultravox co-organizer of Live Aid, Band Aid and Live 8 and in May a tour opening for The Bacon Bros, Kevin Bacons blues band.
In addition to pursuing her solo career both in the U.S. and abroad, few musicians are able to work with the great variety of artists that Robin has been fortunate enough to be around. Besides the aforementioned Lindsey Buckingham, Robin has toured, recorded, or written songs with Meredith Brooks, Melissa Etheridge, Maia Sharp, Marcy Levy co-writer with Eric Clapton on Lay Down Sally, Ann and Nancy Wilson and Anne McCue. Most recently, Robin was a touring member of Air Supply.
However, one need not base their judgment on Robin solely on those with whom she has been associated. Only a listen to her albums or a ticket to one of her shows will prove the opening claim to be true. For what underlies the Janet Robin labels of guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer and road warrior is a single word: musician.
Janet Robin was the Cathy Is In Five Minute Feature: on 9/27/2011, songs Hope and Faith and Beautiful Freak.
Cathy Is In guest: 10/25/2011