Robbie is an acoustic musician from Devon who, having spent the last 7 years in Hampshire has finally moved back to his spiritual home in the West Country, in the beautiful picture postcard town of Bradford-On-Avon.
An early hero of his was Hank Marvin, and for many years an old tennis racquet had to suffice as a substitute for a real guitar, spending many an hour in his bedroom pretending to play “Apache”! A little later on the classical guitar beckoned when he borrowed some CDs from the local library (remember those?). He could not believe that John Williams could play all those different lines in Bach, Tarrega, Albeniz et al on just one guitar, and had to find out how it was done, so began having his first formal guitar lessons at age 14.
If John Williams showed just what could be done on one guitar, it was Pierre Bensusan who then showed Robbie that it didn’t necessarily have to be done in that funny tuning EADGBE ! Hence started his ever fascinating journey into the world of alternate tunings and, most recently, partial capos.
Robbie has just released his first ever CD of his own arrangements and compositions on the Chalkhills label, and is already working on his second. “The Road to Easterbrook” is an album of acoustic instrumentals about the people and places one meets on their journey through life, and also their learning journey as a musician.
As for the name RobbieJ? Well he is a teacher and for some reason has always been known as Mr J by pupils. A year 11 student, many years ago, on discovering that teachers actually had first names, decided that he looked more like a Robbie than a Rob!