Joe Robinson Undertones Review
By: Griff Stevens
Joe Robinson is a 27-year-old Australian musician living in Nashville, TN. Highly revered for his guitar playing, Robinson has collaborated with the likes of Tommy Emmanuel, Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, Robben Ford, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, The Wailers. Robinson stays extremely busy as a session musician. As an independent artist, Robinson has performed over 2000 concerts in 30 countries. He was the winner of the second season of ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ when he was 16 years old. Robinson has been profiled by publications such as NPR, The Boston Globe, Washington Post, Guitar Player, Guitar World, Premier Guitar, Nashville Scene and the Sydney Telegraph. His new self-produced album, Undertones just released on March 15th.
“Reputation” has a funky beat, Robinson digs in to create a bluesy guitar part that is smooth and energetic. His vocals are pure as he sings through a hip chord progression. The medium tempo allows the beauty of his warmly distorted guitar to shine through. Robinson has a signature sound and his rhythmic approach to the guitar is a welcomed addition to the genre. His songwriting is creative and his lyrics flow. The band keeps the groove moving forward without getting in the way of Robinson’s vocal lines. The tunes guitar solo is excellent, a combination of blues, rock and funk. Robinson certainly is a new six string slinger on the scene that will make his mark with ease.
On a softer note, “(Do You Want It) To Be Me” is a medium slow rock pulsed tune that features Robinson’s mellow vocals, accompanied by his acoustic guitar playing for the first section. The first solo break Robinson switches to his electric and precedes to take an emotional guitar solo that matches the mood and energy of the tune and lyrics. The lyrics are again an enjoyable storyline that will draw the listener in and entertain. For his second solo, Robinson switches back to the acoustic and displays just as much control and personality as he did on his electric. Overall, the tune has a pinioning melody and Robinson’s playing is entrancing and diverse.
Undertones is varied in its style and timbre; Robinson tasty guitar chops are front and center. His voice has a youthful exuberance that at times is filled with a fiery delivery, and at others an easy going feel with focused non-affected vocals, lending to the humanness of the lyrics and the beauty of the melodies contained on Undertones. The twelve tracks delight and entertain, exactly what you’d expect from a seasoned performer.
- Release Date: March 15, 2019
- Label: Joe’s Garage