Excerpts from Colorado Central Magazine
“My mom lined my baby bed with sheet music,” says James. “I started singing at 2. Music’s always been a part of my life.”
James’ exposure to all forms of music began early. Her mother played and sang often, taking a course in classical music when Robin was 4. She took both of her children to school with her, and the kids absorbed baroque music at a tender age.
“That might have had a small part in my career,” Robin James says laughing. “Mom was also a DJ for awhile, and I spent a lot of my childhood in radio stations.”
SHE STARTED TEACHING HERSELF the piano, by ear, at 13. She learned violin via traditional methods in sixth grade, and with her mother’s help, began writing music a couple of years later.
“We yodeled together,” she remembers. James has since learned the keyboard as well.
James began singing in public at 15, after polishing her craft in school performances. She delivered “The Star-Spangled Banner” before high school games, then made a professional debut at 16.
“I had a concert in New Mexico for about 100 people,” she says. “My mom organized it, and people paid to hear me sing.”
That was the start of James’ professional path, and the continuation of her true education.
Her CD, People Say, richly profiles her range. James’ voice ranges from powerful, pure country to soft, lulling ballads to an aching, bluesy plaint. It’s easy to visualize her performing in a coffeehouse, a blues club, or a big concert venue. A bonus track is a piano recital, showing her virtuosity with that instrument.
Alamosa musician Don Richmond (profiled in the July, 2002, edition of Colorado Central) helped in making her CD at his studio, Howlin’ Dog Recording. Richmond did much of the instrumental work on the album.
“It was a very fun project,” she says, “and it gave me a lot of experience in studio work.”
Richmond calls on James often to supply backup vocals for recording musicians. “She’s been great at harmonizing vocals,” Richmond says. “She’s very quick at picking them up, and has a natural affinity for singing harmony. She’s been a great asset.”
Richmond admires James’ solo talent as well.
“Robin truly has one of the most remarkable voices that I’ve ever heard,” he says. “It’s a world-class voice and I’m very pleased to help her get her music out. I hope it’s just the beginning of her career. She certainly deserves wide exposure. She’s an amazing vocalist. She has a tremendous amount of raw musical talent. She learns instruments very easily. And she’s a very delightful person. I really enjoyed our time working together.”
Wildwood Sounds Eighth Annual Music Festival in Del Norte, CO (The Valley Courier)
"Singer, songwriter Robin James melds her powerhouse vocals with a unique folk/pop blend and mixes in traditional blues and a touch of yodeling."