In a typical show, Andrew Roblin…
…sings all the parts of the Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ USA” and “Fun Fun Fun”
…plays banjo like Earl Scruggs
…travels back in time 200 years to the days of the buffalo
…spontaneously creates a Jamaican beach party.
Along with banjo, Roblin plays mandolin, guitar, hammered dulcimer, ukulele and a host of other instruments. His music defies categorization, mixing Jamaican mento, backwoods Canadian tunes, American bluegrass, Broadway, Tin Pan Alley and Elvis.
At age 16, Roblin began playing the untamed honky tonks of the Canadian West in a Grateful Dead/bluegrass band called the Cowpokes. The Cowpokes often held him upside down while he played “Dueling Banjos.” At 17, Roblin performed at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. At 18, he and the Cowpokes gigged and busked from Winnipeg to Vancouver in a schoolbus.
At 19, with few dollars and no connections, Roblin took a Greyhound bus to Nashville where his song “Foolproof” was performed on “Hee Haw.” From Nashville, Roblin toured the Midwest and South with Andrew & the Upstarts; wrote for Billboard, Cosmopolitan and the Washington Post; and appeared on national television as a music video critic.
Renowned music writer Robert K. Oermann praised Roblin’s debut single “Shiver and Shake” for its “undeniable early-Beatles charm.” Since then, Roblin’s recordings have received airplay all over the world. In May 1997, he earned the rank of #1 Canadian musician with DJs on the influential FOLKDJ listserv, getting more folk radio airplay that month than such formidable artists as Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot.
Roblin’s recordings include “Perilous Pursuit,” “Hear Duppy Laugh,” “Jamaica Heights,” “The Italian Mandolin Collection” and “I Love Mento.”
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