Rob Robertson spent most of his career playing someone else’s music and he thought it was high time he lay down some tracks with his bandmates.
The highly popular local band Rob n’ Walker is holding a CD release party for Born to Ride the Wind at Three Winds Gallery on Dec., 16. And another CD release at Dream Cafe Jan. 5. Tickets to both are $25 and include a CD.
“I’ve been on 30 or 40 albums when I was living in Nashville. It was one of the things I did was lay down tracks for other people, a lot of up and comers and demos. I never really kept track to see if anyone did anything. It was just a job, a flat rate,” Robertson said in an interview recently with the Review.
“This is the first one I’ve done myself with my own songs. It’s been a longtime coming.”
Joining Robertson in the band is Cliffe Fraser, who’s played drums for more than four decades and Fritz Cronjaeger, who is not only a talented bass guitarist – he also hand makes the instrument.
“Cliffe and I have been together two or three years now. He’s excellent. Fritz came in over a year ago. We’d had a couple different bass players with us. Fritz just fit and brings a great energy,” he said.
Robertson said he first picked up a guitar at 11 years old. He learned to play at the side of his dad and soon started writing songs. At age 14 he started touring and later headed down to Nashville to hone his craft.
|Rob n’ Walker has released their first album.
During that time he played in a few serious bands and toured with the likes of Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, Merle Haggard and The Bellamy Brothers on top doing of a long list of studio work. After about a decade, the stress of the industry, a failed marriage, homesickness and the desire to explore the art – not pursue the money, prompted Robertson to come to Keremeos where his father lived.
“I decided to take a break from all the touring. This is where my father had stopped for awhile. I was only here for two weeks and couldn’t leave. There’s something magical about the Similkameen,” he said.
Always a songwriter, Robertson continued to plunk away and thinks he has enough material for at least three CDs.
Rob n’ Walker spent about six months recording Born to Ride the Wind at Similkameen Studio, which Cronjaeger owns.
“The title song Born to Ride the Wind is basically how I have seen my life over the years. The non-stop travelling, anytime, anywhere the wind blows. We’re country with an edge. My roots are pretty much country, but not in the sense of tear in your beer kind of songs. Basically, what I write has a positive message and introspective look at how life can get sometimes,” he said.
A fast track on the new album that is sure to get them dancing is Learn to Live.
“It basically says you only get one dance so you might as well learn to live when you get here. It’s a poke at religion and the afterlife,” he said.
The song I Will Be Here was written after Robertson’s father passed three years ago.
“I lost my father three years ago to cancer. I moved him in with me to look after him for the last six months of his life. Song’s have different weight. It’s really personal to me, but it’s also a really uplifting song too,” he said.
Rob n’ Walker plays all over the Okanagan and Similkameen. The next date in the Keremeos area is at the Keremeos Legion Dec. 1. For more information on the band visit them on the Rob n’ Walker Facebook page.
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