A Shift From Reflective to Optimistic, As Singer-Songwriter Readies Summer EP Release
An International Endeavor: Bronx-Born, Moscow-Based Singer Now a Berklee Student as Well — CD to be Recorded in Geneva
Bronx-born singer-songwriter Gregg Robins looks ahead to brighter days, as an upbeat, optimistic collection of new songs takes shape for a planned Summer EP. The hopeful new album follows Robins’ critically acclaimed 2011 debut ‘Everything That Matters,’ which earned him comparisons to such seminal artists as Paul Simon and Cat Stevens.
In blog entries and newsletters, below, Robins offers a sneak peek at recent performances in his current home of Moscow, as well as a preview of some of the new music that will appear on the upcoming release, which will be recorded in Geneva with Yvan Bing (Phil Collins,) via his Kitchen Studio.
The shift in mindset is palpable in Robins’ writing, as he moves from the more reflective, introspective content of his debut CD to the more spirited collection for this Summer (In fact, the working title for the EP is How Lucky").
In other news, Robins has spent recent months working with the renowned Berklee College of Music, earning high praise from his instructors for his plainspoken, heartfelt lyrics. Robins is all about forward motion and personal growth, and he credits the Berklee program for broadening his ideas and tools for writing.
More about Robins' 2011 debut CD, Everything That Matters
With straightforward, emotive lyrics and unexpected instrumentation, Robins crafted a heartfelt debut dedicated to his three daughters, building engaging songs that are direct and conversational in tone, many driven by the pain of a broken marriage, the estrangement from and ultimate reconciliation with his daughters, and the hope of finding new love. There’s an emotional integrity to the music that is reflective of the subject matter, as Robins’ understated delivery is often juxtaposed by lush instrumentation, ranging from strings to klezmer-infused solos to songs that suggest a Native American rhythmic undertone, and more.
Veteran critic Jack Goodstein, in his syndicated BLOGCRITICS CD review, praised: “Often the melodies remind me of some of the best of early Paul Simon" - “there is an infectious honesty about his music" - “The songs reflect his personal journey, as he tries to come to terms with his feelings about love, family and country. Emotional sincerity is the hallmark of this album.”
Robins comments: “I began as a classical clarinetist, performing a broad classical repertoire at an early age. As a teenager, I added alto saxophone and ventured beyond the classical stage into jazz improvisation, a passion extended more recently to klezmer, which harks back to my East European roots. My roots have led me to spend decades traveling in and working with Russia. I am a native of the Bronx, New York, who has traveled a journey from high school dropout to Oxford Phd.”