Feb. 4th, 2012
By: Stu Sweatman
Once in a great while… Every now and then… You see and hear a talent that makes you pause, drop your jaw, and wonder what planet did he/she come from. Ok… I guess I will start this off with a story…
My buddy Doc and I decide to make the trek to NAMM 2012 in Anahiem this year. We are both very accomplished musicians and are proud of thinking of ourselves as some of the best to the point we are very comfortable in our own skins. Walking around this place you can run into a lot of famous people and possibly chat with them. We only had one day to spend, and we were winding the day down and I said, ‘hey… let’s at least go check out the Fender Booth’… We head up the stairs to the third floor where it was located.
The booth was overrun, expected, with veteran guitarists and wannabe veteran guitarists. The compacted noise of Bad to Good wanking was only overwhelmed by the air of testosteronic(new word) ego was so thick, you couldn’t cut it with a hot Ginzu knife. Doc is waiting patiently to try the new Van Halen Fender amp. Suddenly, this gorgeous tone rose above the noise… it started in low, and then began to grow.
At first, we looked at eachother and recognized that someone with talent had taken the stage, but were content to check it out in a few minutes. Before the five minutes were up, we were standing stage left trying to get a closer look at some kid playing and singing at a level that normally comes to someone after a lifetime of study and practice.
Meet Joe Robinson! Tall, lean, blonde kid from Australia. His eclectic style blends elements of Jazz, Rock and funk. Influences that sound like Joe Pass, Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix. With a voice similar to John Mayer. His uncanny skill of blending these elements together into one enjoyable package is unsurpassed from what we witnessed that day.
At the end of the show, everyone was looking around dumbfound asking the question, ‘Who is this kid’? This young kid managed to wow veteran guitarists and changed the game for all who witnessed it. Yes, I believe I would call him a game changer. I have been to NAMM at least 10 times and witnessed many up and coming’s, but Joe’s performance topped anything I have ever seen from any player I have seen or heard.
After the show, I managed to buy one of Joe’s CDs and got him to sign it. Also, I must mention his bassist. I did not catch his name in the confusion, but he signed the CD as well… I can’t read his signature, but his nickname is ‘Snoopy’. He is a great bassist and musician as well.
Driving home, all we could talk about was Joe’s and Snoopy’s performance… and to us, that was worth the effort of doing NAMM. Our once in a great while turned into once in a lifetime, and we are better for it.
See more of Joe at: http://joerobinson.com
More info on NAMM: http://www.namm.org/