Those Dang Robinsons, a six-person band from southeast San Diego, includes five brothers -- all sons of Pastor Archie Robinson, Sr., who has led the congregation at the Newbirth Christian Fellowship for seven years. There's John, 27 (bass); Robert, 21 (keyboards, vocals); Jeremy, 24 (guitar, vocals); Stace, 26 (vocals); and Archie, 27 (drummer). The sixth, dancer/percussion player Shampoo, 23, grew up with the brothers.
While they have performed in their father's church, Newbirth Christian Fellowship on Home Avenue, they recognize, says Archie, that "there's tons of people who are offended by Christians.... There are people who don't want to listen to quote-unquote Christian music because of the problems of organized religion.... It turns off a lot of people."
As for their church performance, "Our father turned the service over to us," says Archie. "My brother Stace and Shampoo come out with a SpongeBob tie, cut-off sleeves, tank top, and shorts. They [the congregation] were expecting us to be like our dad, with your eyes closed and holding your hands up unto the Lord. Instead we were talking about [bulimic] girls hanging over toilets trying to impress the little boys while the little boys are watching pornos, not even knowing the meaning of love. We address issues that aren't being addressed in church. A lot of Christianity wants to concentrate about the higher part of faith and let God handle the rest. We want to address the rest."
Archie admits that "women issues" provide inspiration for their songs. "We have a father who was a minister, but we are also from a broken home. For four generations, no one on my dad's side has ever had a successful marriage. And they all have been pastors."
Each morning most of the Robinsons work out at the Lord's Gym on Market Street. That's where they met veteran reggae singer Elijah Emanuel. That meeting led to the band playing at Winstons and then at its sister club, Blind Melons.
"They noticed there were 150 more black people in PB that night," Archie jokes. They have become regulars at both clubs, and now divide their live shows between churches and bars.
Those Dang Robinsons appear Saturday at Victory Outreach in Logan Heights and December 18 at Horizon Christian Fellowship in Clairemont. Both shows begin at 6 p. m., have a $10 admission charge, and are open to all ages. Those Dang Robinsons also appear December 29 at Winstons in Ocean Beach, 21 and up.