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Andy Robinson

Andy Robinson: Drums, Dulcimer, Electronics, Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric), Harmonica, Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals

Genre: Acoustic, Electro | DJ, Rock, World

RIYL: Brian Eno, Optiganally Yours, the Residents, League of Assholes

No shows scheduled | Post a show | View show history

Synoposis

Influences: The Beatles, Brian Eno, Jeff Beck, Laurie Anderson, Devo, Kraftwerk, the Residents, Jean Ritchie

Background:

Acoustic/electronic/world/folk blend Andy Robinson first earned local notice as a drummer, formerly with local progressive rockers Horsefeathers and L.A. underground groups like Elton Duck and Invisible Zoo. Now, however, he specializes in a different instrument, though he still uses sticks to play it.

“I play the [mountain] dulcimer, sometimes with my fingers, sometimes with a popsicle stick,” says Robinson.

“One of the things that first attracted me to the dulcimer in the late sixties was noter-style playing. At that time, George Harrison of the Beatles was opening up the pop music world to the delicate drones and exotic textures of the Indian sitar. I was, and still am, a Beatles fan, so when a friend introduced me to the mountain dulcimer, I fell in love with it. It wasn’t a sitar, but it was close enough for me! I was a drummer, with no prior experience with melodic instruments, and the simplicity of making up a melody on a couple of closely spaced strings and having instant musical accompaniment in the form of a droning partial chord appealed to me.”

In addition, “I play the kalimba [and] I play mostly acoustic instruments, but I really love synthesizers, with their infinite sound-making potential. I drum, I play harmonica, I loop, I sample, I sing, but I don’t sing actual words very often.”

His debut solo full-length Exotic America, an exercise in electro-acoustic Americana, was released in 2004.

Taking an experimental approach to recording, Robinson says “I like to roam San Diego’s back country with a digital recorder, sampling stuff like a dried branch tapping out patterns on a dirt road, or fence post xylophones, or a broken down piano, or a pile of pots and pans that have been left for dead. You can hear some of these things in [my songs] ‘Cartoon’ and ‘The Golden Feather.’ There is something that appeals to me about doing things the wrong way, like grabbing sounds that aren’t necessarily meant to go together and introducing them to each other.”

Robinson released his mostly instrumental full length Music Bucket at the end of 2011, featuring guest players Mike Keneally, Carlos Olmeda, David Ryan Norgren, Dennis Caplinger, Tripp Sprague, Jamie White, PJ Bovee, Coco Brown, Chuck Elledge, Nicki Elledge, and Doug Robinson.

“Once again, I’ve combined dulcimers, kalimbas, guitars, loops, samples, fiddles, saxes, pots and pans, etc., to create what I believe is a fresh blend of tuneful, upbeat music.”

“Even the cover of the CD has sort of a found object theme. Each letter in the title was taken from separate photographs I took of road signs. Usually, the results of my experimenting surprise me.”

A CD of long-unavailable Elton Duck songs was released in 2012, featuring Robinson with Mike McFadden and Mike Condello. Later that year, he reported “I’m currently working on a mini-suite of music that will be available as a download in August,” says Robinson. “I’m going to be working with a steel drum player and including some new instruments on this little three-movement musical journey, including bass dulcimer and native American flute.”

In early 2013, his track “The Open Door” was nominated Best New Age Song for the 12th Annual Independent Music Awards, with judges including Suzanne Vega, Tom Waits, Jonatha Brooke, Ziggy Marley, Judy Collins, Meshell Ndegeocello, McCoy Tyner, and Weird Al Yankovic.

His song “The Open Door” is featured in a 2013 documentary film about the non-profit organization H2Opendoors, which endeavors to bring fresh drinking water to poor countries around the world.

In early 2017, Robinson promoted the release of his Andyland album with a series of performances at area garage sales. The following year, he became an endorsing artist for a company named Louson Drums, which manufactures a wearable Cajon.

Discography

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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