Last weekend I was fortunate enough to be invited to a pre-Grammy party at the Continental Club. There I was introduced to Janet Robin, a musician who has played guitar with the Lindsey Buckingham Band, Air Supply, and Meredith Brooks to name a few. Now she is a solo artist currently working on her latest CD, as well as participating in an instrumental group of all guitars she founded. In the words reminiscent of Jerry Lee Lewis, she is a ball of fire!
Janet Robin has made it a point to live her dream and fulfill her life’s purpose, and that is truly inspiring.
By the tender age of six, she knew was going to be a musician when she started taking guitar lessons, which her brother was also taking. She quickly took to the guitar, sharing “It was very natural for me.” The seed was planted.
By the age of 16 she was performing in an all-girl metal band Precious Metal, complete with big hair and spandex (it was the 1980s – also a time when all girl metal bands were pretty much unheard of). But, Janet kept going, even dropping out of UCLA, to further pursue her musical career.
A few years later, she ended up playing guitar with the Lindsey Buckingham Band (Lindsey Buckingham is now back together with Fleetwood Mac).
“He [Lindsey Buckingham] is a phenomenal guitar player, song writer, and producer,” Janet explained. “Lindsey was such a perfectionist. He was also my mentor. I learned so much from him.”
She still keeps in touch with him. She added, “If I were to compare my experience to an academic education, Precious Metal would be my undergrad and working with Lindsey Buckingham would be my Ph.D.”
She also studied with legendary guitarist Randy Rhoades (Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist). Her hard work paid off as Guitar World Magazine named her one of the “Top 10 Female Guitar Players.”
“It was Lindsey who encouraged me to go solo, a move that made me get serious about singing” shared Janet. She took his advice and has been a solo artist since the late 1990s.
Last year she started The String Revolution that is an instrumental group with three other Los Angeles based guitarists, Daniel Schwarz, Art Zavala, Jr. and Markus Illko. “We write as a band, all together, in one room. We’re very democratic and we all contribute.” (They will have a gig in July — The String Revolution.)
For her solo career, she either writes or co-writes her own material, occasionally doing cover songs. “I write about relationships, love and things like that,” she stated.
Her style is an “eclectic mix of rock/blues, Americana and folk” with an emphasis on her guitar playing.
To say she is passionate is an understatement. She lives and breathes music, which has led her to composing music for short films, including Joseph Culp’s Traces, and working with Quentin Taratino’s The Hateful Eight. She coached Jennifer Jason Leigh – who happens to be up for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for the movie — to play the guitar.
Later on this year she’ll start her European tour. “One of the things I’m inspired by is travel, especially when I’m out of the country,” said Janet.
In 2015 she performed in Dubai, her first time performing in the Middle East. “They were awesome. You go to another country, you respect the culture you arrive in and you’ll get the respect back. The Muslim culture was very kind.”
She has quite a following in Germany, Czech Republic, the U.K. and Switzerland. She kicks it off on April 29th starting with the United Kingdom. There, she has a band in every country she goes to, which she is able to keep in touch with via the Internet.
“They are so respectful and professional. I send them the new songs through emails, that they work on. When I’m there, we have one rehearsal.” The crowds love her!
Janet Robin’s next solo CD will be produced by Grammy winner John Carter-Cash at Cash Cabin Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. She’ll be there in March with new songs, and will play both the acoustic and the electric guitars. When asked if she had a preference, she said it’s like loving a son and a daughter, but added, “the acoustic guitar is more versatile, mysterious. It breathes. I feel like it’s alive.”
One thing about Janet Robin is that she is truly alive and living, which makes her music all the more exciting. She has a fundraising campaign on Indigogo.com to help with her latest CD. Check it out and get a taste of what her music is like at: http://igg.me/at/janetrobinnewcd.
She can also be found at: