Tears And Laughter, released to folk radio Sept. 1, 2016, is Robin's first CD of original material in over a decade.
“Serious instrumental chops, lovely voice, rare melodic sense, great taste, sensitivity and, dare I say it, understanding of the human spirit, you’ll understand why, even though I’ve loved the albums of traditional and/or holiday songs she’d done, I've been waiting for a new album of Robin’s own compositions. Well, my friends the wait is, thankfully, over. Trust me when I say, it was worth the wait.” Dave Palmater, WUMB-FM, Boston MA
#1 album, #1 song ("Hole In The Ground") and #1 artist on the Folk-DJ Chart, Sept. 2016
After her previous original music CD Acousticness came out, Robin then turned her attention to other musical projects: Images of Women, Vols 1 and 2, and a multi-cultural holiday CD, Songs of The Season (recorded with Cecilia Kirtland). Now, with great pride and delight, she offers Tears And Laughter, a return to her first love - songwriting. It is a diverse collection of material; a contemplation of the events and relationships that shape our lives. The songs traverse the emotions of hope, love, sadness, optimism and joy; and so do the musical styles, reflecting Robin’s love of acoustic folk, blues and pop music.
After an Americana mid-tempo kickoff tune (“I Heard The Road Call Me”) about the restlessness of modern life), the songs then quiet down, to address some serious topics: 9/11 (“Hole In The Ground”), Superstorm Sandy (“A Tale of Two Cities”) and faith (“Here I Am” (Hineni)”). The title track, “Tears and Laughter” (taken from a lyric in an old Sephardic folksong) is an upbeat meditation on how to live in a world where bad news is always around the corner. It’s performed with only a guitar, egg shaker, string bass & soprano sax, and has a peaceful call–and-response chorus with soaring harmonies.
"Your voice is as lovely as ever."
Robin’s CDs all have in common impeccable production and sounds, and an acoustic base from which she explores various musical styles. Recorded in Pittsburgh, PA and NYC, the musicians include special guests Sony Music Denmark recording artist Aske Jacoby and New Orleans keyboardist Joe Krown (Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown, Krown, Batiste & Washington, Allen Toussaint band).
The NYC tracks feature musicians who have worked with Robin previously; Tony Conniff (Phoebe Snow), Michael Visceglia (Suzanne Vega), Doug Yowell (Joe Jackson, Suzanne Vega, Duncan Sheik), Rob Friedman (hit songwriter, producer, Dan Zanes, Bang On A Can All-Stars and some of Pittsburgh’s finest players.
Produced by Robin with Christopher Mark Jones
Recorded in Pittsburgh and State College, PA, and New York, NY.
Rob Friedman produced tracks #8 and 12, Frank Rendo produced track #7