Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow


- STAFF REPORT Compiled by Susan Pierce.

Australian Joe Robinson is already a worldclass virtuoso guitarist and singer-songwriter at age 26. He’s known for injecting a unique fusion of rock, blues, R&B and jazz into a sound that is entirely his own.

Displaying his virtuosity on electric as well as acoustic guitar, Robinson was voted Best New Talent in the Guitar Player Readers’ Poll and named one of Australian Guitar Magazine’s Top 50 Best Guitarists.

“Joe Robinson’s talent is overwhelmi­ng. Next to Tommy Emmanuel, Joe is the finest finger-picking guitar player out there to my knowledge. He’s so young to be so good,” says Mike Dougher, entertainm­ent coordinato­r of Songbirds Guitar Museum. Robinson will stop in Songbirds North on Wednesday, Jan. 22, for a show.

Robinson started playing guitar at age 9, and when he quickly outpaced his guitar instructor, began educating himself via the internet. By 11, he was a touring guitarist and at 13, he won the Australian National Songwritin­g Competitio­n.

Within a couple of years he was touring regularly and sharing stages with artists such as Tommy and Phil Emmanuel, both of whom served as mentors. When 16-yearold Robinson burned through a medley of “Day Tripper” and “Lady Madonna” in 2008 in the opening round of the nationally broadcast “Australia’s Got Talent” television series competitio­n, the entire house—including the judges—gave him a standing ovation. He went on to win $250,000 with his take on Tommy Emmanuel’s arrangemen­t of “Classical Gas.”

Robinson’s talents were further recognized by Guitar Player magazine as part of a cover story entitled “Youthquake 2017: Ten Mind-Blowing Young Guitarists.” In the article, Guitar Player observes Robinson is “equally mind-blowing as an acoustic fingerpick­er and electric soloist … his YouTube videos display an astounding combinatio­n of taste, speed, cagey phrasing, and a clear, articulate and sparkling tone.”


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