James Robinson passed on his love of music and his gift of playing guitar to all three of his sons. Now Matthew, 22, is forging out on his own with his blue velvet lined guitar case under his arm. And a few songs in his head.
“Matt is heading out for the bright lights of Vancouver,” said James Robinson Monday at a practice gig at Artspace. “He wants to experience the music scene there. If you want to do music seriously, you often have to move away to a larger centre then you can move back.”
Father and son will be giving a concert May 13 at Artspace aptly called Passing It On.
James has recorded several CD’s and played for a wide variety of audiences. He did the “Big Smoke and Nashville thing” for three years before returning home to the folk music scene in Prince George. “I used to be a real weekend warrior. Now I just play for fun.”
And now it’s Matt’s turn.
“In the music business, there is so much competition and so many hurdles. I’m proud Matt’s going to give it a try. I always told my sons that you play music because you love it. Not because you want to get paid. If you do that, either way you’ll still be a winner.” All the Robinson boys are musicians.
“My son Christopher is playing in a band in Campbell River,” said James. “My son Mark is in Vancouver and plays in a band there. He just loves it.”
For the younger Robinson, going to Vancouver is the next logical step in building his musical career. “There are more outlets to play in Vancouver,” he said. “It’s a shame to have to say it but there’s not many venues to play here.”
Matt learned the basics from his musician dad, he said. But mostly he’s self taught with musical muses like Bruce Cockburn, James Taylor and Stevie Ray.
“I learned a lot by listening to the radio and playing the tunes.” Now the 22-year-old is writing his own tunes and recording his own album. “Sometimes I wake up at night with an idea. And it becomes a song.” That’s how Good Company, found its way into his debut album, he said.
Matt plans on joining creative forces with brother Mark. “We’ll be writing songs together and maybe we’ll end up starting our own band in Vancouver. It’s a bigger city with bigger gigs so that might happen. I’m not looking for fame and fortune. I just want to be able to make a living making music.”
In the meantime, father and son are preparing for their upcoming concert.
“We’ll be playing original tunes and covers of people we like. Gordon Lightfoot is one of those,” said James Robinson. The Passing It On concert plays Artspace on May 13. Tickets are available for $12 at Books and Company and at the door. Door opens at 7:30 p.m. show starts at 8 p.m.