Australian guitarist Joe Robinson has been here three times and each show keeps getting bigger and better! He was here Friday for an epic show that had the crowd going wild - especially when Joe came off the stage and played electric guitar in the crowd. Bill Phelps wrote this short review and took some cool pictures. Check out his blog at myoldshoebox.com.
Joe Robinson and his band mates delivered an amazing show at Jammin Java on Friday evening. It was evident from the first few notes coming off his guitar that Joe is already (he is only 22) an accomplished talent able to deliver incredible music.
After deciding to see him based on nothing more than a suggestion on Twitter, I now own two Joe Robinson albums, Let Me Introduce You and Toe Jam (EP). The recordings are good, but nothing like the live performance.
Joe's vocals are good, but very understated. The live show acknowledged this, and his guitar and his excellent bandmates were front and center. His recordings contain a lot more singing, and in my view do not show him at his best. Without having seen a live show, I would not be gushing to all my friends what a talent he is.
The contrast that keeps hitting me is Gary Clark Jr. Joe Robinson may be a better guitar player than Gary. He is that good. But he does not have a song like Bright Lights (and he has not played with Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger).
It feels to me like Joe or someone advising him is trying to fit his recorded music into a "pop" mold, while his guitar playing screams rock & roll. I am listening to Hurricane from Let Me Introduce You right now, and it sounds like very well crafted jazzy pop. Very pleasant, but it sells Joe's talent short, or at least it compromises his popular appeal.
I think Joe should get some advice from Gary Clark Jr on personal image management. Gary has done a great job in this regard, and has established a well deserved reputation as "the next big thing" .
Honestly, part of me wants Joe to remain undiscovered so I can see him again in an intimate setting like JamminJava in Vienna, Virginia where Joe can walk off the stage into the crowd and pose with his fan girls. However he deserves to be selling out the 930 Club in DC.