Feeling the blues


The way Tad Robinson looks at playing music, he never wants to perform somewhere just once.

In the past decade, he and his band have played in 23 countries, including traveling all over the United States and Canada and often playing in Europe.

They currently average about 175 shows a year, performing at festivals, nightclubs and concert series.

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]

On Thursday, he will make his second appearance at Seymour CityJam, and it’s the second of four free shows in the fourth annual summer concert series.

His last time at CityJam was 2013. At that time, he had performed in Columbus, and CityJam officials heard about him and thought it would be good to have an act that does blues, soul and Americana roots music.

“You kind of get that good feeling to be asked back,” Robinson said. “It’s nice for people because you’ve made friends, and you want to come back and continue the conversations with audiences.”

Robinson recalled the day of his last show in Seymour was hot and humid, but people still came out to hear him and his band.

“We found that it was a really receptive audience, and people were really open to hearing what we did,” he said. “I saw some friends I know and made some new friends and played for some folks that I happen to know from that area. It’s always good to come back and meet new people and bring new people into hearing blues and soul, which is what we love to play.”

Thursday’s show goes from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on a stage on East Second Street between Indianapolis Avenue and North Ewing Street. Food will be available for purchase starting at 5:30 p.m.

Along with Robinson on lead vocals and harmonica, he will have Paul Holdman on guitar and vocals, Kevin Anker on keyboards and Jeff Chapin on drums.

Robinson said attendees can expect an “energetic blend of blues, soul and Americana roots music.”

“You want to present your little flavor of music so that people get an idea of who you are as a person and as an artist,” he said. “Most of the things we do are things I write. We’re not a cover band. We do our own original music. Our music keeps evolving. There are new songs that are added to our repertoire every time, and we’re writing, and we’re uncovering soul music that we love to present.”

Born and raised in New York, Robinson played music throughout high school. He said he has been playing harmonica “since I was knee-high to a grasshopper.”

“I grew up on the streets of New York City and always had a harmonica in my pocket. I’ve played since I was a little kid,” he said. “The harmonica has been the key that has enabled me to travel and be kind of an ambassador of Americana roots music in other parts of the world.”

Robinson said he formed his first blues band while attending music school at Indiana University in Bloomington.

He lived in Chicago for a decade and has resided in Greencastle for 20 years.

Currently in his 35th year as a professional musician, Robinson has been a recording artist with Severn Records since 2005. “Day Into Night,” released in April 2015, was Robinson’s fourth record with the Annapolis, Maryland-based record label and sixth overall.

Robinson has been nominated for eight Blues Music Awards since 2005, including Soul Blues Album of the Year in 2016 and Blues Blast Music Award in 2015.

“I think blues and soul are two of the great gifts that American musicians have given to the world,” he said.

“Most musicians — if they are coming from rock, if they are coming from hip-hop, if they are coming from country styles — they owe a debt to the pioneers of blues music because that’s where a lot of American music evolved from,” he said. “Even if musicians don’t know it, the music they are playing is rooted in some way, shape or form in the blues tradition.”

Robinson said he’s trying to extend that tradition.

“The type of blues that I play is a distant cousin to the really original blues musicians, but we acknowledge those roots, and we are a branch on the tree, and we continue to extend the tradition,” he said.

The other CityJam concert dates are Aug. 18 with The Woomblies, a rock orchestra, and Sept. 15 with Rumors, a Fleetwood Mac tribute band.

CityJam raises money through sponsors and donations for Southern Indiana Center for the Arts in Seymour. Sponsors this year include The Tribune, JCB and Seymour Crossing.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”If you go” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

What: Seymour CityJam featuring Tad Robinson

When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: East Second Street between Indianapolis Avenue and North Ewing Street in downtown Seymour (rain site is Knights of Columbus, 118 E. Second St.)

Cost: The show is free, but food will be available for purchase starting at 5:30 p.m.

Other concert dates: Aug. 18 with The Woomblies, a rock orchestra, and Sept. 15 with Rumors, a Fleetwood Mac tribute band


No posts to display