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Monday, October 31, 2011

Gregg Robins’ ‘Heroes’


In Support of America's 'Heroes', Singer-Songwriter Gregg Robins Joins With HonorVet to Raise Funds For U.S. Military Returning Home

"Helping our Heroes at Home" Initiative Will Donate All Proceeds From Robins' Song 'Heroes' to HonorVet

Robins' Plain-Spoken, Emotive Rock, with Unexpected Instrumentation, is Highlighted on Debut CD, Out October 25th; Early Raves Compare Robins to Cat Stevens, Praise the Music as Having "A Particular Resonance"

Singer-songwriter Gregg Robins will use the song 'Heroes' from his 10/25 debut CD 'Everything That Matters' to raise funds for American military returning home from the battlefield. Robins has partnered with HonorVet for his "Helping our Heroes at Home" initiative, in which 100% of the proceeds from sales/downloads of the song 'Heroes' will be donated to HonorVet. Robins comments: "Building community and empowering our veterans by giving them the tools they need to re­integrate back home - this is what's special for me about the HonorVet approach. We honor ourselves by honoring those who have so bravely served our country as we help them to feel at home once again."

The 'Heroes' song is available for purchase here: http://greggrobins.com/heroes/. There is a $2 minimum per download, but the hope is that supporters will be inclined to donate more than the minimum purchase price. All proceeds will be donated to HonorVet, a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Members of the HonorVet community will be able to download the song at no charge.

Jesse Canella, C.E.O. of HonorVet, commented: 
"It has been such a pleasure to get to know Gregg. He truly is passionate about giving back and supporting the military community and his song 'Heroes' makes that very clear. We are grateful for his support not only to our organization but also to the entire community of those who have and continue to serve our great nation."

Early reviews have praised Robins' CD as evoking the music of Cat Stevens, and of having "a particular resonance." The Record-Journal commented, "Robins' song "Heroes" tells the story of soldiers returning home. He does it masterfully and with such heart and passion, which is hard to capture in song."

The song was written on the eve of Robins' visit to the Landstuhl Medical facility in Germany. He recently discussed the track in an expansive podcast interview, and a transcript of the discussion re 'Heroes' follows:  "Heroes is written for our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The intention with this track is to raise funds specifically for them. In 2009, I was about to go to a place called Landstuhl, a medical facility in Germany where injured soldiers on their way back to America from Iraq and Afghanistan stop for medical treatment. Some of them are very, very sick. Some of them have lost limbs. I thought that maybe the soldiers there would appreciate some music, so I offered to bring a guitar and an amp and play for them. And the response back was that they would love that. So, I decided I should write something specifically for them, but that was very difficult, because I didn't know how exactly to relate. I've never served in the military, though I do have many friends who have served. I asked myself, what could I say, not coming from the perspective of having understood or understanding what they do? What essentially came to me was that they should be honored because whether we think the wars are just, right, unjust -whatever we think about the wars, certainly we should honor the soldiers who go there, who were sent there, and who try to defend our freedoms."

SOMETHING ELSE REVIEWS
SOMETHING ELSE!



Gregg Robins' debut album, and this is quite a feat, speaks to the idea of loss — loss of family, loss of country — without ever descending into a shivery gloaming. A Bronx transplant living in Russia, he was separated not just from his home but also from his children after suffering through a broken marriage, and that space between Robins and everything he so desperately loves couldn't, at times, be any wider on the appropriately titled Everything That Matters.

Yet, the album's intriguing instrumentation, and Robins' dogged determination to find purchase in this new and uncertain world, keeps the project aloft. For all that he seems to have lost at first, there is something gained for Robins through the telling — and, through sheer force of will, it seems, things begin to turn for him.

Like most singer-songwriter projects, this is, on its face, an autobiographical, deeply personal journey. But, along the way, Everything That Matters transforms into something more universal, beginning with the way Robins transforms the album's base of stark acoustic instrumentation — so reflective of the hard truths associated with divorce — with these richly expressive local textures. At times, you hear something in his soloing approaching klezmer; at others, there's an angular Eastern European feel to the strings, as well. By the time this trip is concluded, Robins has done much to reconcile things. There is a touching, ex-pat sentiment to tracks like "Morning In America" and "Heroes," but at the same time Robins slips into a unmannered, folksy Russian dialect for the tune "Pages of My Life." He moves from a desolate loneliness in his family life ("Sounds of the Day," "So Many Ways" and, in particular, the shattering "Memories & Yesterdays") toward the hill-topping vistas of "Just What I Needed" and the title track — songs that provide a detailed roadmap as Robins rediscovers love and ultimately reconnects with his long-lost daughters. There arrives this particular resonance. For all of its specificity, Everything That Matters ends up dealing with some very universal things, delving into meaningful thoughts on loss and on what's important. Just as particularly, Robins has crafted an album with a musical underpinning that keeps providing these small bursts of sunlight and surprise. Taken together, they make this one of the most uncommon of delights — an exploration amongst very familiar landmarks that somehow feels brand new.

Everything That Matters, a crisp, spacious sounding set scheduled to be issued Oct. 25, was mixed by Yvan Bing, who has worked with Phil Collins. The record was mastered by Greg Calbi, who did similar work for Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run and Paul Simon's Graceland. David Hadzis was producer, along with Robins.

THE RECORD-JOURNAL
By Jim Pasmski, 1 0/20/11


d-review-gregg-robins-gives-us.html

CD Review: Gregg Robins Gives Us "Everything That  Matters"

Classical trained musician, Gregg Robins is releasing his debut album "Everything That Matters" on October 25. Robins started out as a classical clarinetist, he then moved on to alto saxophone. His passion now lies in American folk music, which is showcased on his new album as he tells of his journey of human emotions and experiences.

The gentleness of his sound is noticed right from the beginning with the opening song "Sounds Of The Day." His song-writing style draws similarities to Cat Stevens, where each artist would only use the minimal instrumentation to convey the song's meaning. Robins' song "Heroes" tells the story of soldiers returning home. 

He does it masterfully and with such heart and passion, which is hard to capture in song. Robins' songwriting rarely strays from the mellow acoustic background that only enhances his vocals on the songs "Pages Of My Life" and "If I Could Be There." Robins' does plug-in for a couple songs, the up-tempo rocker "Walk Away" and the patriotic "Morning In America." But, his strength lies in his folk-style storytelling as in "Just What I Needed" and "Angel."

More about HonorVet.org:
HonorVet.org is a non-partisan, registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization devoted to giving back to the men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving our country. HonorVet.org provides transitional, psychological, spiritual, educational, and career support using an interactive-community to serve veterans, service members and their families in a safe and trusted environment. Learn more about HonorVet, the 'next generation community for veterans,' here: http://honorvet.org/.



More about Gregg Robins and his upcoming debut CD:


With plain-spoken, emotive lyrics and unexpected instrumentation, singer-songwriter Gregg Robins crafts a heartfelt debut CD dedicated to his three daughters. Robins, a Bronx transplant living in Russia, builds engaging songs that are direct and conversational in tone, many driven by the pain of a broken marriage, the estrangement from and ultimate reconciliation with his daughters, and the hope of finding new love. On the October 25th release 'Everything That Matters', Robins' understated delivery is often juxtaposed by lush instrumentation, ranging from strings to klezmer-infused solos to songs that suggest a Native American rhythmic undertone, and more. Visit www.greggrobins.com for audio samples and additional information. Listen to Robins discussing the evolution of the CD, via this expansive podcast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDgWTc58Rjc.

There's an emotional integrity to the music that is reflective of the subject matter, as Robins suggests in his song notes, below. Highlights include the rich and winning track 'If I Could Be There,' the ironically titled 'Angel', and a Russian-language version of the song 'Pages of My

Life'. There is also a pair of tracks, 'Morning in America' and 'Heroes', which convey Robins' patriotism from abroad. 'Morning in America' focuses on the 2008 presidential election, and 'Heroes' shines a light on our men and women in the military.

The Production Team for the album includes:
David Hadzis of Arthanor is the Producer, with Gregg Robins as co-Producer. Since the mid-80's, Hadzis has been involved in the production of over one hundred record releases in Europe, the U.S., Canada and Australia. Yvan Bing of Kitchen Studio is the Mixing Engineer. He studied audio engineering at Berklee Music College in New York and was the main engineer at Dinemec Studios in Geneva. He has worked with Phil Collins, including on his last album. Greg Calbi of Sterling Sound is the Mastering Engineer. He has mastered at the highest level for decades, including Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" and Paul Simon's "Graceland."

For more information about Gregg Robins, to set an interview, or for a review copy of his debut CD, contact sethcohenpr@earthlink.net

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