James Robinson – New Beginnings

“The 12th of 13 children, Silicon Valley raised virtuoso James Robinson was blessed to have the guitarisma in his DNA, with six of his eight brothers playing guitar and offering him a wide array of inspirations and access to top instructors from an early age. Legendary three-time Grammy winning hard rock/metal maestro Steve Vai once gushed of Robinson’s multi-faceted talents for Latin, World, Jazz, Flamenco, Middle Eastern, Rock, “He’s phenomenal,” and he should know. Vai signed him to his Favoured Nations Acoustic label for the release of Colours in 2005.

Over 15 years later, Robinson quite literally marks New Beginnings with his deeply intricate yet infectiously melodic, playfully grooving and accessible debut for Innervision, The generous 14 track set (which includes three unique, rhythmically shifting three-movement tracks, “Cascal,” “New Beginnings” and “Bronze”) is a flamenco fans’ romantic dreamscape, full of speedy runs, easy loping mid-tempo tender mercies, spirited strumming, snappy percussive fire and – saving perhaps the most intricate expression for last on “Sophia” – gently lilting balladry.

Vai said of New Beginnings, “He is sounding just phenomenal on this record and his chops, tone, not choice, phrasing are all quite stellar.” But don’t take Steve and Larry’s word for it – experience these transcendent New Beginnings for yourself!”

Jonathan Widran

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