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Nell Robinson

On the Brooklyn Road

(Red Level; US: 28 Jun 2011)

There’s something satisfying about an artist who starts her career farther down life’s corridor than the 20-somethings who most often dot the pop/folk music landscape. Nell Robinson is a Bay Area artist who recently threw her hat in the ring at the age of 50 years old.  This is a woman with nothing to prove, but much to be thankful for; On the Brooklyn Road is a solid contribution to the folk/Americana landscape. It’s ripe with nostalgia but laced in modern sensibility.  Her pure vocal tones do not possess the world weary grit of some of her contemporaries, but in Robinson’s, that is a good thing.

The Northerner-glossed perspective of Southern ancestry may border on being too happy, and could exude more grit, but Robinson’s loving remembrance is refreshing. Her music is a pleasant release that doesn’t assault the listener, but invites them in instead.  Sincere production and compelling storytelling stand out on tracks like “Mayflies” and “Wahatchee”. These attributes have made her a welcome guest on “A Prairie Home Companion” and are sure to make her a favorite on the folk festival circuit.  On the Brooklyn Road may be too nostalgic for some, but even a cursory glance at the CD liner notes reveal that Nell understands that music is part of life’s fabric, and not simply a thing to be consumed.


Philip Majorins is a church musician who lives in Northern California with his talented wife and four children.

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