photo credit: Bill Goodman
The Robby Roberson Quartet
The Robby Roberson Quartet features Robby Roberson on guitars, mandolin, banjo, harmonica and vocals; Eddie Garnero on electric and standup basses and vocals; Michael Mulryan on violin; and Jim Banister on percussion and vocals. The Quartet’s songs are stories of fact, fiction, joy, and sorrow; all set against a backdrop of the various acoustic stringed and percussive instruments. The group feels that the instruments are not only a means of accompaniment, but are equal performers. Along side their various styles of instrumentation are Robby’s lyrics and vocals that create an organic, Americana music style that is rich in dynamic rhythms and grooves. The Quartet is from the Tempe/Phoenix area and perform regularly at venues, benefits, and festivals around Arizona.
guitars, mandolin, banjo, harmonic, and vocal
Robby started playing guitar in the mid-sixties after hearing the Beatles sing “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Being influenced strongly by the music of John Lennon, Stephen Stills, Ry Cooder, and Bill Frisell, Robby brings a taste of edgy Americana roots to the Quartet through his finger picking styles, rhythmic and dynamic grooves, experimental acoustic sounds, and story telling. He has found his musical niche in playing the reluctant front man in the Quartet.
acoustic and electric bass and background vocals
With a diverse background of funk, jazz, pop, and eclectic original music bands, Eddie brings an element of pulse to the Quartet that’s sometimes traditional, sometimes melodic, and sometimes a fusion of funky rhythms that organically support the Quartet’s roots music based stories. His positive energy, and creative vision for music on and off stage serve as focal points for the Quartet’s message. On both fretted and fretless basses, his parts synch with drummer Jim’s panoply of percussive expressions to co-create a compelling fabric and arrangements to support the Quartet.
acoustic and electric violin
As a classically trained violinist, Michael’s accurate ability to articulate melodies with lush feeling support the modern roots sound of the Quartet in uniquely disciplined way. The juxtaposition of his soft and at times explosive expressions aid in moving the Quartet’s music to a broad and diverse range of dynamic and rhythmic intensities on stage and in the studio that are rarely matched. Whether Michael is using his acoustic or experimenting with electrified wah-wah/delay violin motifs, his contributions deliver both an organic, earthy richness and expansive experience to the Quartet’s music statements.
percussion and background vocals
Jim’s impeccable sense of timing and his diverse taste of percussive instruments and sound effects serve as a dynamic glue for the intricate arrangements and, at times, Seussian sound that the Quartet develops. With a music degree from Arizona State University in orchestra percussion his level of musicianship and understanding of musical theory and harmonic patterns provide a diverse pallet of training and experience that he brings to the group. Least of which is Jim’s melodiously rich falsetto vocal that he uses with skill and precision, in combination with Eddie, which contribute to strong harmonizing background vocals. With a youthful innocence and curiosity, Jim is truly a kindred spirit to the Quartet.