Reviews and Press for Robin Greenstein
"It's been a pleasure introducing radio audiences to Robin and her songs. Songs with the power to entertain, enthrall, educate and to heal; a musician who mixes everything from blues to old-time banjo into a thoroughly contemporary mix." Dave Palmater, WUMB-FM, Boston"She plays guitar like a man but sings like a woman!" Street Singer, Copenhagen
Reviews for , Robin's debut CD...
"SLOW BURN sets a new standard for self-produced projects... with outstanding songs...this is what everyone else will want their album to sound like." Fast Folk Musical Magazine
"I don't know why a bigger label hasn't picked her up by now." Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange (FAME) website
"Slow Burn is an exceptional record, one any artist would be proud to have as their second or third release. The fact that it's Greenstein's debut makes it even more special." Dirty Linen
"I haven't heard anything so exciting and right-on since Carole King and Joni Mitchell cranked out mega albums in the early 1970's." Mark Horn,The Mining Co. web site 1998
"Melodic and lyrical - it'll light a fire for you" Mandolin Bros.' Vintage News Newsletter
"She reminds me of Carly Simon; her voice is strong and earthy and definitely pleasing to the ear...a strong second outing....all in all, "Acousticness" is a hit - the music is tight and the lyrics are good. This is the type of CD that makes me want to find her first release and give it a listen." Audrey Clark, Rambles Online Cultural Arts Magazine
"Robin Greenstein's second CD ACOUSTICNESS matches her smart, witty songwriting with some first-rate studio players for a full, radio-friendly sound. Her fluid vocals work both on the contemporary style songs and the couple of blues-influenced numbers on which she's backed by Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's band. Greenstein's banjo work on her version of Bob Dylan's "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" and the touching acoustic track "Sacred Song" offer up nice contrasts. A nice all-around effort combining good singing, songwriting and arrangements." Dirty Linen April/May 2001"Robin's two CDs show the diversity and range of her musical linfluences which blend folk, rock, pop. blues and country elements, all based around her acoustic guitar and her banjo. Greenstein voice can be smoothly seductive or whispery soft, capping off her style perfectly. She has certainly set a high standard for self produced projects, Both CDs feature tasteful production by top NY session musicians." The Sounding Board (The Official Newsletter of the Martin Guitar Company), Vol. 10, January 2001 "I've subscribed to the folkmusic digest for a long time, but just now found a really good reason to delurk. A friend in Houston hosted a house concert about a year ago featuring Robin. After a lot of procrastination, I finally took his advice and visited Robin's MP3.com page and listened to all the songs there. I was thinking that these songs sound a lot like Carly Simon or Carole King, and the lyrics are just as good or better than anything from those great singer/songwriters. How could someone produce two albums full of songs this good- living and performing in New York- and not be picked up by a major label? I visited her site and ordered copies of both of her CDs. The title song on her first album- 'Slow Burn'- is my favorite, but I like 'em all. You can hear her banjo on her cover of Dylan's 'You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome'. With a little luck, maybe we will soon be able to buy an album of Robin doing traditional material."
"LOVED IT! It's the most refreshing CD I've heard in a very long time. Great
tunes, lyrics and style."
Bob Singer, Singer House Concerts, Tamarac, FL
"We are big supporters of independent music and the people who make it.
Here are a few of our hidden gems: Robin Greenstein's 'Acousticness'. From down
and dirty to sultry soul with respectful nods at folk, rock and jazz, when you
pop this in your (CD) player you'll find yourself toe-tapping and finger-snapping
Bros. Vintage News Newsletter, April-May 2004
"A great CD, I was super-impressed and listened many times. In my top 200!"
Derek Sivers, President and CEO, CDBaby.com
"Robin, who has worked with banjo legend Hedy West, goes, on this album, back two hundred (give or take) years to the Appalachian tradition, when tunes like The House Carpenter and Gypsy Davy were the means by which proletarian mores were stratified. Some tunes were collected by the Lomaxes, others from the Child Ballad collection. A "you cannot possibly go wrong" CD - all the guitars used on the recording are Martins - a 1975 000-28, a 1998 SP00C16R and a 2000 D-42." Mandolin Bros. Vintage News Newsletter April-May 2004
hearing this recording, I had only known Robin Greenstein as a singer-songwriter.
It turns out she once studied with the great Hedy West and, as she reveals on
this set, she is, herself, a very impressive interpreter of traditional folk
With the exception of West's "Cotton Mill Girls", all of the songs here are traditional, all are performed in traditionally-oriented styles, and all are primarily about women. The women in many of these songs are tragic figures. There's the regretful wife who wishes she were a single girl again, the suicidal lovers in "Katie Dear" - a variant of "Silver Dagger" - the battered, murdered woman in "The Wind and Rain" and the young mother who deserts her baby and husband, the house carpenter, to run away with a seaman, only to drown when his ship sinks. There's also the rich man's wife who deserts her husband to run off with Blackjack Davy and the wife of the farmer who was too much trouble for the Devil himself.
Among my favorite tracks are a bluesy version of "I Know You Rider" that's reminiscent of Hot Tuna's arrangement and a lovely version of the lonesome lament "Dink's Song (Fare Thee Well)." Greenstein complements her comfortable-sounding vocals with some fine guitar and banjo playing. She also sparingly uses a synthesizer for added texture and receives some tasteful support from Barry Wiesenfeld on bass Richard Sleigh on harmonica and fiddler Charlie Rury. As she implies in the album title, she's planning to release a second volume of traditional songs in the future. I'm eagerly awaiting it."
Mike Regenstreif for SING OUT Magazine
reprinted with permission of the reviewer
wonderfully arranged and performed traditional music is your thing, then Robin
Greenstein's exquisite recording "Images Of Women Vol.1" is just what
you're looking for. Robin's fine and lively vocal interpretation of classic
American folk songs combine with sparkling banjo, guitar, harmonica and bass
to create an exciting piece of musical history. I could listen to this CD over
and over again! Smooth and relaxing - and a whole lot of fun to boot!"
Live! From the Living Room Acoustic Showcase
Host, Old Front Porch Radio Show - WXOU-FM Auburn Hills. MI
Vice President Paint Creek Folklore Society
"Images of Women, Vol. 2 is one of the best straight-ahead folk albums weve heard in years. It is a collection of unpretentious traditional story songs, except for two more recently written ones by Christine Lavin and Peggy Seeger. It is well performed, nicely arranged and beautifully recorded. Robin has a great voice, shes easy to listen to and on pitch at all times. If we had to pick a favorite, we are especially enamored of the fingerstyle backup guitar accompaniment and harmonies in The Cruel War. Very James Taylor-esque arrangement, Robin! In this recording Ms. Greenstein juxtaposes stories about love, achievement, cruelty and revenge in a most appealing and memorable way. This albums a keeper." Stan Jay, Owner, Mandolin Bros. May 2010
seven years later, Images of Women Vol. 2 has been released and its
another collection of mostly-traditional songs centred on women. But while
the songs are mostly from the traditional canon, Robin arranges them in a contemporary
vein with a respect for the tradition.
Rather than trying to sound authentic to the time and place of the songs origins, Robin makes them her own. She plays guitar, banjo and synths and gets able support from the likes of bassist Barry Wiesenfeld on bass, fiddler Dan Collins, Adam Carper on harmonica, Lisa McDivitt on recorder and harp, and percussionist Cheryl Prashker (who is one of the rare drummers who really understands how to play with folk-rooted acoustic musicians).
Some of my favourite tracks on Vol. 2 are The Whores Lament, a gritty variant of The Unfortunate Rake family of songs that I used to hear Hedy West sing, and thats very close to a variant called The Bad Girls Lament, that Rosalie Sorrels sings; Born in the Country, Judy Rodericks adaptation of Rabbit Browns James Alley Blues; Frankie and Johnny, a traditional blues-ballad about a scorned woman who kills her philandering lover; and the classic warning song, Come All You Fair and Tender Ladies, which features some nice harmonies from Janice Hubbard.
Along with the traditional material, Robin includes several composed songs including Woody Guthries Union Maid, which includes an added verse I didnt recognize about Sarah Ogan Gunning, the singer of traditional ballads and labour songs (who I met and worked with as a folk festival volunteer in the mid-1970s); Im Gonna Be an Engineer, Peggy Seegers feminist anthem; and Good Thing He Cant Read My Mind, Christine Lavins hilarious song sung by a woman who lets us know what she really thinks about some of the stuff shes doing or eating for the sake of love.
Something that I really like about albums like this is that theyre a reminder that folk music has a rich history and that todays contemporary artists are, as the Weavers sang, travelling in the footsteps of those who came before, and that its always a good time to go back and listen to the sources."
SING OUT review by Mike Regenstreif
Folk-rooted and folk-branched reviews, commentaries, radio playlists and suggestions from veteran music journalist and broadcaster Mike Regenstreif. http://frfb.blogspot.com