Rob Drabkin is a native of Denver, CO. His Mom had him take piano lessons at 5. That only lasted for a few months. At 11, Rob got lucky and scored an electric guitar from his parents. He and his older sister would sneak Metallica and Guns N’ Roses cassettes into the house. They loved listening to this forbidden music and Rob learned all of the guitar parts on both cassettes note for note. Soon after, Rob found himself playing Rhythm Guitar in Jazz Band in middle school. Learning a tune like “Giant Steps” by John Coltrane was a lot different than playing Heavy Metal anthems “Welcome to The Jungle” and “Enter Sandman.” Rob loved what he was hearing though and stuck with it. Now he says, “I started to really love Jazz and especially playing with a horn section.”
For being relatively new to the music scene, Rob has assembled a truly impressive roster of musicians including: Jazz virtuoso Bijoux Barbosa on Bass (played and recorded with Herbie Mann and Dave Grusin) Brian McRae, (played and toured with The Bodeans and The Freddy Jones Band) Eric Moon on keyboards (toured with Bjork and recorded with Victor Wooten) and Mackenzie Roberts, who played Viola with Rob before achieving huge success with The Flobots. Mackenzie also introduced Rob to The Denver Children’s Home where he volunteers his time twice a month to help abused and troubled teens learn to write songs. Rob explains, “The kids here love hip hop and rap and can freestyle really well. I’m constantly impressed by how they take the chaos they’ve endured and turn it into a way to express themselves.” Working with the kids has also made Rob appreciate his own family that much more. He talks about working with his father on one of the tracks on “On These Heavy Feet.” “Lullaby” is an instrumental collaboration that my Dad and I did. It really highlights his Sax playing. Being able to play some live shows with my Dad is incredible. The way he plays and his tone are simply unforgettable. There is a certain quality that just sings through his horn and not many sax players have that.”
Rob has achieved some big wins in his career so far. He was voted Colorado’s Best Singer/Songwriter by Westword Magazine 2008- 2010. He gathered enough votes to earn his turn on stage at The Mile High Music Festival with artists like The Fray, Widespread Panic, Tool, and Ben Harper. He played a Sold Out show at The Fox Theater opening for The John Butler Trio. Hes done short tours with Carbon Leaf and Tea Leaf Green and a national tour with Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam. Rob recalls how Davy invited him to join the tour. Davy said, “Rob, why don’t you save yourself the gas money and just come on the bus with us for the month?” We traveled the country, played some incredible places like Higher Ground and The Bowery Ballroom. It was a phenomenal experience and I cant wait to get on the road again.”
Rob also got a huge kick playing at Film on Red Rocks at the legendary Red Rocks amphitheater. He laughs, “Not a lot of people get to play their own music at Red Rocks Amphitheatre and we got to play to a sold out crowd before they showed The Big Lebowski which was nothing short of a dream come true. It was really cool because I grew up in Colorado and got to see so many of my favorite musicians play there.”
“I’m having a great time making music and I just want to inspire others to go after what will truly make them happy. That’s why I grew my hair a bit crazy. I just wanted to let loose, get expressive, create some nice grooves and get people to move.”
Rob came through Faultline to record with Starita on his way back from playing the House of Blues in San Diego and Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco. Everybody had a blast laying down acoustic tracks while spitting banter about. Rob is a truly talented artist and we are happy to have him in the Faultline Family! Be sure to check out his website for music and tour dates.