Andy Robinson

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1968-70)

- Andy Robinson -- vocals, guitar


  supporting musicians (1968)

- Dennis Budimir -- guitar

- Samuel Boghossian -- viola

- Artie Butler -- keyboards 

- Al Casey -- guitar

- David Cohen -- guitar

-  Gary Coleman -- percussion

- Gene Estes -- percussion 

- Jesse Ehrlich -- cello

- Victor Feldman -- percussion

- Jim Gordon -- drums

- Carol Kaye -- bass

- Lincoln Mayorga -- harpsichord, keyboards

- Wilbert Nuttycombe -- violin

- Earl Palmer -- drums

- Sid Sharp -- violin 

- Ken Watson -- percussion









Genre: folk

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Patterns of Reality

Company: Philips

Catalog: PHS 600 289

Country/State: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+; minor wear on top edge

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $25.00


There's obscure and then there's obscure.  The best biographical info I could find on singer/guitarist Andy Robinson came from a 1968 newspaper article talking about an upcoming Adirondack Community College:


"Originally from Philadelphia, he began singing and composing while still a student at the University of Colorado in Boulder.  It was in small clubs in and around Boulder that he first started singing professionally appearing with people like Judy Collins, Odettta, Eric Andersen and others.  Their encouragement led Andy to New York City where he met Janis Ian, who was impressed enough to introdcte him to her manager.  He was signed to a contract and Janis Ian produced his first album "Patterns of Reality" on the Philips label.  A series of college tours in he East and Midwest followed appearences in clubs including the Main Point in Philadelphia, the Cellar Door in Washington, The Bijou Cafe in Philadelphia amd the Salt in Newport Rhode Island."


Produced by Janis Ian, 1968's "Patterns of Reality" was recorded at Tom Hidley and Amnon "Ami" Hadani's Hollywood T.T.G. Studios.  Featuring ten Robinson originals, knowing nothing about the artist, my expectations for the album fell clearly in the whiney, hippy folk singer category.  Yeah, those were pretty low expectations.  While there was a certain amount of that musical niche to be found in these grooves ('Ballad Of A Summer Girl' and 'Time For Decision'), the album was actually quite a surprise.  Robinson had a nice, energetic and crystal clear voice.  Most of his material managed to avoid the patented woe-is-me subject matter mined by his folk singer contemporaries.  Sure, 'The Exhibition' and the title track were thick with sentiment, but remember this was the last-'60s.  Even better, in her role as producer, Ian brought in the cream of Hollywood's "Wrecking Crew" including guitarist Al Casey, bassist Carol Kaye, drummer Jim Gordon and percussionist Victor Feldman.  Their work gave tracks like the opener 'Absolutely the End', 'The Provide' and particularly the should-have-been-a-single 'To Tell You the Truth' a surprisingly rock feel.  I won't go as far as try to make the case this was a classic album, but when compared to most of his folk-singer competition, it was pretty impressive.  Unfortunately for Robinson, Philips didn't do a great deal to promote the album, leaving him to return to the club and college circuit. He also made several appearances at the Philadelphia folk festival.  




There's an equally obscure second album - 1970's "Break Out of the City" Janus catalog number JLS 3013) and a series of three singles.


By the way, several references indicate he went into films, including roles in the movies "Dirty Harry" and "Scorpio."  I'm pretty sure that's a different Andy Robinson.    





"Patterns of Reality" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Absolutely The End (Andy Robinson)  - 3:44   rating: **** stars

I didn't feel the need to put 'Absolutely the End' on repeat, but the combination of Robinson's crystal clear voice, a nice melody and the full band backing arrangement gave the opener a much tougher rock feel than I would have expected.  Love Carol Kaye's bass on this one.  Quite a nice surprise.

2.) Ballad Of A Summer Girl (Andy Robinson) - 3:37   rating: *** stars

'Ballad Of A Summer Girl' was a more conventional singer/songwriter performance, but showcasing Robinson's nice acoustic guitar coupled with a pretty melody and backing from  the "Wrecking Crew" kicked the performance up a notch. 

3.) The Exhibition (Andy Robinson) - 2:34    rating: *** stars

'The Exhibition ' was another good example of how producer Janis Ian and the "Wrecking Crew" "powered up" a singer/songwriter track into a surprisingly energetic rocker.

4.) Time For Decision (Andy Robinson) - 3:37   rating: ** stars

Complete with strings, the folky ballad 'Time For Decision' was a more along the lines of what I was initially expecting from Robinson.  Admittedly pretty, but cloying to my ears.

5.) Provider (Andy Robinson)  - 3:30   rating: **** stars

To my ears 'Provider' was the album's most upbeat and conventional rock song.  No idea how they came across the song (although Philadelphia was their home base), but Hall & Oates covered the tune on their 1976 album "Past Times Behind."


(side 2)
To Tell You The Truth (Andy Robinson) - 2:55    rating: **** stars

Spotlighting Kaye's pounding bass and Al Casey's skitterish guitar, 'To Tell You The Truth' was my favorite performance.  A straight-ahead rocker, it is hard to imagine Philips didn't release this one as a single.

2.) Are You Sleeping? (Andy Robinson) - 4:26    rating: *** stars

Darn, wish I could play bass like Carol Kaye ...  'Are You Sleeping?' added a jazz vibe to the mix.  Love the electric guitar on this one, but I'm not sure if it's Dennis Budimir, All Casey, or David Cohen.  Docked a star for the scat singing section.

3.) Nothing Could Be Better (Andy Robinson) - 2:20    rating: *** stars

Pretty, but forgettable  folk ballad that reminds me a bit of Al Stewart.

4.) Maiden Voyage (Andy Robinson) - 4:19    rating: **** stars

'Maiden Voyage' was another upbeat tune where Robinson abandoned any effort to sound like a folk singer. The song displayed what a nice voice Robinson had, though the keyboard solos stole this one.  Not sure if it was Artie Butler, or Lincoln Mayorga ...  Extra star for the keyboards.

5.) Patterns Of Reality (Andy Robinson) - 5:15  rating: ** stars

The heavily orchestrated title track offered up a piece of hyper sensitive singer/songwriter material.  It'll certainly appeal to fans of the genre, but it was a miss for me.