JRobin Whitley

Lifelong Musician

I was trained as a church musician in a classical tradition. My mom listed to rock, and the rhtym and blues My dad, Dolly Parton and elevator music. I oddly loved folk and classical. My sister loved pop and country. Needless to say, I credit my music loving family for my eclectic tastes in music. Now that I'm older and no longer able to play gigs, I sing at church and want to do more home recording. I have two music projects in the pipeline. One project is with lesbian musicians to do some blues and jazz standards. The other is a collection of hymn arrangements with local musicians.







What is music to you? What does it give you?

Music is in my blood. It gives me life in a different way than the needed solitude and silence. Music is vital to my happiness; it is a lifeforce. Solitude and silence are the resting times for more music to grow.

What is your music dream?

To keep playing until I'm gone.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Have conflict resolved with music, art, or dance instead of guns and war.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

Blue Moon. Mom taught it to us on an old player piano. Still one of my favorite songs.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Milk Carton Boys, Jana & the Lanterns, The Duhks, Psychograss, Keb Mo, Tuck & Patty. I love music so I could go on and one. BTW, found Jana & the Lanterns on Drooble.

What inspires you to make music?

Most everything inspires me to music.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

The message I want to send in all my endeavors is that we are more alike than we are different. You are not alone in your struggles and I am not alone in mine.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

When I perform, I am on another mystical plane.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

Musicians are always taken for granted and not given credit for the fact that music creation is work, not leisure. We need to be paid a living wage.

What do you think of Drooble?

It's my favorite music site now.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

Now that I am disabled, I am frustrated at fewer opportunities to perform. It's why I'm learning home recording studio skills. That too is frustrating. I really am a tactile person and prefer analog to digital tools.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

Yes. I promote local events as much as possible and attend when I am well enough.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

Who knows? There are times I want to say talent in music and lyric writing. However, there are groups that become famous that I think are awful. Determination and confidence may be the most important qualities.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

Jerry Crayton, H.K. Walls, David Brewin, Flo Wishnu and his blues band, William and Sarah Ritter, Alma Russ. We have a lot of great musicians in Western North Carolina. One of my all time favorites is blues guitarist Chris Cooper.