Janet Robin is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist from Los Angeles, California.
Robin grew up in North Hollywoodwhere she and her older brother Steve began taking acoustic folk guitar lessons at Valley Arts Guitar. When Steve wanted to begin playing electric guitar, the Robins were referred to a North Hollywood music school owned by Delores Rhoads called Musonia School of Music. At Musonia, Robin took electric guitar lessons as the youngest and only female guitar student of Delores's son, Randy Rhoads. At the time, Rhoads was performing in a local L.A. band called Quiet Riot. Robin would go to their shows with her family at the now defunct Starwood Club in West Hollywood and Palomino Club in North Hollywood. She has said that this exposure had a large influence on her desire to play guitar. Robin continued taking lessons from Rhoads until he joined Ozzy Osbourne's band as lead guitarist.
Robin began performing professionally at the age of 16 in the mid-80's playing guitar in the all-female hard rock band Precious Metal. The band performed several local shows at venues such as FM Station, Club Lingerie, Whisky a Go Go and The Roxygaining a strong LA following. This exposure brought Precious Metal to the attention of influential KROQ radio disc jockey Rodney Bingenheimer who played their music on his local radio program. Russ Regan, head of Polygram Records, heard Precious Metal on KROQ and signed the band soon afterwards, releasing their debut record Right Here, Right Now in 1985 on Mercury Records. After leaving Polygram, the band was picked up by Capitol Records subsidiary label Chameleon who released their final two albums That Kind of Girl in 1988 and Precious Metal in 1990. While in Precious Metal, Robin wrote songs with members of Heart, Poison and Cheap Trick.
Robin also pursued an acting career at this time with her first role being that of a female guitarist in the TV movie Best of Times starring Nicolas Cage and Crispin Glover. As Precious Metal gained more success, she chose to give up acting and concentrate solely on her music career.
Lindsey Buckingham & Touring
After Precious Metal broke up, Robin started a duo with Precious Metal lead singer Leslie Knauer called Sugar Shack while also picking up session gigs. In 1992, she became a full-time member of Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham's band, touring extensively behind his solo album Out of the Cradle. Robin's first gig with Buckingham was a live performance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno one week after she joined the band. Robin performed with Buckingham until 1994 touring as both a headline act and in support of Tina Turner.
In addition to performing with Buckingham, Robin also appeared as a guitarist for several artists including Meredith Brooks, Michelle Shocked, Alice Peacock and Sarah Bettens. From 2008-2009 she was a touring member of Air Supply.
After several years touring with Buckingham, Robin embarked on a solo career. Influenced by Ani DiFranco putting out records on her own label, Robin began recording and releasing albums on her own imprint, Little Sister Records. In 1998, she recorded and released her first album Open the Door which was produced by Mark Karan of Bob Weir & RatDog. After growing a strong local following in Los Angeles, Robin joined Ann & Nancy Wilsonof Heart for an acoustic performance which led to a write up in music industry trade publication Radio & Records and earned her industry attention. She continued to record and release her own material expanding her touring up the West Coast and eventually to the East Coast.
In 2007, Robin began working with producers David Bianco and Steve Baughman on an E.P. entitled Days of Summer. Through Baughman she met Czech band November 2 on MySpace and travelled to the Czech Republic to tour with them. This led to subsequent European tours with Robin expanding her touring and fan base to Germany, France and the U.K. She has performed in Europe in support of several artists including Tommy Emmanuel, Midge Ure and Lenka Filipová.
In 2009, Robin met up with producer John Carter Cash to record her album Everything Has Changed. Robin raised $16,000 in fan donations to record the album. Everything Has Changed was released in 2010 by German record label Hypertension Music who she was introduced to by Colin Hay. Robin released the album in the U.S. on Little Sister Records in 2012.
Endorsements and Guitars
Robin is endorsed by the following companies:
Seymour Duncan Pickups
Fender Music Instruments
Gold Tone Instruments
Daisy Rock Guitars
Alfred Music Publishing
In 2008, Robin was put in touch with guitar luthier RickTurner whom she first met while performing with Lindsey Buckingham. They discussed building a new type of hybrid acoustic-electric guitar that eventually became the Turner-Renaissance Deuce. The guitar features two separate outputs, a D-Tar Piezo pickup for the acoustic sound and a custom designed Seymour Duncan Stag Mag pickup for the electric sound.