Hailed as a “Celtic guitar god” by Baltimore City Paper and “one of the best folk instrumentalists in the business” by Sing Out! Magazine, Robin Bullock is one of the preeminent acoustic music masters of our time. His virtuosity on guitar, cittern and mandolin blends the ancient melodies of the Celtic lands, their vigorous American descendants, and the masterworks of the Baroque and Renaissance eras into one powerful musical vision. The 17th-century harp tunes of legendary Irish bard Turlough O’Carolan, the spirited jigs and reels of rural Ireland, the haunting ballads of the southern Appalachians and the timeless compositions of Bach, Dowland and Francesco da Milano all find a musical common ground in Robin’s music, where lightning-fast fingerwork one moment is perfectly balanced with tender, quiet intimacy the next. A warm, friendly presence onstage, Robin effortlessly creates a magical world for the audience with his multi-instrumental wizardry, taking them on an unforgettable journey into the deep heart’s core and through the music of the spheres. — robinbullock.com
Originally rising to prominence as a founding member of the innovative acoustic world-music trio Helicon (winners of the Association for Independent Music’s prestigious INDIE Award for Best Seasonal Recording), Robin’s solo career has won him a ranking among DigitalDreamDoor.com’s “100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists,” a Player’s Choice Award from Acoustic Guitar Magazine in the Celtic guitar category, three Washington Area Music Association WAMMIE Awards(Traditional Folk Instrumentalist 1997 and 1999; Traditional Folk Recording of the Year 1998), a Governor’s Award from the Maryland State Arts Council and a feature broadcast on National Public Radio’s hugely popular Celtic music program “The Thistle and Shamrock.”
Robin maintains a busy international touring schedule, performing in a number of settings; though his primary focus is solo performance, he can also be heard in Celtic duos with guitarist Steve Baughman and Irish singer Aoife Clancy, as a member of the award-winning world-folk trio Helicon, as part of an Asheville-based John Denver tribute group, and most notably, as sideman with Grammy Award-winning folk icon Tom Paxton. Robin’s many years of touring with Tom have included collaborations with such luminaries as John McCutcheon, Grammy-winning songwriters Jon Vezner and Don Henry, and on their 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015 “Together at Last” tours, Tom’s fellow Grammy winner Janis Ian.
An experienced and articulate instructor, Robin is a regular faculty member at several of the U.S.’s leading acoustic music camps, including Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamps in Tennessee, Common Ground On The Hill in Maryland, the March Mandolin Festival in New Hampshire, and twenty-two consecutive years at the Swannanoa Gathering in North Carolina, where he was honored in 2016 with a Master Music Maker Award for lifetime achievement in musicianship and teaching. (Of the thousand-plus faculty members in the Gathering’s 27-year history, only 23 have received this award to date.)
The Cranberry Coffeehouse encourages musicians, vocalists, story-tellers, and dancers of all ages and skill levels to share their talents during the Middle Set. Middle set performances are each limited to five minutes.