Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, Robbie is a seasoned, professional singer, songwriter, acoustic guitarist and cover artist. Both of his parents were singers and their home was always filled with music. They had a record collection that included the great standards of singers like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Johnny Mathis and Vic Damone. When the record player wasn't on the local radio station was spinning the songs of The Four Seasons, The Beach Boys and Motown. This exposure to so many types of music at an early age gave Robbie an appreciation and love for all of the artists and their songs that are now staples in his performances. But that was just the beginning.
When Robbie was 13 years of age, his father came home one day with an acoustic guitar and a Mel Bay instruction book. In just three weeks he was playing proficiently enough to write his first song, "I Don't Wanna". That's when he discovered he could sing. Within that same month, Robbie heard "I Want To Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles. That's when a light came on and he knew he wanted to be a musician.
Throughout his teen years, Robbie performed for friends and family and with several local bands.
His musical ability further developed when he heard and began to emulate the finger style guitar playing of James Taylor and the smooth tenor voice of Glen Campbell. As as songwriter he was influenced greatly by James Taylor, Jimmy Webb and the team of Bert Bacharach and Hal David. He began to write more melodically, with interesting chord changes and a strong emphasis on lyrics. Blending those styles and influences, Robbie found his own voice and musical expression. That said, as a cover artist he is kind of a vocal chameleon in that he can shift from standards, to country, to pop and to R&B with ease.
With all of this talent, Robbie was very introverted and didn't have the confidence to pursue music professionally. All that changed in his Senior year of high school. That year he was invited to join the Englewood chorus under the direction of Ray Veckruise (Mr. Vee). That is also where he met his wife, Martha, also a singer and pianist. Mr. Vee took Robbie and Martha under his wing and not only used them regularly in school productions, but booked them for numerous events all over Jacksonville.
The culmination of Mr. Vee's influence and encouragement resulted in Robbie winning first place in the Englewood talent show with an original song, and Robbie and Martha receiving the superlative of Most Talented. The performance experience they got that year literally set the "stage" for the rest of their lives. This humble, loving and talented man was a true mentor not only in music, but in life. Mr. Vee and The Trices remained close friends until he passed at 101... but not before they performed at his 100th birthday party.
Following high school, Robbie (and Martha) entered collage as music majors and were selected to join the prestigious FJC Chorale. Robbie's best friend , Ernie Frierson (who he also met at Englewood) entered the FJC talent show with a duet and won first place in the category.
Robbie then met two fellow students at FJC who were also singer/songwriters and soon formed a band with several other musicians called Kinfolk. They played coffee houses and churches all over Jacksonville and soon began to garner a local following. After getting married in November of 1972, Robbie and Martha went on the road full time with Kinfolk.
At that time Robbie wrote a song called Alpha & Omega that became very popular and synonymous with the band. A few years after the group disbanded, Alpha & Omega was recorded by The Gaither Vocal Band. It has appeared on 13 Gaither projects (some of which are gold and platinum recordings), has over 14 million views on YouTube, remains one of their most popular songs and is considered to be a gospel classic.
It would take a book to share all of Robbie's musical journey, and perhaps one day he will write one. Suffice to say, music has been his life, his love and his career for over 55 years and he is still going strong. He wakes up every morning looking forward to the next opportunity to play and sing the songs that have become the soundtrack of all of our lives.
Where Robbie Performs
He performs regularly at Private Parties, Corporate and Fund Raising Events, Restaurants, Retirement, Independent and Assisted Living Communities, Memory Care, Weddings and Memorials. He also works for Body & Soul, a non-profit that provides musicians and artists to hospital and rehab patients for music therapy. Check out the Client Page under "About" for a list of former and present clients.
What Robbie Does
Robbie is a solo musician who combines live acoustic guitar and vocals with great sounding, custom backing tracks, creating a full-band sound without the volume issues. He performs all the classics from the decades in practically every genre that are instantly recognizable and loved by everyone. He sings everything from standards to country to R&B and pop with ease and authenticity because, like you, they are all a part of the soundtrack of his life.
What To Expect
When Robbie performs at your event, your guests will be able to comfortably carry on a conversation while hearing their favorite songs in the background. He is self sufficient, with a Bose sound system that sounds rich and full at low volume, but can easily handle a room of 500.
Robbie is friendly and easy to work with. When you hire Robbie, you are guaranteed a stress-free experience and the highest level of quality and professionalism.
Current Accolades and Reviews
Robbie was voted 5th Place for Best Musicians in Folio’s Best of Jacksonville 2019.
Robbie is a Top Performer on GigSalad with a 5 Star rating and a number of verified reviews.