Monday, December 17, 2007

Robert Robinson

When: 12/16/07
Where: The Dakota
Who: Robert Robinson (voice), Lee Blaske (piano), Holly Collinson (voice), ?? (electric bass), Dan Collinson (drums); backup singers Annette Hardy, Sandy Hodges, Jeanne Lee, Valerie Robinson

Robert Robinson spent 15 years touring with Lorie Line, and his show at the Dakota was a holiday show. Two reasons for me not to go, but I've heard about Robinson for years without ever hearing him sing, so we went. When I saw Debbie Duncan in the house, I knew everything would be all right. If you must hear holiday music, it might as well be the kind that makes your hair stand up.

Around these parts, where he's a beloved institution, Robinson is called the "Pavarotti of gospel," and the label fits. He has a big, beautiful voice and he knows how to use it. The playlist was standard Christmas fare, but some songs left room for gospel-tinged improvisation, and there Robinson and his singers stretched out. Singer Holly Collinson, wife of Wooddale mega-church Worship Arts Pastor (and Robinson's drummer for the evening) Dan Collison, brought her soprano to the stage for several tunes including "The Prayer," a hit for Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. It was all very professional, very smooth, and very held together by Lee Blaske's piano.

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