Robbie Greig (songwriter, guitarist, vocalist) cut his musical teeth in the Melbourne coffeehouse scene in the ’70s, performing his originals at such venues as The Outpost Inn, One C One and The Troubadour. In the ’80s he hit the pub circuit with his own brand of rock-reggae, fronting the bands Spiritz and Paleface. In the ’90s he developed a unique acoustic-based rock sound, and with his band The Sanctuary continued to make an impact at music festivals around Australia. In the Naughties, Robbie fronted a jazz-roots combo called The Wayfarers which featured prominent Melbourne musicians Howard Cairns (bass), Dene Ford (guitar) and Michael Jordan (drums). These days, Robbie is performing in a trio with violin wizard Matthew Arnold and talented percussionist/singer David Johnston. The repertoire continues to be all-original. Robbie’s tenth album, Gravity, has just been released.
Robbie is known as a gifted songwriter who is able to mine a deep vein of musical influences and life experiences to deliver finely-crafted songs with immediate appeal. His songs are characterized by catchy riff-driven grooves, strong melodies, smart lyrics and choruses that listeners enjoy singing along to. Incorporating rock, blues, jazz, reggae and troubadour-folk elements, and ranging widely from love themes to wry humour to social commentary to songs of personal reflection, Robbie’s material is varied but presented in a style that is distinctly his own.
Robbie’s work has been recognized by the Australia Council, the Australian Songwriters Association, Eltham Arts Council, Leader Newspapers and 3RRR, which have all awarded him grants and prizes. His song Al Saunders’ Garage has been an ABC Radio staple, and his Wurundjeri Sorry Song played frequently on 3CR and Koori stations around Victoria.
Robbie has collaborated with Andy Baylor, Joe Camilleri, David Gulpilil, Bobby Bunungur, Kavisha Mazzella, Kutcha Edwards, Melanie Shanahan, Enda Kenny, Jeff Burstin and Hugh McDonald, amongst others, and has had his compositions used in films, theatre and dance productions. He has recorded 10 albums of original material, ranging from folk to reggae to jazz-rock, and featured on several compilation CDs. Robbie’s music combines the storytelling style of the troubadour with infectious roots and jazz-based stylings. His material is consistently rich in lyric and groove and served up by some of Melbourne’s finest jazz/blues exponents. He has been described as a ‘maker of music, maker of magic’ by the Melbourne Times, and as ‘the Bob Dylan of the Melbourne Hills’ by 3RRR presenter Rick E Vengeance.