At age14 Robbie was playing guitar professionally at community centers, church halls and schools. He began writing music at 15. Barely out of his teens, Robbie secured a coveted house gig performing at legendary Oil Can Harry’s in Vancouver. During his tenure he was able to rub shoulders with some of the world’s greatest musicians including Bill Evans, Charles Mingus, Horace Silver and Gary Burton. At the “Oil Can” he met another young guitar player, Pat Metheny (who later garnered 17 Grammies). On Pat’s suggestion, Robbie attended Berklee College to study composition, but preferred performing and self-study over traditional schooling.
When Robbie later migrated toward pop music, his long-time teacher and mentor, guitar icon, Joe Pass, encouraged him to develop his songwriting. Through his manager, Norman Granz – a key figure in the history of American Music – Joe facilitated a deal with Norman’s label, Pablo Records, for Robbie’s first album (recorded at the renowned Mushroom Studios during its heyday of the 80’s).
Robbie continued his writing, with songs published by Warner/Chappell, Almo Irving (A&M) and BMG (Arista). After writing songs intended for other artists, Robbie is now writing for his own unique voice and has emerged as a singer/songwriter. His current compositions in the Acoustic Alt-Pop genre bring us the independent release, “Robbie Burns Returns”.