Bob Rafkin has come into his own as a premier singer, songwriter and guitar finger stylist. He has won awards for his work, writing timeless music, instrumentally and lyrically, as evidenced on his seven Lake Ridge Records recordings.
"Down This Road", released in 1994, was lauded by DIRTY LINEN, "He's an exceptional guitarist, has a smooth, pleasing voice, and his years spent in the studio show in the simple, yet effective arrangements." Since then, Rafkin has released seven other CDs, "Out Of Jericho", "The Circus Is In Town", “One Man Band”, Songs Of Bob Rafkin and three guitar instrumental CD’s, “Velvet Hand”, “Six String Christmas” and his latest “Eclectic Treehouse”. Two of Bob’s instrumental albums have been featured on The Weather Channel.
Bob's career in music has had many twists and turns which have brought him full circle.
Born in New York City, Bob grew up in Washington D.C., Cleveland and Philadelphia. Rafkin's musical journey actually began when he headed for Greenwich Village in the mid-sixties where he joined forces with David Blue to form the campy folk-rock group, The American Patrol.
In the Village, Bob met folksingers Phil Ochs and Eric Andersen, and Eric Jacobsen, producer for the Lovin' Spoonful, Tim Hardin and Sopwith Camel. He played guitar on and contributed musical arrangements to Eric Andersen's 1966 album, "More Hits From Tin Can Alley," on Vanguard Records.
In 1967, Eric Jacobsen moved to San Francisco to start Sweet Reliable Productions. Bob also relocated there to work as a producer, musical arranger and session guitarist. Old friends David Blue and Phil Ochs moved to Los Angeles, where Bob eventually settled after breaking with Jacobsen in 1968. He played on and produced David Blue's 1972 Asylum LP, "Stories," and played on two LP's by Phil Ochs, including the legendary live album, "Gunfight At Carnegie Hall." Jobs were plentiful as Bob worked along side producers Henry Lewy, Larry Marks and Lenny Waronker.
He played on sessions for Gene Vincent, The Everly Brothers, Randy Newman and Arlo Guthrie, and was hired to rework Joni Mitchell's1972 song, "Blonde In The Bleachers," for a single release.
Bob's songwriting career took flight in the early seventies with his song "Lazy Waters," covered by the Byrd's on their LP, "Farther Along." He wrote the score for a PBS documentary, furnished the off-camera recording for actor Greg Evigan (B.J. McKay on the NBC TV program "B.J. and the Bear") and his song, "Ain't Gonna Rain No More" was featured on the soundtrack to the feature film "Spree".
Bob's first-rate guitar playing was in demand for Tim Buckley's "Sefronia" album and Augie Meyer's 1973 Polydor LP "Western Head Music Company." He collaborated on a country song with rock and roll legend, Johnny Tillotson.
After the untimely passing of David Blue, Phil Ochs and Tim Buckley in the mid-seventies, Rafkin took time off from the studio scene to redirect his life and establish his own woodworking business, allowing his creative desires an outlet without the immense pressures of the recording industry.
In 1991, Bob relocated to central Florida where he currently lives with his wife and daughter. So began the current phase in his rich musical life. All seven of his CD’s were composed and recorded since his 1991 move. In 1994, Bob was a winner in the Florida Guitar Finger Picking Championship and the South Florida Festival Songwriters Competition. Besides his private guitar teaching and clinics, Bob has performed all over Florida, in Nashville at the Bluebird Cafe and at the Bethlehem Musikfest in Pennsylvania. He opened for Willie Nelson in 1997 and 1999. In 2002 and 2003, Bob toured the United Kingdom with country music artist, Annie Sims. Since then, Bob has returned to the U K each year, performing solo.