Robert Starling is one of the Carolina's premier singer/songwriters. With years of experience appearing at clubs, festivals, and college campuses, Starling's professionalism as a musician, singer/songwriter, and performer has become well known. Starling as a musician is, in the words of The Hilton Head News, "one of the finest guitarists in the business today." As a singer/songwriter, The Myrtle Beach Sun News describes his voice as "strong, rich, and unfaltering" and his songs as "just as good storytelling and better songwriting than Buffet." Now with a new presence on the world wide web, a new CD, and an ambitious tour schedule, Starling's music will reach more people this year than ever before.
Starling's musical roots can be traced back to his hometown of Garner, North Carolina, where, at an early age, he formed his first working band. "We used to play all the local teen dances as well as for the Civitans and the Woman's Club. We called ourselves the Collegiates because that sounded pretty cool when we were twelve".
His early exposure to making music continued through high school and college as Starling played lead guitar in an assortment of beach, show and rock bands. Robert also began performing solo, with only his acoustic guitar and harmonica, as a warm up for major shows at his Alma Mater, North Carolina State University. During his college years, through frequent appearances at the local hot spot, "The Frog And Nightgown," Starling taught himself to play the club's Steinway piano, expanding his musical palette. "While I was there I had the chance to headline as well as open for acts like Lilly Tomlin and Bette Midler. I enjoyed my time as the house musician at the Frog so much that I decided to make music my full time career then and there."
Upon graduation, Starling was invited to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to open the new Sheraton/Banana Boat Resort. His two week engagement was extended to three months. The three months was extended to a year and before he knew it, Starling was performing for appreciative audiences throughout the Coastal Carolina area.
Starling's reputation continued to grow with the release of his first recording, "Welcome To The Island." The title track was selected by CBS Sports as the theme for the Heritage Golf Classic at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The album's only instrumental, "Windy Hill," was selected as the theme for the PBS series Almanac.
After the success of the first recording, Starling was offered a contract with Dolphin Records, and he subsequently recorded the more electric "Don't Give Your Love Away." Although national distribution and promotion increased his popularity, the parent company, Record Bar, dissolved the label as part of a restructuring plan.
Acting as he had done with his first successful release, Starling produced his third album, "Hopeful Romantic", independently and released it on his own label "Calabash Records." The project, recorded both in Charlotte and Muscle Shoals, Alabama, includes a stellar group of session players as well as one of Starling's musical heroes, Mac McAnally. The recording blends his soft romantic style with spirited instrumentals showcasing Starling's range and versatility.
Robert Starling's latest CD release, "Artifacts", is a retrospective look at favorite songs from all of his previous recordings. For Starling fans everywhere, "Artifacts" is a long overdue tribute, and it will surely keep them smiling until his next release takes flight.