Robbin Thompson released his first album, “Robbin Thompson,” in 1976 on the Atlantis label “Nemperer” and it featured the contributions of Steve Cropper, one of the world’s greatest soul guitarists,Timothy B. Schmit from the Eagles and Melissa Manchester. This album was followed by a collaborative album with Steve Bassett that first featured their hit, “Sweet Virginia Breeze.” After his third album, “Two B’s, Please” was released in 1980, Thompson says his band “basically toured for 5 yrs playing everywhere in the southeast and a few concerts in other places like NYC, Chicago, most everywhere east of the Mississippi.”
Over the years, Thompson has developed a more relaxed style of performing. ” I definitely prefer “listening” venues over the bar type venues. In fact…I don’t play the “bars” venues anymore at all. When performing solo, i feel it important to sometimes explain why a song was written and also just to interject some of the stories that relate to the stuff I write. You can’t do that in a venue where the music is secondary.”
He has continued to write and record while serving as Vice-President and co-founder of “In Your Ear Music and Recording Corporation” which specializes in composing and producing music for commercials and films. Along with sailing in the Chesapeake Bay, Thompson has been very active in an international aid organization led by his friend Marielle Sander Lindstrom. He traveled to Cambodia to help with a campaign sponsored by The Asia Foundation to combat human trafficking. Thompson spent several inspiring weeks traveling in Cambodia, getting to know the people while recording their voices and traditional instruments as a tract for the campaign that was rolled out in early 2008. According to Thompson, “The Asia Foundation song I wrote and produced was a very successful ad campaign that helped the fight against trafficking in humans in S.E. Asia.”
Future projects for Thompson include new music. He says “I’m slowly working on a cd now. Some possible cuts written by Steve Bassett and me may be included.” A reunion with his band is scheduled for December as well as a solo tour of Scandinavia in 2010. He remains loyal to his Virginia roots, residing and working in Richmond and continuing to write songs about living in the Old Dominion. His advice for young musicians growing up in Virginia and dreaming about a career in the industry? “If you’re going to leave the place that made you, believed in you, and inspired you to pursue fame and fortune, I would suggest to do it early. I just found Virginia to be the place for me. I’ve been all over the world playing music. Coming back home is the best. Most take for granted their backyard.”
Robbin Thompson plays in Richardson Auditorium in Rooker Hall Thursday October 8th at 1:30pm as part of a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts.