by Dan Schram
It was difficult not transforming into a complete fanboy when Chip Robinson came to perform several songs a few days ago. It was election night, after all. But midway through the first song, perhaps sadly, I no longer cared who won.
After seeing and hearing the fire coming from Robinson as he performed a familiar "Angelita>Bells>Angelita" medley, I was day dreaming what it was like to see the Backsliders in the mid to late '90s. I was underage and a few dozen miles west, but I'd like to think I could have gotten into The Brewery or Local 506 somehow. Alas, I'm left to continue day-dreaming while reading one article after another describing those days where Robinson and the Backsliders were both kings and pioneers of an alt-country scene that seemed as magical as it was wild.
These days, Robinson can be found at a pickup gig here and there without much consistency. In late September, an interesting development came about for the too-young fanboys of the Backsliders: Robinson and Steve Howell reunited for the first time in more than 10 years for a benefit show at Slim's. Oh the agony, hearing about it after the fact. But all is not lost: On Dec. 15, the Robinson-Howell quartet being billed as The Backsliders will be taking the stage at the Pour House presumably with Jac Cain running sound. I will be knocking on the door excessively early.
Hooting and clapping in this video provided by Dan McGee of the Spider Bags who, turns out, is also a huge Chip Robinson fan. I shudder to think there are people who are not.
The purpose of the Indy Week's Simple Music Video Series is to capture local and touring musicians who we feel are producing something special. The hope is to capture something very simple in order to mirror the experience of viewing a performance as if you were in a small crowd watching a quiet set. We hope for content of the music to be the primary focus of the series, not multiple camera angles meant to keep the viewer guessing and entertained.
Most bands featured in the series will be a sample of the deep pool of talent in the Triangle, while others will represent some of our touring favorites.