Robinella still soars

Jake MabeHalls

Full circle this Robin has flown, from working part-time at the old Roy’s Record Shop in Maryville as she began performing professionally almost 20 years ago, to singing at the Blount County Barley’s, located in the same spot.

Robin Ella Bailey, professionally known as Robinella, is content to be a wife, mother and abstract visual artist these days, living on a working farm in Blount County with husband Webster and sons Cash and Beau.

But the first Sunday night of the month she sings, and, oh, how sweet the sound.

Last Sunday’s show was super – an acoustic set with guitarist Barry “Po” Hannah, then a rousing romp with her full band and special guest guitarist/singer Devan Jones, a Kingston native now making the music scene in Americana-rich Austin, Texas, with his band The Uptown Stomp.

Some of the old songs made the set list – “Down the Mountain” and “Mourning Dove” – but she sang several selections from Willie Nelson’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” album, including the title track, “Who’s Sorry Now?” and “I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You).”

“I always try to throw you off a little,” she said,” just in case you come every month.”

And she’s got a to-be-released demo EP, “Get Down South,” spotlighting a sound she calls “country soul,” adding to the unique quality of that ethereal voice that can’t be labeled into one genre. Will it be released? Hard to say. Robin likes to throw change-ups.

Hannah and Jones took turns pickin’ lead guitar solos, mixing the former’s chicken-pickin’ and Spanish guitar style with the latter’s 12-bar blues. Jones, who played last Friday night at the Knoxville Museum of Art, showed up Sunday night with the rest of the band after a private gig on a riverboat. He has an EP, which can be found along with song samples and some other stuff, at Keep your eye out for this cat. He’s good.

Like Robin herself, the monthly show is casual and comfortable, laid-back, easy like Sunday morning (or, I guess, Sunday evening in this case). You’ll find this special songbird there at 7 p.m. on the given night, back where she used to be, soaring into the stratosphere while killing you softly with her song.

Visit for more info. Barley’s Maryville is located at 128 West Broadway.

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