Baby Let’s Take The Long Way Home
Released April 21st 2017
on Whippoorwill Arts (Burnside Distribution)
“Nell Robinson, Jim Nunally, and their collaborators have conspired to make some great musical memories here. 9 out of 10 stars!” — Skope Magazine
“Some of the best players working in the genre over the last four decades, if you love roots music like it should be played, you’ll love what Nell Robinson & Jim Nunally Band do.”— Vents Magazine
With its seamless blend of original material and classic country gems, Baby Let’s Take the LongWay Home marks the beginning of a new journey for The Nell Robinson & Jim Nunally Band.
Along the way, there have been exhilarating moments such as performing on a Grammy-winning album and a PBS special, as well as major career and life changes. Ultimately their long and winding road led to love, as the musical chemistry of these two Bay Area musicians blossomed into a new romance.
As a young girl, Robinson spent countless hours in her bedroom writing poetry and stories. Like Nunally, she has deep roots in the rural South. Her ancestors come from Alabama, but she grew up in an Air Force family that relocated often. She sang in school and church choirs and learned to play a number of instruments, from piccolo to xylophone, depending on what was needed in the school band.
Nunally’s grandfather, a sharecrop farmer who moved the family from Arkansas to California during the Dust Bowl, played guitar using the finger-picking style. Nunally absorbed that style, as well as the flatpicking techniques he was shown by his father. The sparse sounds of The Everly Brothers’ 1958 landmark album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us left a strong impression on him, particularly with the spare guitar arrangements, incredible harmonies and the ability to tell a story simply.
Some of those scattered scraps along with his melodies were matched to Robinson’s engaging poetry to compose numerous tunes on Baby Let’s Take the Long Way Home. For example, the title track was inspired by trading Interstate 5 for a more scenic route on the way home from Los Angeles.
The story of the Nell Robinson & Jim Nunally Band begins in 2009. With an undergraduate degree from the University of California in Berkeley and graduate school at the Kennedy School at Harvard, Robinson established herself as a non-profit executive, including a time as Chief Philanthropic Officer at Mother Jones magazine.
American Songwriter praised the latter album by noting, “Rife with metaphors and similes comparing life and love to all things in nature, I can’t think of another record like this one, ever. The beauty, sorrow and complexity of life are explored in a simple and straightforward way by two people singing harmony with one guitar, hearkening back to the days when the Carter family first came out of the hills of Virginia.”
“We have something magic,” Robinson says. “Musically, everybody’s super-talented and versatile, really creative and open-minded. When someone brings new ideas, we’re like, ‘Sure, let’s try it!’ There are no big egos involved. Also, they’re really great people. We like each other and there’s no faking that when you hear and see the chemistry at shows!”
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