ROBERT FORTUNE BAND
Rock music, in its purest form, is what the Robert Fortune Band is all about. They boil it all down to basics – guitar, bass and drums – and generate something fresh and compelling that immediately connects with an audience. Robert’s drive, passion and intensity belies his age. He has the chops of a seasoned veteran and, upon first hearing, one could logically conclude that he’s been at it all his life. The fact is that Robert, at 17, has developed into a player, writer and vocalist and group leader with skills and instincts that many twice, or even three times, his age could only envy. Yes, his youth certainly makes for a point of conversational departure but his undeniable ability, his special gift, reflected in the music is what is certain to transform him from a curiosity into a phenomenon. Geffen Records’ Suretone imprint has signed the Robert Fortune Band to a long-term contract, the initial result of which is a four song (all originals) preview EP released last fall. The record along with a heavy ongoing touring schedule gives context to the music that is on the verge of breaking through on a grand scale. The band has worked dates with The Radiators, Cowboy Mouth, and ZZ Top. “We were used to playing for a hundred people, sometimes even fewer,” Robert recounts. “We played a bar in Corpus Christi one week to, maybe, 30 people; we came back to town just a few weeks later to open for ZZ and there were 12,000 people in the audience.” Robert has one word to describe the experience of getting his music across to so many at once: “Awesome.” Robert was born in Memphis but moved to New Orleans with his family while still quite young. At an early age, he was taken under the ax-slinging wing of ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. Billy befriended the kid and, ultimately, inspired him to take up the guitar. Today, Robert is acknowledged as the bearded guitar god’s protégé which explains the ZZ connection. Billy was a catalyst but Robert is self-taught and only picked up the instrument when he was housebound as the result of an accident suffered when he was all of 12 years old. The RFB rhythm section is composed of two New Orleanians: drummer Travis Pavur, New Orleans and Nick Theobald on bass. Together with Robert, they recall some of the great power trios – Jimi Hendrix Experience, Blue Cheer, Cream, and, of course ZZ Top – that have come before. Robert and the band's music, however, are far from retro as it reflects their decidedly youthful point of view that, while still developing, is anything but immature. While certainly influenced musical forefathers including Led Zeppelin, Freddie King, Howlin’ Wolf, Bo Diddley as well as the aforementioned three man archetypes, the band’s music is very much their own, yet firmly rooted in the fundament of rock. Says Robert succinctly about his forebears, “We’re getting inspiration from them, putting it all in the blender with new ideas and pouring out our own stuff. We’re gonna keep rock and roll alive.” This is the beginning for the Robert Fortune Band, the inception of what promises to become a 21st Century rock ‘n’ roll legend.
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