local music scene south carolina
I have been putting these showcases together for over three years now and I always try to write a lead in for each one, something personal based on my impressions of each artist and band. Often times it’s easy and I can’t type fast enough to keep up with the words falling out of my head but there are times when it can be a bit more difficult due to circumstances, due to privacy, or simply due to my own ignorance of the history involved. But it’s that same history that drives me forward to do this, I’m afraid so much great music will be lost, so many beautifully crafted recordings will just disappear from the bargain bins and the memories of our lives. Robins Cradle was so very unique in the music they crafted. It goes without saying the infusion of flute into a pop/rock format is not only a tremendous gamble no matter what time line but, structurally it takes vision and real talent. Listening to the body of work they put out I am struck by the awesome force and power Robin Brooks Parker is vocally. Obviously she is one of the best female singers to come out of the Midlands hands down and I enjoyed listening to her delivery on every cut, simply awesome. The guitar parts are well constructed and carefully thought out to fit each segment of the song. Well balanced they know right when to step out front and just when to fall back into the backbeat. Lance Williams was a solid, confident guitarist that understood the art of layering parts in a way that enhanced the song and melody taking it to the next level. Robins Cradle had a short burn but the body of work they produced is well worth holding on to.
Bio (Portions from Garnet & Black article by Marcus Amaker):
Robins Cradle formed in 1994 when founding members Lance Williams and Robin Brooks were involved in separate local bands. As a member of Rear Window, Lance attended a show for some of his fellow band mates who were playing in a side project of Hootie and the Blowfish guitarist Mark Bryan. At that time, Robin was in the acoustic based group She Says. The two first encountered when She Says was the opening act for Bryan’s group, called Mark Bryan and the Sensational Wingnuts. Robin’s talent impressed Lance. “I was watching She Says perform and her voice stood out,” he said.
With the help of coincidence and fate, Lance was able to contact Robin through a mutual friend and the rest was history. A year after they first met, the two began to combine her songwriting with his guitar work to form the songs that would later appear on Stone Flutedge.
They were able to quickly record a six song demo tape titled Lately. After the release of that tape the underground press began to catch on. Critics applauded the power behind Brooks’ vocals and marveled at her infusion of the flute in most of the bands songs. Robins Cradle were also helped by a “Battle of the Bands” competition in Savannah, GA, in which they were awarded Best Vocals, and voted Runner-Up in a judging of sixty tapes. It soon became apparent that the group was a unique outfit – their sound was easily distinguishable when compared to the no-thrills rock offered by other bands in the area.
As the band began playing live regularly their stage presence and musicianship improved exponentially and by the time it came to record again the new material put down to tape reflected a much higher level of songwriting and composition ability. The result of their hard work and passion was titled Stone Flutedge, released in 1995 to local and regional critical acclaim. A self-produced eleven song project presenting stories of anger, betrayal, and love. Songs like “If U Ever Will” and “But I Don’t Have U” work their way into the listener’s head and never let go. Honest lyrics and groove-driven melodies fueled every song on the disc. Brooks strong belief was that, as she put it, “singing is an instrument itself” and this belief carried over into songs like “Cry As I Might” and “Dangerous Game.” Still, others like “Crazy” were all out rock songs, and “Write Me A Letter” and “Lately” were beautiful ballads.
Over their short career the band went through numerous personnel changes but Lance Williams and Robin Brooks Parker were always at the core of the band and the music that was created.
1995 – Lately (six song cassette demo)
1995 – Stone Flutedge (eleven song CD)
1997 – No Apostrophe (six song independent cassette release)