Music - Hometown CDs

Andy Robinson - Exotic America
By Mary Montgomery
Published January 6, 2005  - San Diego Reader.com

The album's artwork depicts Robinson posing among the carved stone creatures that live in the rocks behind Desert View Tower near Jacumba, and the idea for the title Exotic America originated in a quote from Andy Warhol about how Americans are probably the most exotic people on earth. So it doesn't surprise that Andy Robinson plays acoustic and electric dulcimers, synthesizer, hand drums, cowbell, and finger cymbals.

From the lighthearted gleefulness in "The Bridges Are Burning" to the more somber experience of "After the Fires" (specifically the wildfires of 2003), the music is fresh, not formulaic.

Robinson's melodies are lilting and sad. "Conversations" is a minimalist track with grainy, acoustic underpinnings. "Children's Games" features Robinson on keyboard hammering out a psychedelic melody that fuses with folk instrumentation. In "Nameless Parade," standard bass, drums, and percussion are softened by a flute, while the fluttering sound produced by the kalimba in "Penguin" creates an aural perplexity. The folk-rock songs that follow are versatile, solidifying a soundtrack to accompany moments of listener introspection. The care and attention given to every cut allows each song to stand strong, making the whole an extraordinary collection.

(To hear a sample of Exotic America, call 619-233-9797, wait for the prompt, then punch in ext. 4840)