Livin’ the dream

Ashley Thompson
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Former Falmouth resident travelling the world with guitar in hand

Ridge Fest 2 is bringing musician Jamie Robinson back to familiar territory Saturday.(Submitted photo)

Jamie Robinson has travelled the world as a freelance musician performing with famous acts for more than 10 years, but this weekend he'll be taking the stage in a place his melodic skills have yet to take him - his hometown.

Long before Robinson became a sought after substitute guitarist — who has loaned his talents to such esteemed performers as Jimmy Rankin, The Rankin Family, Rita MacNeil, Bruce Guthro, Lennie Gallant, Deric Ruttan and Cutting Crew - the Falmouth native was a pre-teen playing sold out shows in front of his bedroom mirror, practicing looking cool while rocking out on stage.

The Dartmouth resident is looking forward to returning to Hants County Aug. 6, to share the stage with Jimmy Rankin for Ridge Fest 2 in Windsor.

"Hopefully I'll meet up with a few familiar faces," said Robinson, in a phone interview.

"I've lost touch with a lot of people... that I went to high school with and that I grew up with."

Robinson tours with Jimmy Rankin regularly, but he says connecting with an energetic audience, one that knows he's playing a hit just a few chords into a song, never gets old.

"I get a thrill every time I play a hit... and people are going absolutely bizarre."

Robinson, a writer and producer who works out of Nashville three or four times a year in between gigs, says the highlights of his career have been never-ending, even in a tough industry that is known for demanding schedules and ample time on the road.

“I get a thrill every time I play a hit… and people are going absolutely bizarre.” Musician Jamie Robinson

"It's got to be a thrill every night," Robinson said.

The 41-year-old says one of the most memorable experiences he has had in his career to date happened when he was playing Flying on Your Own, a song he knew well and heard often on the radio, with Rita MacNeil.

"Standing on stage, and watching her sing it, and watching the audience react... it kind of makes you emotional. It's like, ‘Here I am, I'm not playing a cover of this song, I'm playing it with the artist.'"

Robinson says he gets a similar rush when audiences are elated to hear Jimmy Rankin's You Feel the Same Way Too or Cutting Crew's Died In Your Arms Tonight.

"It's (all about) those moments where you're connecting with other people," he said.

"It's what keeps me doing it."

As a successful freelance musician from a small town in Nova Scotia, Robinson says hard work and a reputation as a reliable guitarist capable of learning new material fast helps him get gigs he once only dreamed of landing.

"You meet people, you do good work and then you get recommended."

But, Robinson, who studied music in university, does have one preference when he is offered work.

"I only play good music."

Organizations: Jimmy Rankin for Ridge Fest 2

Geographic location: Falmouth, Dartmouth, Hants County Windsor Nashville Nova Scotia

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  • Bob Gollan
    January 29, 2012 - 14:51

    I am originally from Windsor (Three Mile Plains) and still have lots of Family living in Hants County and the beautiful Annopolis Velley. I currently live in Wynndel, BC in the Creston Valley. I was last home in 2001 and find that even though I love where I live - "there is no place like home!" I adore the Rankin Family for a lot of reasons not just the beautiful tunes & harmonies! I think a bigger reason is that their music has kept me in touch with home. I have found that as I get older I seem to yearn for home (memories of youth) more & more. For our group Peanut Butter & Jam to be able to sing so many of their songs with the beautiful harmonies that my band mates (Julie Groot & Deb Mehrer) have is such a thrill. I met The Rankins the other night at the Concert in Cranbrook at their "meet & greet" after the Concert. In the very short conversation in getting their autographs I told Cookie that I was from Windsor, NS and she told me that their back-up guitarist Jamie Roinson was from my home town. I asked if our music group might meet with them & possibly Jamie in Trail BC 2 nights later as we would be attending their Concert there...they agreed!! I don't know Jamie but from listening to him in two concerts and being a guitarist myself I will tell you that he is an excellent guitarist and harmonizer and as I told him when we met at Trail - he has a wonderful"touch" on the guitar. . My thanks to Cookie...it`s always nice to meet a really nice hometown boy this far out West! And my thanks Jaimie Robinson for caring & taking the time to meet another home town boy in a place far away from home. I miss you Hants County!