Robert Palomo, Singer-songwriter EPK

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Long Bio

(Short Bio...)

Singer-songwriter Robert Palomo sometimes describes himself as "an American of Hispanic descent, living in Russia, playing and writing music for the banjo, an instrument of African origin".

Mice and men

Different, eh? How on earth did that happen? "The answer is more for a book than a bio," he says. "It has to do with meeting an exotic lady from Saint-Petersburg and falling in love at a time when such a thing was totally impossible, and eventually flitting off to a part of the world where, as a Cold War child in the US heartland, I never could have dreamed I’d ever set foot."

Robert Palomo, Singer-songwriter, sailor costume with guitarBut set foot he did back in 1996, planning to stay for only one year and then return to the States. "We were living in the US and my step-daughters were starting to lose their native Russian. We wanted them to grow up bilingual, my wife had a job waiting for her in Petersburg, so I took a sabbatical and we went." After 20 years he’s still living in Russia, and doing just fine, thank you. "Robert Burns was right about those mice and men!" he grins. "And yeah, the kids did grow up bilingual!"

Dueling Banjos? NOPE!

For his original songs, Robert draws from American traditional music he heard as a child in his mother’s native Missouri Ozark mountains, from his father's Spanish heritage, from his classical conservatory education, and of course from his experience as an expatriate in Russia. His writing and arranging can sometimes reflect his penchant for the humble, oft-maligned banjo, but it is in fact just one of half a dozen instruments he plays. "It’s an added sonic texture to be used whenever it seems right. But if I use it, I try to use it in unexpected ways. Rather than play yet another rendition of 'Dueling Banjos' I’ll do something like clawhammer-style banjo on a sea shanty like Drunken Sailor."

Sucked In By The Sea

Over the years Robert has been, is his own words, "a closet songwriter". After many many moons of "just playing the music folks want to hear with their beer", he decided several years ago to begin recording and sharing the original songs he had written, but just squirreled away, with acoustic music fans around the world via the internet. He was just getting a good start on that project when something unexpected happened.

Tall ship sailorIn 2014, he was invited to add his banjo, guitar and vocal skills to Saint Petersburg's "Shanty Choir Tallship MIR", the official musical group of the Russian tall sailing ship STS Mir, and made up of volunteer musicians from five countries aiming to bridge barriers between people through fun with music. Almost immediately he discovered a previously unsuspected talent: writing what he terms "new old sea songs" - shanties, ballads and drinking songs after the style of the traditional classics. Over the last couple of years he's written more than enough for an album, an idea he is considering.

"Talk about getting sidetracked!" he says. "I was totally focused on recording tunes in various genres that I’d written and put by for decades, but these sea songs just kept coming out. And they’re such fun - you can really get sucked in. Maritime songs were a very social thing. There was no 'audience' - everyone got into the act and sang together. We’ve largely lost that today, and I enjoy helping folks rediscover how much fun can they can have with this music."

Robert’s shanty choir bandmate , Viktor Lykov, crews professionally on tall ships. "As a working sailor, I love the way Robert is carrying on and evolving our musical tradition,"  Lykov says. "Not since the great Stan Rogers have I heard anything like this outpouring of fresh new salty songs. Robert’s 'new old' maritime folk music really deserves to find an audience among the sailors of today and tomorrow."

Robert donates profits from sales of selected digital singles to charity. "At this point in my life, it's less about making money. My musical talent is a gift. It’s a way I can give back a little something in return for all I’ve been given." An unusual approach, perhaps, but coming from an American of Hispanic descent picking his banjo in Russia, well, it's no stranger than that, now is it?

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Music

Bound for Jamaica's Shore (Original shanty)


Lyrics & Back Story...

Hoist the Jolly Roger (original pirate song)

Lyrics & Back Story...

Port Royal Rum (original maritime ballad)


Lyrics & Back Story...

More music...


Video

Noah Could Not Navigate (Original shanty - Live)

Cabin Boy (Original ballad)

More videos on YouTube...


Photos

View/download from Google Drive:


Social Media:

Site Link URL (for copying)
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RobertPalomoMusic
Twitter https://twitter.com/rpalomojr
YouTube http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2R5AjeV9jBDKjPsGEuaRcA
Google + http://tinyurl.com/8p55ffs

Music Purchase:

 


Download

The link below downloads a 14 Mb. Zip archive containing:

  • PDF bio with contact info including phone
  • PDF radio pitch document
  • Hi-res and low-res photos

DOWNLOAD PRESS KIT

Other Downloads:

 


Contact

Please contact me directly for any information you may need.

  • Email is best.
  • Skype: robert_at_jetbrains - please give me a clue you aren't spam if you send a contact request - thanks!
  • If you need a phone number, please download my press kit or see my Facebook page.