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Robyn Landis: Bio

Robyn Landis is a gifted wordsmith and award-winning songwriter. Her articulate, passionate writing and deft phrasing has garnered repeated comparisons (nine, to be exact) to Richard Shindell, and a reputation among fellow songwriters as a superb lyricist.

Christine Lavin says: “Robyn Landis is the real deal... I am impressed with her songwriting, her spirit, and her sound...one of the new traditionalists writing contemporary folk songs with a timeless, traditional feel.  I love her work."

Jimmy LaFave says “Robyn is a true musician and a fine member of the ‘three chords and the truth’ club.”  

Respected for unflinching honesty and literacy, Robyn uses song to tackle subjects ranging from war to weather to (what else?) love--not to mention adoption and dementia, betrayal and longing, friendship, child abuse, old sitcoms, and the environment. 

While immediately established as a writer, Robyn has also evolved into an authentic performer appreciated for her transparency and vulnerability. Fans have noted her capacity to spark emotion and pierce to listeners' hearts.

Her heartfelt and evocative poetry is delivered with unpretentious, intimate vocals that infuse memorable folk-pop-Americana melodies with warmth and feeling. Her distinctive, wistful timbre, which DJ Dennis Brunnenmeyer (KVMR) calls "a voice of incredible beauty" ranges from sweet and pure to slightly twangy.

Since 2005 and the release of her first CD Love and Other Words (as half of the Americana duo Short & Sweet), Robyn has accrued more than 55 songwriting awards and honors nationally and internationally, in competitions and at festivals.

She was a 2009 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artists Showcase Selected Artist, and won Grand Prize in the 2009 John Lennon Songwriting Contest (folk category). She won the 2012 Wildflower! Festival Performing Songwriter's Contest, and the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival Songwriting Contest in 2006. She was also a "Folk-DJ's Choice" showcasing at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance in 2009, and received a juried Premiere Showcase at the Folk Alliance Region West (FAR-West) conference in 2010 and a juried Official Performance Alley Showcase at Folk Alliance International in 2011.

Her eagerly-awaited followup and first solo recording, Many Moons, featured 12 new songs and a stellar musical cast (including Michael Lille, Mark Graham, Kat Eggleston, Larry Murante, Karena and Joe Prater, Paul Elliott, Cary Black, and Hans York). 

Released in May 2009, Many Moons quickly became a DJ favorite. It was one of the most-played records on folk radio during the last four months of 2009, reaching #16 on the Folk-DJ charts. With no publicist or special promotion, Many Moons caught the ear of more than 70 DJs across the nation.

Her third CD Waterproof was released October 28, 2014. It was co-produced by John Jennings, who worked with Mary-Chapin Carpenter for over two decades and produced her platinum Grammy-winning albums Come On, Come On and Stones in the Road in the 1990s.  John also produced work by John Gorka, Indigo Girls and BeauSoleil among others.

Waterproof also caught the ear of legendary songwriter Christine Lavin, especially the song "Knitting" which Christine made a video for (http://vimeo.com/108254765and sings harmony on.  Christine says, “Robyn Landis is the real deal, and I’m thrilled to be singing back-up for her on her new CD Waterproof.”

Waterproof features ten brand-new songs and a beloved Richard Shindell cover.

Tucson's John Coinman, songwriter and member of Kevin Costner’s Modern West Band, says:“I’m not amazed that you have won so many awards...your songwriting is reminiscent of some of the great folk/rock/pop songs of the 60s, most particularly Paul Simon. You share the same sensibilities. If he was a woman he probably would have been born as you.”

Robyn has been one of "Rich's Picks" on Rich Warren's "The Midnight Special" in Chicago. DJ Dan Maher of Inland Folk (WA) says "Incredible, incredible writing, great vocals...you can really tell where this woman is at."

"Robyn Landis radiates excellence with every word, every note and every song. Many Moons is clearly one of the most exciting projects released by a singer/songwriter in North America this year...This girl has what it takes--and then some!"  writes DJ Dennis Brunnenmeyer, KVMR (CA).  

Victory Music Review covered the album twice: "Many Moons is a brightly polished piece of work that will capture and carry you gently along on an intricate narrative adventure; an exceptional release," wrote Nancy Vivolo.  

"I am excited there are voices as wonderful as the silky vocal vibes of Robyn Landis here in the Northwest. I could listen to her sing all day..." said J.W. McClure.

"Every cut here is a keeper, and Landis obviously either lavished a good deal of time on the arrangements or has a natural gift for it, probably both. Like David Wilcox, her work is rich with sympathy for human frailty and the thousand and one disappointments the flesh is heir to...of course, the fact that she has a list of awards and recognitions as long as your arm explains a lot of that. Robyn Landis, I'm quite sure, waited until her art was fully matured and, man, does it ever show." - Mark S. Tucker, Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange

Indie-Music.com says, "Smooth vocals, like an earthy Laurie Lewis...Landis has won a lot of songwriting awards, and it's easy to see why...Her writing is like a good short story."

Bobby Kimmel, who toured and recorded with Linda Ronstadt as a member of The Stone Poneys, and ran McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica for 7 years booking acts like Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits, Chet Atkins and Little Feat, says: "I think Robyn is one of the most intelligent songwriters on the scene today, a thoroughly professional musician, and I remain her committed fan. I immediately fell in love with her latest release Many Moons, and was completely won over by her musicianship and intelligent lyric writing."

 

Songwriter James Hurley calls her "profoundly literate." Songwriter Gene Burnett says, “Robyn Landis is a terrific singer and songwriter and all-around decent person.  Just give her music a listen and you will see what I mean. Head, heart and guts all wrapped up in a beautiful voice and guitar.” 

 

 Robyn has co-written with such notable songwriters as David Llewellyn (2007 Kerrville New Folk Winner, 2008 John Lennon Grand Prize Winner) and Larry Murante (2008 Kerrville New Folk Finalist, 2009 John Lennon Grand Prize Winner). She has opened for or shared the stage with those writers as well as Laurie McClain, David Glaser, Jonathan Byrd, Michael McNevin, and Ellis Paul.

 Robyn studied guitar with the venerable Linda Waterfall, who says "The warmth of her voice and her intuitive connection are magnetic....Her passionate commitment to justice and the Earth won my heart."

Robyn also trained as an actor and in musical theater. She was a childhood spelling bee champ and poet, has been a professional writer since age 16, and published two popular health books in her 20s before turning her focus upon music. She was born and raised in NYC, and now divides her time between the northwestern and southwestern U.S. when she isn't traveling.

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Songwriting Recognition

* Tumbleweed Music Festival Songwriting Contest, 3rd Place Winner, September 2012

* Wildflower Festival Performing Songwriter Contest, Winner, May 2012

* Great Lakes Songwriting Contest, 6th Place Winner, February 2012

* USA Songwriting Competition Finalist, Folk Category, November 2011 (other finalists = Edie Carey, Liz Longley)

* Official Performance Alley Showcase Selected Artist, 2011 Folk Alliance International Conference  (Memphis)

* Premiere Showcase Selected Artist, Folk Alliance Region West 2010 Conference (FAR-West)

* Music City Songwriting Competition Nashville, 2010

* Honorable Mention, Rocky Mountain Folks Fest songwriter's showcase, 2010

* Finalist, Susquehanna Art & Music Festival Songwriting Contest, 2010

* FInalist/Honor Award, Great American Song Contest, 2010

* "Director's Cut" finalist, Great Lakes Songwriting Contest, 2009

* GRAND PRIZE, JOHN LENNON SONGWRITING CONTEST (Folk, Session I,  2009)

* SELECTED ARTIST, 2009 FALCON RIDGE EMERGING ARTISTS SHOWCASE

* Finalist, Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Contest, May 2009

* Honorable Mention, Americana Category, Unisong International Songwriting Competition, March 2009

* Honorable Mention, Acoustic/Folk Category, Unisong International Songwriting Competition, March 2009

* Showcase Winner (one of 5), W.C. Handy Music Festival, July 2008

* Finalist, Susanne Millsaps Performing Songwriter’s Showcase / Founder’s Title Folk & Bluegrass Festival, July 2008

* Honorable Mention, Telluride Troubadors competition (Telluride Folk Festival), May 2008

* Honorable Mention, International Narrative Song Competition, January 2008

* Alternate Finalist, Tumbleweed Music Festival songwriting contest, September 2007

* Top 20 Winner, Lyrics Category, Unisong International Songwriting Competition, July 2007

* Finalist, Solarfest Songwriter's Showcase, July 2007

* Finalist, KRCL/Founder’s Title Folk & Bluegrass Festival Performing Songwriter’s Showcase, July 2007

* Honorable Mention, West Coast International Songwriter's Competition, May 2007

* Finalist, Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Contest, May 2007

* Honorable Mention, Singer-Songwriter Awards, January 2007

* First Place Winner, International Narrative Song Competition, January 2007

 * Honorable Mention, International Narrative Song Competition, January 2007

* Honorable Mention, River Bluff Music Festival Songwriting Competition, September 2006

* Finalist, 3rd Annual Williamsburg Live Songwriting Competition, August 2006

* First Place Winner, Woody Guthrie Songwriting Competition, July 2006

* Honorable Mention, Woody Guthrie Songwriting Competition, July 2006

* Second Place Winner, Acoustic/Folk Category, Unisong International Songwriting Competition, July 2006

* Top 20 Winner, Lyrics Category, Unisong International Songwriting Competition, July 2006

* Top 20 Winner, Acoustic/Folk Category, Unisong International Songwriting Competition, July 2006

* Top 20 Winner, Social/Political Category, Unisong International Songwriting Competition, July 2006

* Honorable Mention, Acoustic/Folk Category, Unisong International Songwriting Competition, July 2006

* Alternate Finalist, Solarfest Songwriter's Showcase, July 2006

* Finalist, KRCL/Founder’s Title Performing Songwriter’s Showcase, July 2006

* Honorable Mention, West Coast International Songwriting Competition, May 2006

* Finalist, Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Contest, May 2006

* Semifinalist, Peacedriven Songwriting Competition, April 2006

* Semifinalist, International Songwriting Competition, January 2006

* Honorable Mention, Billboard Song Contest, 2005 (two songs)

* Winner, William Robert Abate Songwriting Competition, September 2005

* Finalist, Tumbleweed Music Festival Songwriting Contest, September 2005

* Honorable Mention, Woody Guthrie Songwriting Competition, July 2005

* Semifinalist, U.K. Songwriting Competition, July 2005

* Finalist, Solarfest Songwriter's Showcase, July 2005

* Honorable Mention, Songprize International Songwriting Competition, June 2005

* Finalist, Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Contest, April 2005

* Finalist, Suwannee Springfest Songwriting Contest, March 2005

ROBYN LANDIS: Many Moons