Robb Johnson

Antiwar songs by Robb Johnson
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Robb JohnsonEnglish folksinger/songwriter. Known for the brilliant double-cd Gentlemen about his two grandfathers who both fought in the first worldwar.


Robb Johnson's Official Website


Robb Johnson - Biography

"One of Britain's most challenging songwriters."

The Daily Telegraph

"Creator of some of the most potent songs of the last decade"


"Britain's finest songwriter since Richard Thompson"


"The finest songwriter to emerge from these isles in the last decade."

Rock 'n' Reel

"Love songs as touching as the political material is sharp."

Red Pepper

"His songs are incisive and clever and witty and you can sing them on your way to work."

Boff, Chumbawamba

"Great song. Wish I'd written it."

Tom Robinson

Robb Johnson is now widely recognised as one of the finest songwriters working in the UK today. His songs feature in the repertoires of a wide variety of musicians, from folk legend Roy Bailey to acclaimed cabaret diva Barb Jungr to Dover ska band Hey Rudi!, & he enjoys a similarly diverse spectrum of critical acclaim – "a modern-day Dostoyevsky" said the US’s Dirty Linen, Mojo made the double CD "Gentle Men" Folk Album Of The Month, while The Daily Telegraph made it their Folk Album Of 1998, & Tony Benn, the UK’s leading radical politician, says Johnson’s "Winter Turns To Spring" is his favourite song.

He has played pubs, clubs, pavements, pickets & benefits, arts centres & festivals, local radio, BBC Radio 3 & 4, Belgian Radio 1, Nicaraguan TV & Channel 4, the Albert Hole in Bristol &, as part of Roy Bailey’s 1998 concert, the Albert Hall in London.

Robb has worked with bands (whose members have included Maggie Holland, John Maxwell, Roger Watson, Steafan Hannigan, Terry Mann & Fiona Larcombe), in duos (including concerts with his friend Leon Rosselson, & concerts with Mauricio Venegas about the life of Chilean songwriter Victor Jara) as well as solo. In 1997 Robb wrote the song suite "Gentle Men", an ambitious family history of the first world war, for the Passendael Peace Concert, & subsequently toured it successfully in Britain too. In recent years he has toured with violinist Saskia Tomkins & bassist Miranda Sykes under the name RJ3. His constant gigging in Britain has earned him a reputation as "one of the biggest names on the folk circuit" (The Morning Star), & he also plays extensively in Belgium, Holland & Germany, & he has also toured Britain supporting Chumbawamba.

His label Irregular Records has also facilitated releases by a variety of song-orientated artists, including an album celebrating the work of Jacques Brel that has done much to focus a renewed interest in the chanson genre. He has also translated several of Brel’s songs & performed concerts celebrating Brel’s life & work. Robb was featured on the recent BBC Radio 4 series hosted by Tom Robinson "Singing In The Wilderness: Les Chansons Anglaises", & consolidated these developments by organizing "Nine Times Two" (Irr046), a compilation album featuring the work of leading performers of contemporary English chanson, and a series of chanson evenings at London’s prestigious Drill Hall Theatre. Last year Robb released his 15th album "Clockwork Music" (Irr048), which has received widespread acclaim, with many critics suggesting it’s his best work so far. This year sees the publication of a biography of Yoko Ono that Robb has co-written ("Woman", published by Chrome Dreams), & the release of a double CD of previously unreleased songs by Robb entitled "Tony Blair: My Part In His Downfall" (Irr054).

Robb was born and has spent most of his life in West London, where he worked for 16 years as a primary school teacher, before resigning from full-time teaching in 1997 to allow more time to pursue his musical career.