The Robinson James Band recently released their debut single/music video, “Spoonful,” a cover of Willie Dixon’s classic blues song.
Made up of frontwoman Alexa Robinson and guitarist George Castrinos, aka Elrey James, after connecting the two artists are not only making music and playing countless shows together, but they’ve also built a life together outside of music.
The chemistry injected into each song creates a unique listening experience as Robinson’s powerhouse soulful vocals converse with Castrinos’s expressive lead guitar runs.
Covered by artists ranging from Etta James to Cream, The Robinson James Band adds a modern flare to the timeless tune. With her sultry voice attuned to Castrinos’s wailing guitar, Robinson coos out an authentic and tangible expression of yearning.
The music video for “Spoonful” is a close-up and personal studio experience. Pure as a music video can get, it offers an intimate rendezvous with these talented creatives as they rock out with their talented, top-shelf, world-class band.
Tattoo.com spoke with The Robinson James Band to discover how they got together, how they got started in music and their gear.
What inspired you to cover Willie Dixon’s “Spoonful” as your debut single?
While we were listening to the band, Cream, their version of it, the harmonica and the vocals were doing the main riff in unison, and Elrey said ‘Hey, that’d be cool if we used a slide guitar instead of harmonica,’ so we tested it out and it turned out pretty tasty.
How, where, and when did the two of you first connect?
Alexa Robinson rented Elrey’s studio to do a session about seven years ago.
How did you get started in music?
When Elrey was about 10, his older brother, Rest In Peace, turned him onto Led Zeppelin II, and he heard ‘Whole Lotta Love’ for the first time, and it was life-changing. Alexa didn’t start taking singing seriously until she was 17 and then started playing in cover bands in her early twenties. We both have been playing all our lives and have similar tastes and decided to come together and make our own thing.
Let’s talk gear for a moment, what kind of guitar pedals and amps are you using?
Elrey: Traditionally, I’m a Les Paul/Marshall guy, but I have a sweet spot for Strats, and vintage Kays as well. Currently, my main rig is a 1952 Gibson Les Paul Conversion with a vintage, early ‘70s Marshall 50-Watt Lead Bass 2100. My pedals include a vintage ‘60s Vox Wah, Holy Grail Reverb, a vintage Echoplex, a Boss DM-2 Delay, Owen Barry handmade fuzz, Centaur Klon, and vintage MXR MicroAmp.
What inspires your writing? Do you draw inspiration from poems, music, TV or other media?
Elrey: All of the above, including film. There’s a lot of art in the world and creativity is everywhere.
Alexa: My inspiration is mainly music, any genre.
What can you share about your writing process?
Elrey: I start with a riff, and at that point, I need to get into a rehearsal room with bass and drums, test it out, and see if it works, then lyrics and melody come last.
Alexa: Usually if somebody has a riff, melody, or a track, I can come up with my own lyrics and melodies after that. That’s my process.
Do you have any ink? If so, how many tattoos? Which is your favorite?
Elrey: I have 4 tattoos. My number one is my daughter’s name, Jade, on the inside of my bicep, which stung like a bee.
Alexa: I don’t have any tattoos, but I certainly admire them!
In your opinion, which music artists are killing it right now?
Elrey: There’s a band out of Los Angeles called Dirty Honey, and they’re carrying the torch of the thriving classic rock scene that’s happening now. Give them a listen, they’re pretty darn good.
Alexa: One of my favorite newer artists is Marcus King. I think he is extremely talented, and the first newer artist that has made me want to buy an album in a long time!
What is your definition of success?
Elrey: My definition of success is never letting go of the dream, constantly moving forward, never looking back, and never giving up.
Alexa: My definition of success is finding a real, genuine fanbase that wants to listen to your music, seek out new music, go to your shows, buy the merch, and invest in your vision. Success is making people feel connected and happy.
What can your fans look forward to over the next six months? Live gigs? New music? Music videos?
All of the above, two new originals, a music video, and more. We are in the process of finishing our album, and can’t wait to see you at a show!