“When I was just a kid in 1972, I heard Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke On The Water’ for the first time, and my world stood still for five minutes and forty-one seconds. I knew right then and there I wanted to play guitar.”
It started over four decades ago. It was a golden age for rock & roll. A guitar found its way into his hands. The rest, is as they say history. From the very moment, an adolescent Robert Garcia picked up his first guitar, he’s been making people grin, clap and join in.
Born and raised in New York, Robert Garcia started a musical journey then, that today it could be said that at its most powerful transcends musical barriers, uniting people who on the surface may seem to have very little in common.
A Staten Island native, Rob discovered by 8th grade how a guitar and a great song could connect audiences with him, as well as with each other, creating a like minded community of friends, and fans. When asked “what do you do for a living?” He consistently replies, “I help people forget about life for awhile”.
But there’s even more to his music than the Seventies-based, cover gigs that have made him popular up and down the East Coast. Mining the catalogs of bands and songwriters he loved, Rob adapted their hits to his 12-string acoustic guitar, and the audience reaction to the style was electric. “People know the words to all these songs, even if at first they think they don’t. That’s part of the magic of music.”
A lifelong student of the guitar, Robert’s style of playing is always a conscience balancing act of emotion first, technical prowess, and a melting pot of assimilated genres that consist of rock, jazz, blues, funk, and soul. Early influences were the masters of speaking volumes with just one note: Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton. Today, while still subscribing to the “less is more” philosophy of music, Robert will from time to time indulge himself and catch his audience off guard with an occasional, well placed flurry of notes or two handed tapping technique inspired by his love and respect for the contributions both Edward Van Halen and Steve Vai have made to modern rock music.
As a vocalist, his style is much more focused to the soulful, whiskey throated crooners of the bygone blues era, and more recently trademarked by such artists as Rod Stewart and Melissa Etheridge for his rock & roll belting. When the time comes to sing a ballad, Mr. Garcia can throw a soft layer of silk over the gravel and serenade with the best of them. It is also worth mentioning that with a name such as Garcia, Robert can sing in both English and Spanish.
Combine all of the above with a passion for performance, audience interaction, and a bit of theatrical flair, and what you have is a consummate professional. Whether performing by himself entertaining with an acoustic 12 string, or burning up a stage giving his all with a band, one thing is clear….you will leave wanting more.
Rob’s visceral connection to his audience is strengthened by his “less is more” approach, which he defines as, “just straight up, stripped down rock and roll.” When he’s not delighting audiences with Seventies cover hits, Rob works on his own new material in his home recording studio. “The music that I write is about what I’ve observed. Love stories, discrimination, dreams that came true and dreams that didn’t.” Garcia is currently working on a collection of his original music aimed at deepening his connection with his fans, while introducing him to an entirely new and larger audience. He categorizes the style as “Modern Seventies”
Say what you will but what I am is REAL. You can try, but you will not succeed in imitating, automating, or outsourcing me. I am a musician, an entertainer, an artist… As I have said before, it’s in my blood. It’s all I do and all I’ve ever wanted to do. I wake up with a smile on my face wanting to go to work. Have you ever heard someone say “it’s nothing personal, it’s just business”? With me, it’s always personal…on many levels. I take full responsibility. I have to…it’s my name, my reputation. Music is what I do full time, 24/7, 365 days a year.
“The exchange of music between people can be a very sacred thing,” observes Garcia. “Music moves people, it moves emotions in people. I’ve seen people break down and cry because I performed a song that reminded them of someone they lost, and I’ve seen people spontaneously kiss because I played ‘their song.’ To me, music is the closest thing to magic that there is on earth.”
I’m not one of those look down at my feet while I’m playing kind of guys…If you’re at my gig, I’m gonna have fun… I’m also gonna take you with me for the ride.