Since I started this blog, I have been looking for video on Robert Urban because I am a fan of this man on many levels. He is a talented musician, a singer/songwriter who has put out 4 albums of great music. Robert is also an out and proud man, and writes and sings about issues and feelings that talk to me. He has also scored the soundtracks for dance, theater and movie projects. Robert is also a published writer, with poetry and journalism adding to his resume as a Renaissance man. And, perhaps most impressively, is a man who gives back to the community with his work as a producer and musician on with many other LGBT musicians and causes in his role with Urban Productions, playing on, engineering, mixing and producing. And he is also hot, which never hurts!
As I said, Robert has put our 4 CDs; Who I Was (1980s), Godless (1997), Elegy (2000), and Rock Widow (2004). I own all 4, and love them. They all have a different feel, so depending on my mood, any could be my favorite. Today, for example, I would be leaning towards Rock Widow, with its stadium rock feel and anthemic songs working for me, like the multi-layered Waiting For Rome to Fall. But it has another side, that of a very personal statement from Urban, with songs like Don't Ask Don't Tell, You Don't Wanna Know and My Silent Friend. Elegies has more of a synth-based sound, more melodic while maintaining the drive of the guitar over the rather languid and thoughtful music. Godless favors a more intimate acoustic rock sound, chronicling the artists journey of discovery, as in We Are The Haunted and It's Only Love. Who I Was gave Robert a chance to package his music from the 80s to offer fans a chance to visit who he was when he began.
Urban Productions studio is located in NYC, and has a fair number of LGBT acts recording their under the guidance of Robert. The list includes Rick Fletcher, Tokyo Penguin, Jeff Krassner, Matthew Duffy, Lou Valentine, Scott Free, Roger Kuhn, Elisa DeCarlo, Zecca, Steve Mosto, Mike James, Don Harvey, Jason Peele, Tracy Stark, Dutchboy/Rainbow Flava, Marshall Zarne, Fritz Wendt and Charles Gilmore, Morry Campbell, Yolonda, Paul Shelby, Renair Amin, Stephen Mo Hanan, Daniel Speaks, Jeremy Blue, and Roger Anthony Mapes. He has also regularly performed at fundraisers for such groups as the Long Island Transgender Day of Remembrance, Pride Slam Jam, the Lesbian & Gay Community Center of Kansas City, Poets Wear Prada, and NY Trans Pride Festival, to name just a few recent gigs.
Like I said, I couldn't find the video support, so I sucked it up and emailed the man himself and he was more than kind, sending me links and offering more information. It took something for me to email him, because when I first started listening to his music I was blown away, here was a gay man rocking his ass off as a gay man, not as a front-man for a str8 mainstream band. For me, a gay man who wanted to listen to Led Zeppelin and U2 and not Whitney, Celine or the latest dance bands, Robert Urban was a revelation. He still is. He also performs regularly with R.U.B., a band of four playing covers of 80s rock music. And he still finds time to nurture a relationship with his partner of 21 years, Morgan. Hell, I was tired just typing his accomplishments, so I have no idea how he does it.
Oh, and I forgot to mention he has won multiple awards from various organizations, from the StoneWall Society, Fresh Fruit Festival, and the Out Music Awards, among many others. And he started and monitors the Yahoo Group Gay Guitarists Worldwide, of which I have been a non-musical member for about 4 years or so. Oh, yeah, he also offers private music and guitar lessons. Dammit, let some of this go and get to work on another CD, Mr. Urban!
ROBERT URBAN live at 2008 NYC Pride Slam Jam
To find out more about Robert Urban, visit his website here.