As part of the judging panel for Nashville Star, Charlie Robison helps oversee the entire talent selection process, from the selection of the 12 finalists who are appearing on the program to helping to decide on a week-to-week basis which lucky contestants get to stay in Nashville and pursue their dream - and which ones have to pack their bags and go home. Never one to shy away from sharing his strong opinions or his love of the underdog, Robison can be counted on as the weeks progress (and the competition gets fiercer) to always urge the contestants toward better performances and guide them to find their own artistic integrity.
Born and raised in Bandera, Texas to a ranching family which has worked the same stretch of Hill Country since the 1840s, Robison grew up with a full plate of time-honored Lone Star State endeavors: working the ranch, playing football, singing country songs, and raising his fair share of hell.
The success of Robisonís second album, 2001ís Step Right Up (Columbia/Lucky Dog) has recently kept his ranching time to a minimum. Robisonís inspired, lust-in-the-dust remake of NRBQís "I Want You Bad" had a lengthy run in countryís Top 30 while simultaneously making inroads on the college radio market, and his spirited, stage-quaking live performances have earned him a fast-growing reputation as an act that must be seen to be fully appreciated.
Embracing elements of such mavericks as Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and even Bruce Springsteen, Robisonís music has a heartland/populist approach that blends his natural gifts as a storyteller with a genuine affection for high-steppiní honky-tonk. But Robison also has a rock-and-rollerís instinct to rattle the cage, surrendering now and then to an impulse to poke a little fun at the stuffed shirts on Music Row. Robisonís shoot-from-the-hip tendencies may have occasionally dipped him in some hot water, but the upshot is that audiences recognize and respond to his refreshing candor. His honest, "what you see is what you get" stance has helped him to become a true "crossover" entertainer.
Robison is currently at work on his third Columbia/Lucky Dog disc with Step Right Up co-producer Blake Chancey, due for release in Spring 2003. Charlieís version of "Donít Take Your Guns To Town" was recently included on Sonyís all-star Johnny Cash tribute album alongside salutes by Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Dwight Yoakam, Kebí Moí, Little Richard, Travis Tritt, and Marty Stuart.
Robison is married to Emily Robison of The Dixie Chicks, and they recently had their first child together, a son. His official website can be found at www.charlierobison.com.