Full Name: Robin Hunn
Occupation: Consultant and Producer
Facebook: The Tucson Vibe
I first met Robin several years ago at a Top Dead Center show at the Hut. The first thing I noticed about her was her energy, her fantastic hair, and her genuine smile that never fades. I could tell that she loves life, loves people, and loves live music. Robin loves all genres of live music and is one of the largest supporters of Tucson local bands that I know. She recently produced The Tucson Vibe project: a compilation CD of original songs by Tucson musicians and a companion photography book that highlights cool smaller venues downtown. When I asked Robin if I could interview her for our website I was thrilled!
Robin gives new meaning to the word fan. She gets out and supports so many players and venues, she takes her friends along with her, and she is always sharing possible opportunities with us. New Orleans’ loss has been Tucson’s gain when it comes to that girl!Pattie Bell
Robin is one of type of people whose love of music and good people is who she is. When you walk into a gig and she’s there, you know you are in the right place.Tom Pearson
What is your first memory of seeing live music?
I grew up in Lawrence, Kansas and my first memory was going to small honky-tonk bars as a child with my family when we were just starting up a band and wanted to see what other music was out there. I was about 10 years old!
What is your favorite part of live music?
I love everything about it—the vibe, being close to the musicians and really being able to watch them play, having a chance to get to know them, and the whole environment in small venues particularly.
Do you play any instruments? If so, how long have you been playing?
As I mentioned, my family started a band when I was 10. I played drums and we had gigs every weekend for a number of years. I made enough money to put myself through college. It has been a while since I have played but I can still shake a tambourine! These days I do more writing and producing.
If you could attend any live musical performance, past or present, who would it be?
I’m not big on huge concerts. If I could see the Stones in a small venue that would be probably be my top pick. Right now, I’d be very happy with just being able to see local live music here in Tucson again!
What is your favorite local venue?
I am terrible at picking favorites! I like the small venues and before COVID-19 I’d be at most of them every week.
Who is one of your favorite local musicians or bands?
Again-I can’t pick favorites! I’ve only been here 3 years and am still getting to know everyone. I’m most familiar with the musicians that play the smaller venues downtown and 4th Ave. area. Tucson is SO lucky to have so many great musicians. I moved here from New Orleans and was used to having great music around all the time and I was so happy to find such a vibrant music scene here in Tucson!
What advice do you have for aspiring local musicians?
The music business is so hard and now we have all these new pandemic challenges. I think you just have to do what you love and see where it takes you with hard work and constant creativity.
THE TUCSON VIBE PROJECT supporting Tucson Local Bands
What is the Tucson Vibe project you have been working on?
The Tucson Vibe is a new book and companion compilation CD that just came out last month. It highlights 15 smaller venues in the downtown/4th Ave. area and 15 musicians/bands that play at those venues. This book is intended to help those unfamiliar with these neighborhoods to explore the wonderful local music scene. The CD showcases the great diversity of talent and genres. All of the 15 songs are original and several are new releases. The songs range from country blues to Americana to folk to R & B to soul to rock and roll to funk to punk.
The Tucson Vibe pairs a photo of each venue with a photo of a musician that sometimes plays at that venue and provides a bit of information about both the venue and musician. Lyrics for each song, information about the recording, and contact information for each musician to learn more about them is also included. The Tucson Vibe is a labor of love and hopefully, this will be Volume 1 of an ongoing project. Any profit that is made from the sale of The Tucson Vibe book and CD will go right back into helping musicians and the Tucson live music scene.
How did you come up with the idea for the Tucson Vibe project?
About 10 years ago in New Orleans, there were all kinds of cool venues off the beaten path that many folks didn’t know about so I did a fun little book that highlighted some of them and released my second CD with that book, placing each song in a venue with kinda edgy photographs and a little love story. When I moved to Tucson, I immersed myself in the live music scene and was surprised at how many people—not just tourists—but locals too who didn’t live downtown—were unfamiliar with many of the smaller venues. I wanted to showcase the venues and musicians who play there in a way that would encourage more folks to go out to live music.
Did anyone help you put this project together?
We had a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise about half of the cost of the project. Thank you to the many live music supporters who contributed to make this happen! I worked with the amazing musicians to get the compilation CD together and with Jim Blackwood to get it mastered. And a number of fabulous local photographers contributed photos for the book. And David Hostetler did the graphics for the cool map in the book showing the venues and how walkable they are. It was a community effort to make this happen! Half of the Kickstarter proceeds went directly to the 15 musicians—it’s kind of an experiment to see if this model works to get musicians paid more upfront for a song than they would get from years of streaming revenues.
Are you planning to put together any future music projects?
I would love to do a project highlighting local music each year; hopefully, this is Volume 1. But first I need to get all of Volume 1 sold and of course, marketing and distribution has been challenging in the month since it came out.
How can people find out more about how to support the Tucson Vibe project and purchase CD and Book?
I have a Facebook page TheTucsonVibe that has more information on the project and anyone who wants to buy the book and CD can email me at email@example.com The book/CD combo is $35 and there are also very cool t-shirts for $20. I’m hoping we’ll also be able to have The Tucson Vibe available at venues and other stores soon as things open up!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
The Tucson Vibe is a great way to almost feel like you are at these venues and seeing the musicians until the venues open up and we can all be out celebrating live music together again! Let’s get it sold out and more money out to the musicians so we can start on Volume 2!