BUTCH ROBINS INDUCTED INTO THE BILL MONROE BLUEGRASS HALL OF FAME
In 1984, the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame was created for which Monroe himself would hand pick the inductees for their substantial and enduring contributions to bluegrass music. The first Hall of Fame inductees were: Carl Story, Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, The Sullivan Family, Mac Wiseman, Don Reno & Red Smiley, The Seldom Scene, The Osborne Brothers and Monroe himself. Butch Robins was inducted into the Hall of Fame on September 24, 2016.
Joseph Calvin "Butch" Robins"
Butch Robins is a virtuoso banjo player whose contributions to and achievements in bluegrass music are long, strong and growing. He has done this both in its deepest traditions and in its progressive forms.
He started as a child prodigy who won top banjo contests in his teenage years. While still a youth, Butch was offered a future job with Bill Monroe but only after he graduated high school. Butch has the ability to play interchangeably in the Scruggs, Reno, single string and melodic styles of playing. Many professionals have said that Butch was the only one of Monroe's banjo players "who came close to what Monroe actually wanted: matching the Monroe beat, paying attention to the melody while maintaining the Monroe Drive".
Butch was one of the 17 featured banjo players in the seminal book "Masters of the 5-String Banjo" which "focused on banjoists who have made significant contributions to their field". Among the other 17 were people like Scruggs, Reno, Stanley, Osborne, Crowe, and Keith. In his career he has played in bands headed by Charlie Moore, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, Bill Monroe, Leon Russell, and the New Grass Revival. Butch also has had his own bands, The Bluegrass Band and currently, The World International Blue Grass Band.
Butch has been significant in the recording field making these seminal, iconic and critically acclaimed albums: Grounded Centered Focused, Forty Years Late, Shine Hallelujah Shine, The Fifth Child, Fragments of My Imagicnation, and Sketches. While a Blue Grass Boy, he recorded on Masters of Bluegrass.
Butch is a disciple of Bill Monroe's music claiming that when all is figured, Bill Monroe and Louie Armstrong will be considered America's greatest two musicians. He said that Monroe was such a virtuoso musician that "he could literally make a musical sound that was an emotional reflection/ expression of a moment in time". Butch says that all of Monroe's life was marked by an evolving creativity that is unique. "In my time with Bill Monroe, I was witness to a human artist who seemed to transcend earthly bounds."
In 2014 Butch did a scholarly six-video series for Radford University entitled "Blue Grass Music: Its Origin and Development As a Unique and Creative Art Form". Butch was considered a unique person to do this as he knew so many people in the history of bluegrass from Snuffy Jenkins, the originator of 3 finger bluegrass banjo to Bill Monroe, the Father of Blue Grass to the progressive players. And as Peter Wernick says about Butch, "he is an intense and serious person with a philosopher's sensibilities about many subjects".
In yet another talent, Butch authored the book "What I Know "Bout What I Know". In it, he relayed as much information as he could about Bill Monroe while also being autobiographical. It gave insights into bluegrass music and its community.