Robert was in middle school when he first picked up the mandolin as a side project in his classical guitar class. (Yes, the public middle school he attended in Alabama was that awesome. And Mr. Back, if you are reading this, know that Robert will always be grateful!) Trained in the European classical traditions, Robert became familiar with the rich histories of the Italian and German schools of mandolin...and promptly fell in love with Bach, whose violin sonatas and partitas Robert still admires and struggles to play. In addition to the classical background, Robert was also a lead guitarist in an insanely awesome middle school rock band ("we played Free Bird, y'all. Just saying."). Throughout high school and college, he had the remarkable opportunity of playing regular gigs with his older brother and father, both singers and guitarists. However, it wasn't until Robert moved to NC after college and was introduced to the rich acoustic scene there that he began exploring bluegrass and its offshoots. The exploration has led him to Hank, Pattie & the Current, awesome musicians and even better people whose first album is itself an exploration of new musical and personal connections.