Robby Jordan is an accountant who has worked in education for the last 22 years. When his workday ends, he trades in his calculator for a guitar and plays at local music venues both as a solo act and with his music partner, Marc Womack. You can listen to Robby tonight at Rack and Roll in Anniston beginning at 7 p.m.
What interested you in accounting?
You know, it has been so long, I do not remember (laughter). At the time, I knew I wanted to be in a business setting. Education is much more suited to my personality than accounting. I am constantly told by other accountants that I am not like other accountants. Most accountants do not play music on the side.
Have you always been musically inclined?
Yes. I played piano when I was young. I started taking guitar lessons when I was 13 or 14. I played saxophone and bass guitar in the marching band at Oxford High School. I played in a band in college; we did not play a lot, but we played loud. I have played music since I was 11 or 12.
What instruments do you play now?
I play guitar. I can still play a little piano and occasionally harmonica. I have been trying to teach myself to play the mandolin, but I am a long way from playing mandolin in public.
What are the differences between playing mandolin and guitar?
A mandolin has eight strings in a tiny space. The chording patterns are completely different; chording patterns for a mandolin are the same for a fiddle. You have to think of everything as upside down compared to a guitar.
What instrument was the most difficult to learn to play?
I found piano to be much more difficult to learn; that was the first instrument I learned to play. When I think about chords and progressions, I still see the keyboard in my head. I think learning piano helped me immensely although the piano did not take with me.
Do you write original songs?
I do, but I rarely play them in public. We play in a lot of resort-type areas, and folks there just want to hear songs they know.
Tell us about your songwriting process.
Generally, I get lyrics first then try to set a tune to them. I am into the storytelling-type songwriters. I like singer-songwriters that tell a story from a third-party point of view.
What is your genre?
Americana. It is much more country-influenced. Honestly, when you hear me talk you know that whatever I am singing is going to sound a little country when I sing it.
What genre of cover songs do you play?
My main focus is playing in my duo with Marc Womack. We have different sounding voices, and we try to pick songs that fit what we do. We do everything from Merle Haggard to “Purple Rain.” Nowhere else will you go and hear George Jones followed by the Commodores.
Why are you a musician?
At my age, I know what I am, and I am a local musician who does it because I love music and like to see people happy. I do not have any illusions that I will be anything other than a local musician.
Tell us about your upcoming shows.
I will be at Cheaha Brewing Company on Oct. 12 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Marc and I are playing at Dega Brewhouse on Oct. 13, at 9 p.m. We will also be in Scottsboro on Oct. 14.
Are you and Marc available for private events in addition to gigs at venues?
Yes, you can contact us through our Facebook page, facebook.com/robbyandmarc.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about good music. I like music with substance. I like music that challenges people. Modern music does not speak to me that much. I love Jason Isbell, John Prine and Chris Knight.
Faith Dorn is a freelance writer in Anniston. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.