Buskin & Batteau
First of all, this is me writing this, so you can be pretty sure the good stuff is left out – hey, I might need it for my memoirs or to blackmail someone. I was born and grew up in the Bronx. I went to PS 28 (like Artie Traum ), Horace Mann ( like Eliot Spitzer ), Brown University (like E. Howard Hunt ) and the U.S. Army (like Ulysses S. Grant). I’ve been doing music of one form or another as long as I can remember. So that’s for a least half an hour.
Last few years I’m getting my kicks writing plays and sketches and the like. The first one, my putative director James Naughton says lacks a second act. I suggest we do it as a one-act, thus saving everyone a lot of time and trouble. He does not respond. But I’m happily at work on a musical with one of my jingle mentors, the prodigious and very Protestant Jake Holmes. We have high hopes. One act. No intermission. Home in time for Law and Order. What more could anyone need?
Robin Batteau is a Grammy-winning, Emmy-winning, Clio-winning, and Oscar-nominated singer-songwriter-soloist and music producer. Six months out of Harvard, after earning a degree in biochemistry, he was signed to his first record deal with Columbia Records. A dozen CDs later, he’s played his personal style of improvisational violin with everyone from Yo-Yo Ma to Benny Goodman to Bruce Springsteen and has had his songs sung by Whitney Houston, Judy Collins, and Paul Newman, to name a few.
He has created songs for charities and causes from World Hunger Year to Save the Whales to Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign to Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for kids with such things as cancer, sickle-cell, AIDS and thalassemia. He’s heard nice words from the Boston Globe (”Acoustic heaven…”), Time Magazine, People Magazine, the New York Times, The Washington Post, Entertainment Tonight, Mary Hart, Oprah Winfrey, Bonnie Raitt (”Here comes the Love God”), and helped advertising campaigns win nearly 1,000 awards with jingles like “I’m Lovin’ It” for McDonalds, “This is Beer” for Budweiser and “The Heartbeat of America” for Chevrolet.
Virginia native Janie Barnett’s last Americana album release, “You See This River,” landed on numerous top picks lists and garnered this kind of praise: “Janie released one of the very best albums in the Americana universe in 2017, and likely this decade.” (Jason Valasquez of “the Greylock Glass.”) And from the “Lonesome Highway site: “A very impressive body of songs that just gets better with repeated listening.”
Janie began her performing career in New England, coming up and doing shows with stalwarts Bill Morrissey, Patty Larkin, and Buskin and Batteau. During the years in which she raised her daughter, Janie was in New York, rising to become one of the top session singers in the business. During that time Janie sang with some of the greats – Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Rickie Lee Jones, and Celine Dion, to name a few – and has been heard on countless national commercials, films, and artist CDs.
With her 2017 release Janie re-launched her solo career, did an artist residency at City Winery in NYC and parlayed this into shows up and down the east coast listening rooms.
Her current projects include a new album of original material, and a collection of Cole Porter songs under the name “Cole Porter’s Fiddle” treated to Janie’s style of “Brooklyn-branded Americana.” When she is not touring or recording in her Brooklyn studio, Barnett spends time at Berklee College of Music, mentoring emerging singer-songwriters.