"I sat and
listened to Rock Widow from start to finish tonight.
Robert and just had to tell you it is an amazing work. Wow.
Great job man!!!! You ROCK!!" - Freddy Freeman, OUTMUSIC
Born to rock in the grand progressive tradition
of Yes, Genesis and King Crimson,
Robert is a multi-talented instrumentalist, composer,
lyricist and a truly dynamic producer. His 2003 CD
“Rock Widow” celebrates past associations in rock bands
and holds nothing back in force or finesse –
a resounding treat for your head, heart and ears.
Personal, political and approachable songs in an earnest, confident style
that is his own. On our New Year's Eve show I played "Don't Ask Don't Tell"
(from ROCK WIDOW)!" - John Frame, Rampant Corgi Productions,
4zzz fm 102.1 Radio Brisbane, Australia
Robert Urban: Elegies (Urban Productions)
"Eipä ole paljoakaan progressiivisia elementtejä tällä
Robert Urbanin kolmannella albumilla.
Urban on tehnyt levyn lähes yksin vain muutaman
vierailijan avustamana ja levyn musiikki on lähinnä folk-rockia
ja tavallista pop-musiikkia. Sanoitukset liikkuvat homopuolella,
mikä voi ärsyttää joitakin kuuntelijoita. Muuten musiikki on aivan OK,
mutta eipä se jaksa paljoakaan progediggaria kiinnostaa."
- Raimo Eurasto COLOSSUS
Progressive Rock Magazine
reading your poems. They are great, and I can see why you received an award
I have added them to my main poetry page. Please keep writing your poems.
They are beautiful. Thanks again" - Jaylyn
Urban, one of the busiest music-makers in NYC today, was introduced
by Randy Jones
of The Village People as "one of the most accomplished out musicians in the world"...
and our host went on to say about Robert: "He works with so many people. He's
got his finger in every pie in town... a very talented guy!" Robert Urban
was the Winner of two 2001 Outmusic OMA Awards... and his new CD is called "Rock
Widow". . Robert's voice is soulful yet imperial, perfectly suited
for the rock anthem-quality songs he performs. Robert's vocals
and guitar skills were joined by bass, courtesy of Toshio Mana.
Both these guys recently peformed at CBGB's . In addition to making great
sounds, both Robert and Tosh are very visual performers: They look really great when
they perform!" - JED STAR, PM ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE
WIDOW by ROBERT URBAN
- featured album of the week!
Tune in to hear all of the tracks from ROCK WIDOW
Sunday night, JAN 18, at 8pm
I'm listening to your album and it's fantastic! How cool that you've covered
"Deserted Cities of the Heart" - I always loved that song!
And you've included another favorite of mine - Charles Ives!
But your songs are wonderful. The arrangements and production are outstanding,
as are, of course your amazing guitar playing, singing and songwriting.
Thanks so much for the gift of your music.- Corinne Curcio, ESTROGEN, NYC
Radical Faeries’ Kwazy Quilt Cabaret
- designed to raise awareness of Faerie Camp Destiny
in Southern Vermont included such performers as Olestra,
guitarist Frank Jump, Robert LaFosse of the New York City Ballet
(channeling Isadora Duncan). Act Two started out with a rare performance
by John Kelly (sans frock and wig), followed by a poetic plea from the always-colorful
Brandon Olson to be proud and stand tall and love one another.
Agness de Garron, Dogwood Bark, Yolanda and Robert Urban also performed." - HX MAGAZINE
ROBERT URBAN - "Rock Widow"
"A beautifully rich album that speaks to me on so many levels!"
I've been listening to this CD constantly these days, and like all of my most favorite music, I didn't get it at first. The songs, the music, all seemed straightforward enough, not out-there strange, inaccessible or unpleasant in any way, and so the first several listens didn't really sink in. I'm glad I kept at it though, because I am now rewarded once again with appreciation for an album that is not only wide and deep, but has infiltrated my musical headspace in a really nice way. Yes, we've all been victimized by popular music that gets its hooks into you in a most annoying way, with songs that you'd pay to have surgically removed from your brain. When Robert's songs play in my head, they make me smile and want to listen to them again.
And like the deepest music, each song makes itself known to me in its own time. I've always loved the first track, "You Don't Wanna Know." It's the first one I remembered, and it gives me a wonderful wistful feeling. Lately other goodies have surfaced, especially the lovely, yearning "Ode to Central Park" and Gentle Giant-like treatments of two Charles Ives pieces. The CD holds together nicely as a concept album, with at least two themes running through it that speak particularly to me. The main theme of "Compulsion", in all its good and bad manifestations -- the unstoppable drive to great creative achievement as well as the single-minded pursuit of baser desires, and the entire spectrum in between -- is played out again in the polar opposites of "No Love in Sight" and "Ode to Central Park", and returns in different guises throughout the remaining songs. I'm especially taken with the overall Rock Widow concept, being very familiar myself with what it's like to be the "keeper of the flame." It's a bittersweet mix of feelings, of pride, awe, accomplishment, anger, loss and mourning, that drives us to want to present an almost-lost art to the world. One feels honored and grateful to be the sole remaining conduit and voice for something magnificent, yet somewhat betrayed by beloved co-creators who for one reason or another couldn't hold the vision long enough to see it through with us. These are very powerful motivators to drive the creative process, giving us gems like Rock Widow.
I was delighted to discover that the entire album was recorded in Robert's own recording studio, played and sung largely by him. Being a big fan of home productions myself, I nevertheless was not prepared for the incredible clarity and rich, full sound that Robert has achieved on this recording. It has an undeniable warmth that fits the songs like a glove. I loved hearing Robert explain how he meticulously arranged the drums and other parts, nudging them around slightly in time to give them a more human feel. Not to say that they were played by a machine -- in fact, I know that Robert played the drum pads and keyboards (and of course the guitars) himself -- but that in spite of the fact that most were overdubs, he was able to bring the parts together into a cohesive whole that sounds and feels like a live band. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is a great example. It cooks like four guys feeding off each others' energy, even down to the classic "band falling apart together" ending. Kudos to Robert, the effect is very real.
It's always fascinating to me to meet another progressive rock afficionado -- we are both big fans of Yes, ELP, Gentle Giant, Led Zeppelin, etc. -- who is clearly influenced by those great musicians of the '70s, but has chosen his own particular synthesis of styles for his musical expression. You won't hear any retread here, no attempt to play "tribute band." Robert has his own voice, from his singing style to his guitar playing, his songwriting and production, all of which cover a broad and beautifully integrated range from sweetly introspective to hard-rockin' and funky. I love how Robert can bring these diverse moods and styles together so seamlessly in one song, without calling attention to its cleverness or turning it into a 20-minute epic. Not that I'm against 20-minute epics, I'm just always impressed by stylistic adventurousness that serves the mood of the song, rather than the other way around. "Ode to Central Park" is a clear winner in this regard. I just love how Robert underlines the sweet acoustic verses with his vibrating electric and slide guitar lines, and so smoothly segues them into rockier ensemble sections and a cool sparse poetic break.
"... how wonderful it is to have Rock Widow occupying a prominent place in my musical universe.
- Reviewer: Gordon Smith - RUBBERLEGS
- New York City
"... Robert then performed one of the most provocative and overtly political songs from the highly praised CD "Rock Widow": "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Given our current state of politics and the fight for gay equality, the instant classic-- nominated for "Outsong of the Year" 2004 - couldn't be more timely"
- Jed Ryan, www.jedryan.com, reviewing Outmusic Open Mic at C-Note Bar, May 2004 - NYC
Robert Urbanbrings to "Zombies" added depth and in many cases a sense of humor.
I was surprised by Urban's musical score. Very unique and separate from his CD works with which I am very familiar. Robert Urban shows he can utilize person style while not "branding" his talent in a particular pigeon-hole. Urban uses the music to make statements missed in other areas of the film. Robert's method of dealing with a soundless slap adds amusement and nuance to what would have been a flat scene.
Cemetery scenes were spiced with alternating rhythms and sound types not usually associated with the visual setting. With this Urban adds much of the pending doom and tongue in cheek humor. The sound adds to a feel in a few brief scenes from Romero's "Night of The Living Dead". Tight filming combines with tight musical sounds to add intensity and influence. Robert Urban obviously paid close attention to the filming detail as well as the storyline. Although the storyline does not provide much direction. So I believe that Urban got motivation from film product, and rightfully so.
That an accomplished rock guitarist can make the necessary stretch to handle this film's score is a credit to Urban's talent itself. The score brought a new dimension to the depth of Urban's abilities and talent. Not to mention a keen sense of humor in adding sound to a very stylized visual project. The chameleon-like ability to change and alter predicated on need is well established and demonstrated by Urban. His comprehension and attention are an asset to the film in enjoyment and interest measures. His talent as Music Director for the film is further demonstrated in the selection of Scott Free's song "Zombies" as the end credit score. An added piece of community fun! - Len Rogers, www.stonewallsociety ZOMBIES film score review
August 2,2004 It's 2:00 in the morning and I just got in from East of Eighth. The show tonight was in a word amazing! I opened for Yolanda & Robert Urban. I can't say enough about Robert Urban. His guitar playing is incredible. What Robert can do with the guitar is like a good orgasm. Watching him play is a treat for anyone to experience. Then mixing in Yolanda's amazing voice is pure magic.
I sang a lot of background vocals for them and it was a great show.
- Joie Starr
Read PM Magazine Review (Sept 04 issue) by Jed Ryan of above-mentioned Robert Urban/Yolanda East of 8th Show at PM MAGAZINE Review
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