After eight years in the Music City, singer, songwriter and guitarist Robin Mink moved to Talent where she's spent the past two years honing her sound and acquainting herself with the local music scene.
Mink will make her official Southern Oregon debut at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, at The Total Picture, 201 Talent Ave., Talent. Local Dobro player Bob Evoniuk and percussionist Michael Whipple will accompany Mink for a few songs each.
"I think people are going to be really surprised at how I perform," she says. "I'm actually surprised with how great I sound ... and how my style has coalesced."
Mink started playing music at the age of 9 and writing music at 17. Since then, she has worked in all areas of the music industry — as a producer, engineer, composer and artist — but her own sound didn't materialize until the past decade.
"I had a feeling in my gut for many years about the sound I wanted," Mink says. "After I moved to Nashville, I met a guy (Andy Hall) who played Dobro. We jammed, and all of a sudden I realized this was it ... gritty, organic instruments mixed with synthesized dance beats. I call it a gritty weave."
Mink spent the past several years translating her original material to her new sound, and last year, she sold her digital guitar gear and purchased all new analog boutique gear to create a sound that, she says, "thrills" her every day. She plays Les Paul, acoustic and telecaster guitars.
"I play funky, rhythmic guitar, and then I have a folk-pop, melodic sensibility, somewhere between Bonnie Raitt and Annie Lennox — a big voice, good pitch, clear tone, a li'l bluesy but not a blues singer," she says.
Mink recorded her first album, "More to Love," in 2001. The title track, with its engaging lyrics, enticing vocals, sonic production and groovy beat, paved the way for her recording career.
"Doors are flinging open because of that song. ... It's a killer track that's respected by the masters, little-known by the masses," she says.
Last summer in Los Angeles, Mink says she walked into a bar, ordered a Virgin Mary and sat down and started a conversation with a guy, who turned out to be Quincy Jones' protege and a prominent figure in the music and film industry. While Mink ran to feed the meter, the man listened to her song, "More to Love," and when she returned, he gave her his card and told her to pitch it to various television networks. The song recently caught the attention of a major TV series that may possibly include it in a future season.
Mink writes poetic, conscious lyrics, "nothing with a negative mantra" and nothing "syrupy, gooey and Hallmark," she says. Her most recent collection of Dobro and dance grooves, "Hillbilly Stomp," will be released at her Talent debut.
Tickets to the show cost $15 and are available in advance at the venue or by calling 541-535-5039. See www.reverbnation.com/robinmink.