When Robinella was an art student at the University of Tennessee, music was more of a hobby. But then she met Cruz Contreras, a UT jazz piano major, and the rest, as they say, is history. Together, they started playing bluegrass, migrated to string music and now Robinella’s performances are a mix of old songs made new and new songs created from true stories and real life that she sees all around her. Robinella’s voice is strong and soft at the same time, luring in audiences like a sweet flower and them refusing to let them go. Her latest CD, Solace for the Lonely, is out on Dualtone, marking her second major label release. Robin and Cruz were married in 1999 and they had a baby a few years later while touring as Robinella and the CCstringband. Her sound is now expanding and, although she and Cruz are primarily traveling as a duo, she was on a solo tour when she stopped by to talk to Jim Blum. She still lives in her hometown of Maryville, just south of Knoxville.

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