Long Beach, California, USA
Robert Deeble (born 1966) is an American singer-songwriter originally from Long Beach, California, now based in Seattle. His recordings have been noted for their orchestrated arrangements, a subtle, minimalist style of production, and lyrical content. He has also released albums under the band name Days Like These.
|1989||Songs from the Sabbatical||Liberation Music|
|1992||The Big Yellow||Liberation Music / Sonic Hope Records|
|1998||EarthSide Down||Jackson/Rubio Entertainment|
|2003||Thirteen Stories||Pete Records / Fractured Discs|
|2005||Days Like These (reissue)||Liberation Music|
|2005||This Bar Has No One Left||Fractured Discs|
|2012||Heart Like Feathers||Mind Bomb Publishing|
1989 Liberation Music
Robert Deeble – Vocals, guitar, drums, 12 string
Russ Blake – Guitar, slide
Landan Donsbach – Bass, upright bass
Oginr Rats – Drums
Dave Finley – Backing vocals
Hillette Brooks – Backing vocals
Kim Schnuttenhaus – Backing vocals
Mark Romans – Tambourine
Steve Light – Bass
John R. Williamson – Bass
Robert Deeble – Vocals, acoustic guitars, drums
J.R.W – Bass on 1, 2, and 7
Kirby Paulsen – Guitars on 2 and 8
Steve Light – Bass on 6
Billy B – Drums on 9
Steve M – Bass on 9
Trevor – Guitar on 9
“The Big Yellow is a very rare cassette of songs I demo’d/released after college (technically my second cassette release). It was part of a collective of releases called “Sonic Hope” who were a group of friends wrote, recorded and self distributed cassettes. Each of those release came out on different colored Xeroxed covers and the only color not chosen at the time was yellow so I named mine The Big Yellow.
The Sonic Hope community included John R. Williamson, Mandy Troxel, David Finley, Korby and Eric Paulsen, Chad Bryant Edmundson, and Michael Knepher along with various friends and partners. Many of those folks appeared on the recording and also show up on my formal releases that followed later.
The Big Yellow was mostly 4 tracked in my garage, with a few songs recorded live and one in the studio.
Much of the album captures the early joy, optimism and wonder in my life when my wife and I were first dating and starting our life together (the cover art features a playful photo of us).
Much of the recordings are whimsical, while at the same alluding to the tension of the world. Examples being “Greyhound” a traveling song written about a road trip to attend David Finley’s wedding that ended in a bus crash. Another song “All My Friends Kim” was a ridiculous song about our dear friend Kim Dozier and her best friend Kim (who then marries Dave) and their best friend Kim… who all hung out together which got kinda confusing.
Other moments captured my serious side including “Shantytown” written about a brief time I spent living in the shanty towns of South Africa during apartheid. It spoke of the anguish I witnessed among the oppressed and challenged my spiritual faith in very meaningful ways.
The album ends playfully with a collage of answering machine messages with an odd bunch of characters.
So The Big Yellow documents a lot fun stuff early in my life including my faith and my marriage and my first artistic community. Although Sonic Hope, as a collective, was short lived, Mandy, John, and I continued to make records. And despite relative obscurity, eventually some of those releases fell into good ears. Victoria Williams joined me on my debut release, T-Bone Burnett cited John as one of his favorite all time songwriters, Mandy got to work with Joe Henry at one point. I remember I was traveling during those times and would get calls from Mandy and John telling me they were hanging out with Sam Phillips, Joe Henry at T-Bone’s place and, you know, you should just come over for a beer or something (way to rub it in)… But really more important than hobnobbing or anyone getting heard was the life long friendships that resulted from that collective along with our mutual growth as songwriters.”
Between these two releases, Robert Deeble led a band called Days Like These, which had one full length release under that name. That album was later re-issued under Deeble's name.
Robert Deeble - Vocals, guitar, percusion
Dave Stone - Double bass
Greg Coates - Double bass
Mario Barmosca - Double bass
Tony Green - Double bass
Anthony Arvizu - Drums
Lili De La Mora - Backing vocals
Madelyn Mendoza - Backing vocals
Mandy Troxel - Backing vocals
Eddie Young - Cello
Melissa Hasin - Cello
Steve Velez - Cello
Stephen Hodges - Brake drums, hooves, random pieces of metal, gongs, and springs
Kenny Negrete - Rhodes
Phillip Lee - Flamenco guitar
Chris Hanlin - Additional guitar
Bill Burgess - Ambient loops and vapors
Anthony Arvizu - Percussion
Chris Hanlin - Tambora
Stephen Hodges - Timpani