Robert Cline, Jr. Tips His Hat Off With American Mojo

Article Contributed by Miss Jill PR | Published on Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Robert Cline, Jr. travels from the Texas Plains to Colorado Rockies to the waters of The Shoals to find his calling – preaching the good news of this legendary place of American music. It’s quite magical and mystifying – no one can put the finger on how it’s so lush with sound. But it is.

When you move to a new area, you wanna know where to get the best coffee, the freshest meats, and a good watering hole. Robert Cline, Jr has found his waters of inspiration – deep in the sounds of American Mojo. After traveling thousands of miles, Cline has found his new hometown.

Produced at the Nutt House in Sheffield, AL, Robert started to hear his songs a certain way, and he needed some Mojo, something original and greasy -back beat grooves – thus entering: The Muscle Shoals  Swampers. Along with them, a few co-written songs with Shelley King and Gary Nichols, tucked under Robert’s hat, the music began to rise like the waters after a good summer rain.

Thus began the romance between a man and his quest for the song:

“Hello, my name is Robert Cline Jr. Thank you for taking a moment to listen to American Mojo and to hear the story of my pursuit of the American dream and my journey as a troubadour. When I started this project, I could never have imagined where I would be today. With this album, I hope to share my insight and passion so that you too find your Mojo.

The community here at The Shoal that I have woven myself into has been one of the greatest rewards that keep on giving.

Early on in my songwriting career, I was introduced to Kent Finlay (one of the founding songwriters of the Hill Country movement and founder of Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, Texas) and it was Gary Hartman, the Director of the Center for Texas Music History, who made the introduction.  Gary arranged an opportunity for me to play for Kent and after the show; he encouraged me to try my hand at writing my songs. So I stepped up to the challenge.

Then in slow-motion musical fashion, I met The Subdudes, the New Orleans groove band, who then took me under their wing to foster me as a songwriter and performer. The title track "American Mojo" takes place down in New Orleans, where ‘the dudes’ are from originally. John Magnie, the band leader, produced my debut album All The Right Reasons. Together with Steve Amedee, I began playing solo and band gigs honing my skills.

Fast forward to my old stomping grounds of Austin, Texas during the SXSW Music Festival that I had a chance meeting with The Muscle Shoals Swampers– the legendary session players that played on a lot of American rock, R&B, country and blues records for the past 40 years. Aretha Franklin called them “greasy.”

Like everyone else, I had sung along with Lynyrd Skynyrd classic name dropping song, "Sweet Home Alabama," but I didn't know who they were or their legacy.  Now I know. So out came the song, "The Boys From Muscle Shoals," that was co-written with Gary Nichols of The Steel Drivers. Not only does this song capture the sound of The Swampers; I tried to tell how they shaped rock-n-roll history!