“Phil and Tommy Emmanuel were so encouraging. Phil said, ‘Most kids are listening to Limp Bizkit, and you’re playing Eric Johnson and Jerry Reed!’” Meet Joe Robinson, the Australian acoustic virtuoso who turned down major labels to make it in Nashville

Joe Robinson
(Image credit: Audrey Hall)

From humble origins in New South Wales, Australia, Joe Robinson emigrated to Nashville, Tennessee, at 18, found success beyond his wildest dreams and then eased into a quiet life in rural Montana. At 32, the acoustic virtuoso has accrued a lifetime’s worth of musical memories in a short span.

He became immersed in music when he started playing piano aged six, moving to guitar when he was 10. “I felt like it was my instrument,” he says. “I could take it wherever I wanted, and I became determined to figure it all out.”

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.