At just 17 years of age, Joe Robinson has secured a reputation as one of the worlds finest young guitarists. His unique acoustic guitar style has caught the attention of Les Paul, Steve Vai, Brad Paisley, Tommy Emmanuel and many others. From winning the hit television series “Australia’s Got Talent”, to recording in Nashville with “Producer of the year”, Frank Rogers, few doubt that this humble young man is destined for greatness.
Joe started playing piano at the age of six, only because he was told his fingers were too small to play the guitar. After 4 grueling years of classical piano, Joe quit and began to play the guitar (aged 10). He outgrew his guitar teacher in less than 12 months, and he started to teach himself from the internet.
Like a sponge, Joe dragged his parents around to any music situation on offer. He would jam in local bars, with his guitar cable through the window, in order not to be thrown out. From lots and lots of jamming, Joe developed incredibly mature listening and improvisation skills. It also gave him versatility, playing Jazz, Country, Rock, and Blues. At the age of 12, Joe caught the attention of legendary Australian guitarist, Phil Emmanuel. Phil was astounded by Joe’s playing and called him “Joe is the best player for his age that I have ever seen. I predict that by the time Joe is 21, he will undoubtedly be Australia’s best guitarist.”
By the time he was 13, Joe had toured with Phil Emmanuel, Texas Rose, and had one several band contests, with his band, the Kaotic Penguins. That year he also won a section in the National Songwriting Competition.
Joe recorded an album with Sunball records when he was 14, and had an album launch at Sydney’s premier live music venue, the Basement. The show created such hype, that Sony BMG contacted Joe the very next day, requesting a showcase for Dennis Handlin, the CEO.
Despite being very academically gifted, Joe left school at the age of 15 to practice the guitar more. After hearing that Joe was practicing for 4 hours before AND after school, waking at 4am, Joe’s parents and principal suggested he leave and focus on his music.
In late 2007 he embarked on a self funded (with his own pocket money) trip to the USA. As well as performing in concert with Tommy Emmanuel, Joe, desperate to play for someone, started door knocking on Nashville’s music row (where all the music- related businesses are located). After two days of being thrown out of these buildings, Joe finally got a chance to play for the president of Aristo Media, Jeff Walker. Jeff was so amazed at Joe's ability that he organized Joe several other meetings. Things began to snowball, and by the end of the week, Joe had met with Sony, Universal, BMI, Ascap, Ten Ten, Universal South, Universal Publishing, and many others.
After returning to Australia, Joe auditioned for the “Australia’s Got Talent” TV series. Joe became a favorite right from the start. In the semi final, a grandma spoon player was awarded the Judges choice award, but record votes sent Joe through to the Grand Final.