Robin Kessinger is one of the country's leading flatpick guitarists.
Since first gaining national attention by winning the 1985 National
Flatpicking Championship in Winfield Kansas, He has become internationally
known through his performances, recordings, and teaching workshops.
Robin comes from a family of famous musicians. Perhaps the most
famous was his uncle, the legendary Clark Kessinger. In August
1992, Bluegrass Unlimited magazine wrote, "When Robin Kessinger
performs, you can hear the ghosts of generations past joining
in to help blend the notes from his guitar into the familiar strains
of old-time tunes."
In his own right Robin is known for his outstanding and varied
repertoire. In the January/February 1997 edition of Flatpick Guitar
magazine, editor Dan Miller noted, "This is a man who is
incredibly versatile. He enjoys flatpicking a wide variety of
musical styles and does all of it very well."
Robin appears on national and public radio and television and
the BBC aired a documentary on Robin and his musical heritage.
In 1995 the West Virginia Humanities Council began nationally
airing "West Virginia Film History" with music performed
by Robin and several prominent musicians of the State. Robin has
twice toured Ireland (1994 and 2000) and was a guest performer
at Japan's International Bluegrass Music Association Festival.
He has performed on more than thirty recordings.
Robin Kessinger is a rare musician in that he is as renowned
for his teaching skills as he is for his accomplishments as a
performer. Robin teaches both in private and workshop settings.
He has the patience, communication skills and enthusiasm necessary
to inspire the interest and attention of a novice and the repertoire
and technique to challenge an accomplished musician. Steve Kaufman
wrote on the liner notes for Robin's CD Raw Guitar, "Robin
can come up with more obscure, incredible tunes than any other
flatpicker I know. I always learn new tunes from Robin whether
I am sitting there picking with him or picking it off his recording."
Since 1983, Robin has been an instructor at the Augusta Heritage
workshops in Elkins, West Virginia, and now also serves as coordinator
of Guitar Week. In 1997 he began teaching at the Allegheny Echoes
Workshop near Marlinton, West Virginia. In 1996, 1997, 1998, and
2003 Robin joined other renowned master flatpickers such as Russ
Barenberg, Curtis Burch, Dan Crary, Pat Flynn, Beppe Gambetta,
Steve Kaufman, and Tim Stafford as an instructor at Steve Kaufman's
Flatpicking Camp in Maryville, Tennessee.
As a private instructor Robin was immensely proud when his student,
Matt Lindsey, won 2nd place at the 1992 National Flatpicking Championship.
Some of his former students are now teachers, performers, and
recorded artists in their own right.