The Cold Heart Revue: Inside the Renegade Heart Project

The Cold Heart Revue is David Robinson. David must have sprung from the womb playing the blues. He probably gets tired of hearing his talents heralded with age related associations because the truth is he’s good at his craft, very good, and he can hang with the best of them. He was born for this. The blues “ain’t easy” but you can see, hear, and feel that it’s part of his soul. His tribute to Chuck Berry, Tattoo Girl, is so spot on with what Berry might have done himself that you might fight yourself wondering if it’s a remake of a Berry original but it’s all David.

The Cold Heart Revue/aka David Robinson has been all over the place since conception. You’re A Picture on the Wall reached #1 on the iTunes Blues Single Chart. He’s been Time Out’s Critic Choice for Music in London and also appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. You can find The Cold Heart Revue currently headlining many popular festivals. I chose a couple of video clips that I especially enjoyed and think showcase his talent.

His new Ep, Renegade Heart, launched on BBC Introducing Solent. I was given a chance to listen to the Ep in its entirety. I can tell you definitely that some tracks rock as much as others wail their woeful tale. It’s hard to choose a favorite among the 5 tracks but I’m personally leaning towards American Rain. I swear it gave me occasional hints of Zeppelin before inevitably leading me back home.

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David was kind enough to provide some insight into every track on the Renegade Heart EP:
Hope and Magazines
‘Hope and Magazines’ is the opening track and the final to be written for the ‘Renegade Heart’ project. I really wanted to make a big rock record that spoke about the human consequences of the big political economic situation and the natural desire to escape containment. I was keen for the track to be poignant and joyful, there is one moment to truly surface. The song is about breaking through into somewhere better.
Tattoo Girl
I was in the studio audience for Comic Relief and I wrote the lyrics as I lined up in the queue. I got the concept for the song after reading in the newspaper about Chuck Berry’s posthumous final album of new songs. He released ‘Chuck’ almost forty years after his previous album and I became fascinated by exactly what topics he would address in the twenty first century. Chuck Berry always wrote about adolescent concerns and a teenager making a move into the adult world starting with steps like a first tattoo could have been a thing he might write about. ‘Tattoo Girl’ is a modern tribute to him.
American Rain
‘American Rain’ is the heaviest track on the ‘Renegade Heart’ EP. I felt I needed something with a greater reach with regards to power. Rock n roll music can have a cinematic depth and scope- I wanted to try to make a recording that sounded like the opening to an action film. The slide guitar riff keeps the whole piece swinging and visually I can picture big sweeping helicopter shots over a city. 
I wanted to capture the potential chaos of a single night out. The lyrics depict a string of underground characters who could all be encountered on one night in a new city. It demonstrates their kindnesses, frailties and strangeness. The music is really upbeat and features wild harmonica and blues side guitar. It plays with the idea that the fringe personalities in any city with all their failings might have access to a broader truth through operating outside of the established status quo. 
I Can’t Get Started
The closing track of ‘Renegade Heart’ is the most pure blues track on the EP. The phrase ‘Maximum Rhythm n Blues’ was used to describe the British blues boom of the nineteen sixties and I wanted to try to record something which might measure up to a contemporary re-imagining of that phrase. I always preferred small combination blues because the guitars are front and centre. The lyrics to ‘I Can’t Get Started’ loosely talk about everyday frustrations with motivating contemporaries to engage a little politically, but also serves as a fun invitation to the audience in our live performances to get involved with the music. 
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