Butch Robins, banjo player with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys from 1977 to 1981, has been announced as the 2016 inductee into the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame. The official induction will take place during the Bill Monroe Hall of Fame & Uncle Pen Days Festival in September.
Robins has been an influential banjo player both in and out of Monroe’s band. As a Blue Grass Boy, he played in a very traditional, Earl Scruggs-oriented style, as he felt properly suited Mr. Monroe’s music. He used a bit of the then-novel melodic style on fiddle tunes, which he said Big Mon approved.
But after leaving Bill, Butch’s music became far more experimental. A number of iconic albums of his original music can be found in every banjo player’s collection, including Grounded Centered Focused in 1995 and 40 Years Late nearly 20 years earlier. He was also the original bass player in New Grass Revival.
He wrote a controversial memoir entitled What I Know ‘Bout What I Know in 2003, which laid bare precisely what the title promises. Butch has a well-earned reputation for straight talk, which even a brief conversation will reveal.
Butch continues to record and perform though a number of health issues have slowed him down a bit of late.
The Hall of Fame Festival runs September 21-24 at the Bill Monroe Music Park in Bean Blossom, IN.