b. Wigan, Lancashire, England. Roby met his Acadian wife while living in France, before both moved to Toronto, Canada. By this time he had already studied sitar in India and African drumming. His early musical influences included the Beatles, and he eventually chose the guitar as his preferred instrument. However, he is adept at several other instruments, including the bouzouki, African djembe and Irish bodhrán in addition to the sitar. His debut album, 1995’s Utopia Is Not Here, announced this stylistic diversity on a series of socially-motivated songs such as ‘Home Ground’, written about the Bosnian war. It featured many of Toronto’s leading roots musicians, such as Andy Stochansky (Ani DiFranco’s drummer), and the quality of the finished product did not betray its creation in a bedroom studio.
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