Singer-songwriter Robb Sansonetti is an unstoppable music machine.
In 2019, under his moniker Mojave Robb, he performed about 90 shows. He’s in two different bands, writing and recording songs concurrently. He lives for being onstage. When the COVID-19 shutdown occurred, it hurt him to not be able to do what he loves.
“The last big show I did was right (was) before St. Patrick’s Day at Unplugged. We had a really big crowd and it was a really good time. And then poof, nothing. Everybody canceled. And next thing I know I wasn’t doing anything,” he said.
As venues slowly open up, Sansonetti is feeling more optimistic, playing shows around the area, including one with his band Mojave Robb at 6 p.m. Friday at Lanham Music. Featuring a full band, the concert will be live streamed on Lanham Music’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lanhammusic.
“I’m really happy that there’s some venues there that are really trying to help the music scene survive and thrive, and it’s really sad that this COVID thing is just kind of wiped us all out for a while,” he said.
Raised in the Mojave desert area, Sansonetti grew up listening to his father’s favorite artists like The Eagles, CSNY and John Denver. It inspired him to pick up a guitar and channel those inspirations into his own work.
“I learned to play ‘Dust In The Wind’ when I was 12. I’m not saying I’m a great guitarist, but I just really loved it and I play my guitar as much as I can,” he said.
Living in Northwest Missouri, Sansonetti has been a part of a few different musical projects, including Sacrament in the 1980s, Burley Creek Revival and currently his solo project and a new band, Peyoteros, with several other musician friends.
In short, Sansonetti can’t stop performing and collaborating with a variety of different musical minds. It’s why he averaged about three or four concerts a week in 2019.
“Everybody needed me and I was taking gigs, probably some of the gigs I shouldn’t have taken. I had that drive going, that momentum, and then all this COVID ... hit this year and I probably haven’t played nine shows,” he said.
But a global health crisis couldn’t stop Sansonetti from keeping the creative juices flowing. Because he couldn’t perform live, he brought the feeling of a venue to his home, building a bar to give him that live music vibe, as well as a recording studio to let his various projects capture their different ideas.
“It’s been maddening for me because I’m an extrovert and I love the crowd and I love being upfront on stage. The only thing I could do was use this time to do something constructive,” he said.
Being a supporter of live, local music, as well as having purchased instruments at Lanham Music, Sansonetti said the concert is a nice measure to getting back to a feeling of normalcy. The band will be performing a mixture of originals, including Sansonetti’s personal favorite, “Little Green Frog,” along with some covers, like his interpretation of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman.” He promises a good time.
“We’re just doing it for the fun of it and to kind of get get people’s juices flowing again, get hungry for some of that live music,” he said.