Owen Sound’s Rob Elder caught the music bug as a kid on the family farm where classic country & western songs, the Beach Boys, and Bob Seeger were the sound track to barn chores. Back then, picking up a guitar was an easy way to wind down at the end of a long day. Turned to music, his farm boy’s work ethic led to quick growth and an early creative blossoming, his festival debut at the age of 20, and the release of two self produced albums shortly afterwards.
Eventually, Rob moved to Toronto where he gigged every weekend and hosted an open mic for two and a half years. All that playing and networking exposed him to a world of musicians and sounds well beyond his parents record collection. Those influences fused into a style that playfully mixes blue-eyed soul, slick guitar, and crooning country rhythms and serves them with a voice that surfs from solid depths to groovy falsetto highs.
By his mid-twenties, Rob was chasing the Canadian dream. He got married, had two kids, and was advancing in a straight-laced career while gigging tirelessly in Toronto. There wasn’t much time for recording back then and Rob and his wife knew that they didn’t want to raise children in the city. So in 2012 they moved back to Grey County where a vibrant musical community welcomed them wholeheartedly. Rob put together a band, started mentoring younger musicians through the Georgian Bay Folk Society, and – as always – filled every available moment with music. Now with the release of ‘Changer‘ 12 years after his sophomore record, Rob self-identifies as a re-emerging artist. But make no mistake, his musical growth has never faltered and his roots have only dug deeper in the intervening years.
2018’s ‘Changer’ shows off how much Rob has grown and what he’s learned along the way. Where his first two albums ploughed popular themes of young love and heartbreak, Changer explores more mature themes of social unrest and inequality, solidarity, and the deep love that carries a relationship decades on. Don’t think that serious themes make the music less fun, though. With thoughtful lyrics and catchy melodies, Changer proves that Rob Elder still knows how to get audiences dancing.