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Arts/Culture

Kim Robins

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Kim Robins
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Muddy Bottom Blues

Program #272 (January 7 at 8:00pm and January 8 at 3:00pm)

Bluegrass singer-songwriter and guitarist Kim Robins' vocals have earned her two nominations for the International Bluegrass Association's (IBMA) Momentum Female Vocalist of the Year award.

Robins was born into a musical family and began singing at the age of five in church and her father's band. Her influences are from the music by Connie Smith, Loretta Lynn, Buck Owens, Ray Price, Bill Monroe, and Barbara Mandrell.

Robins was an original member and the youngest of the Little Nashville Opry in Nashville, Indiana. Her mother's encouragement paid off as she traveled all over the country, opening for legends such as Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Barbara Mandrell, and The Oak Ridge Boys.

She grew up with music in her veins but, at age 19, gave her first love a backseat to a new love – her baby girl. After earning two college degrees, singlehandedly raising her daughter, and establishing a career, Robins met and married renowned banjo player Butch Robins. That reignited her dream of performing music. With Butch's encouragement, she started writing music and finding venues to showcase her powerful vocals.

Kim has since gained attention with her high-energy, contemporary sound. She has performed with her band, 40 Years Late, at the International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass, The Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA), The Folk Alliance in Memphis, and Merlefest. In addition, she has opened for notable bluegrass artists such as Ralph Stanley, Bobby Osborne, and Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice.

In 2015, Kim received her first nomination for IBMA's Momentum Vocalist award. The following year, she signed with Pinecastle Records, who released her sophomore album titled "Raining in Baltimore." The title track achieved chart success around the globe and appeared on Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction's Most Played Tracks chart in August 2017. Later that year, she received her second nomination for IBMA's Momentum Female Vocalist of the Year Award.

In 2019, Pinecastle Records released the single "I'll Always Be A Gambler" by Kim Robins and 40 Years Late. But 2020 brought many challenges. Her brother and only sibling, Jeff, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and sadly passed away in 2021.  Also, in 2020, Kim's husband, Mark, was diagnosed with prostate cancer, her father died, COVID-19 hit, and her mother became ill. As a Registered Nurse and essential care worker for the Indiana State Department of Health, Kim was extremely busy overseeing COVID-positive nursing homes, ensuring they followed CDC guidelines. Understandably, Kim focused on her family and her work during that tumultuous year.

In 2021, Robins released a brand-new album and celebrating life. Now married to businessman and college basketball official Mark Gines, Robins resides on her farm in Worthington, Indiana, balancing her career as a Public Health Nurse Surveyor with time enjoyed with her husband, daughter, two stepsons, and four grandchildren.

(provided by Kim Robins)