Maton Guitars

Joe’s 12

We catch up with Joe Robinson, to talk online education with Tommy Emmanuel, Steve Vai and Eric Johnson. A new record, and just how he convinced so many amazing artists to be part of his latest project Joe's 12.

Joe’s 12

Hi Joe, thanks for taking the time to chat, how is Nashville treating you?

I’m really enjoying living in Nashville and being a part of the musical community here!  It’s been 10 years since I moved here and feel I have built up a great network of people around me.  I stay busy on the road touring as a solo performer, working a session musician in the studio, collaborating with great songwriters and backing up artists like Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell and others.  It’s a very stimulating environment.

You have a new record out, tell us about the recording/writing process?

Writing for Undertones, I collaborated with some great people and over the course of a year, wrote around 80 songs.  We picked the best 12 and I went into the studio with my favorite rhythm section, Pete Abbott (Average White Band, Blood, Sweat & Tears) and Anton Nesbitt (CeCe Winans, McCrary Sisters).  We tracked at the Castle, which is an iconic studio in Nashville and I completed overdubs and mixed the records at my own studio, Joes Garage.

You have also been working on some online education, can you tell us a little bit about Joes 12?

I am so excited to be sharing Joes12 with the world!!  It was an amazing experience creating this course.  It is live now at  In 12 weeks, we cover everything from practicing, improvising, getting gigs, touring, songwriting, collaboration, recording, gear, your mission and so much more.  I interviewed 19 of my mentors, including Tommy Emmanuel, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Robben Ford, John Jorgenson, Rodney Crowell, Keb Mo, Don Peake, Gary Nicholson, Fred Gretsch and more.  It was incredible hearing these heroes of mine share their wisdom and I think this material will help a lot of musicians out there.

What do you hope to achieve with the platform?

Over the years I’ve had great experiences teaching at schools like Berklee, Musicians Institute and Belmont - but I’ve always come away thinking there is a void in the world of tertiary music education.  I think mentorship is the missing link.

I wanted to create a video course that covers everything I’ve figured out about guitar playing, in which I personally interview my mentors, in an entertaining and informative journey that I think is unlike any music education product currently available.

It’s a pretty amazing list of artists, How did they become involved?

I just called them up!  I am fortunate to have crossed paths with some amazing people over the years - and I wanted the mentors in this course to be people I had a personal connection with.  Everyone was so generous, heartfelt and shared incredible insights!

How important do you think the internet is for learning, development of musicians? 

The internet has created abundant opportunity for self education.  However it can be overwhelming!!  Where do you start?  I think mentors are absolutely key.  Not everyone has access to the kind of musicians that are in a city like Nashville.  So I wanted to use the internet to create a course to show what i’ve learned, how I learned it - and how my mentors have helped me.

Plans for the next 12 months, tours? Records?

I have over 100 tour dates on the books for the rest of 2019 - so it’s a busy time on the road for me.  Everyday i’m not touring i’m writing and collaborating with different people.  I’m planning on releasing another album in 2020.  

You can find out more about Joes 12 Here