“Billy Robinson’s Grooveshack Studios stand next to his home high on a hill outside Ramelton at the foot of the Fanad peninsula where the River Lennon runs into Lough Swilly in Donegal. The views across the Swilly to the hills beyond are stunningly beautiful and during a few lower points of my recording experience, all I had to do was gaze out of the window. I have a strong attachment to North East Donegal and have been fortunate to hear and befriend some of the region’s finest musicians over the years. To have had the opportunity to record an album of my own songs with some of them was a dream realised.
The craic and camaraderie during The Assassin studio sessions was a joy to experience; one of the high points of my life. When things went out of kilter, Billy and the others would carry me through with a thumbs-up and a laugh. Billy kept reminding me that the magic of the Grooveshack would ensure that The Assassin would turn out to be “a killer album”!
I fear I may have tested Percy Robinson’s perfectionism and patience to the limits a few times but when Billy, Peadar and I nailed my tribute song to the legendary Henry McCullough (Henry’s Guitar) and Percy told me that I had “really hit the spot” it meant so very much to me, as someone who has been a long-time fan of all these talented guys. The Assassin seemed worth it, just for that alone. I cannot thank Soundmeister Billy Robinson enough for his work on The Assassin, for believing in the songs and for encouraging me in the whole venture . He is the coolest dude under pressure that I have come across and it all stems from immense professional know-how combined with a positive, laid-back temperament. Billy also cooks great porridge and tells the best stories in Donegal.
There were occasional moments of terror when I naively feared that Billy may have lost something on his computer; perhaps it had crashed and the entirety of the hard-won Assassin recordings had been obliterated into the void. But Billy always retrieved what was temporarily eluding him and went on to enhance each track to very best effect. “Class”, as he would say!
Muchas gracias siempre Senor Guillermo!”
Sam R Gibson, November 2015