Robert Avery first began playing the guitar as campfire accompaniment to his singing. After hearing folk and blues revivalists like Dave Van Ronk, John Cephas, and Jorma Kaukonen, he set down his red turtle pick and took up fingerstyle. His songs can be heard in venues throughout Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where he currently lives, just a stone’s throw away from the other half of Spinning Straw. He is especially grateful to have found a friend and partner in Mike Brill, whose musicianship, enthusiasm, and generosity have made the band and its music possible.
Brill shares his authentic excitement for this new music project, Spinning Straw, as he gets to play guitar, mandolin, harmonica and sing. But most of all, his biggest motivation continues to be the sheer pleasure and honor in working with a great friend, artist, poet and performer in Robert Avery. Brill states: "Rob's words, music and songs are thought provoking and brilliantly arranged and presented. His songs need to be heard by the world and I'm blown away at the musical freedoms and creativity he allows me during his songs." Brill is also enjoying dusting off his own originals and after 15 years has reembarked on his own writing of lyrics and music.
Mike believes music should never be owned or isolated, as it is too powerful of a gift. It needs to be shared and in order for one to keep such an awesome entity of life, it must be given away. On stage, Mike pours everything he has into every song. If you look real close as he performs, you can see that twinkle in his eye that says Brill has found and dwells in his living mantra of “Peace through Music.”