OVER HIS NEARLY FOUR-DECADE CAREER, HANK ROBERTS HAS FORGED A COMPELLING ORIGINAL VOICE AS A COMPOSER AND A CELLIST, ENCOMPASSING ABSTRACT IMPROVISATION, JAZZ INFLUENCES, SOULFUL FOLK MELODIES, INTRICATE NEW-MUSIC COMPOSITIONS AND VIGOROUS ROCK SONGS.
Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, Roberts made his name in the 1980s legendary New York Downtown scene. Faced with a dearth of improvisational cellist mentors or peers, he carved his own path through that fertile ground alongside such frequent collaborators as Bill Frisell, Tim Berne, Marc Ribot and John Zorn, finding a second home at the famed Knitting Factory, leading and recording with his own groups, ‘Birds of Prey, ‘Black Pastels’, ‘Little Motor People’ and co-founding ‘Miniature’ with Tim Berne and Joey Baron, and the ‘Arcado String Trio’ with Mark Feldman and Mark Dresser.
The list of names with whom Roberts has shared stages or recording studios with includes Gavin Friday (with the members of U2), Sting, Jeff Buckley, David Sanborn, Mamadou Diabate, Andy Summers, Gary Burton, Marty Ehrlich, Arto Lindsey, Gerry Hemingway, Don Byron, and Julius Hemphill. He is currently a member of Bill Frisell’s 858 Quartet and Big Sur Quintet, and appeared on the guitarist’s Grammy-winning 2004 release Unspeakable. He’s recorded 10 albums on the ‘Winter & Winter’ label, along with numerable self-released recordings. His solo performances are singularly compelling and unpredictable, wending from jagged dissonance to intoxicating pop songcraft.
"I have been using Schertler pickups with my cello since 1988 when I met Stephan in St Gallien, Switzerland while on tour. I had heard about the pickups, and once I tried the 'Stat C Vin’ I was convinced that this was the one for me. My opinion has not changed, and I have been using them ever since. These pickups bring an exceptionally warm and vibrant tone without overly accentuated highs or lows. The ‘YELLOW BLENDER' has also been an invaluable piece of (‘piece of gold’) equipment that is always with me when I play. With two channels, phantom power, and fantastic EQ parameters, I feel prepared to adapt to any situation that I encounter, particularly when I’m on the road and experience challenging performance rooms and equipment options. The DYN-P48 has also given me extended options, (indispensable when borrowing a cello on the road). It sounds great. I think that you’ve made significant improvements in it: very natural sounding. The ‘STAT PRE’ has always been at the core of my electronic tonal expression since 1988: a must have for these pickups. In the past, my approach and goal with pickups was to electronically emulate the sound of my acoustic cello. I now realize that my electronic sound (with Schertler Pickups and Electronics at the core of it), is equally as important, enjoyable and fundamental to my work. Tone, timbre and response are among the highest priorities for me when I perform, and I absolutely could not play the cello the way that I do without these wonderful pickups. Playing and sharing music is a wonderfully collaborative way of life for me. I am so happy that I’ve discovered these wonderful pickups, and all of the other advanced electronic devises that Schertler has offered to the world. Thank you Stephan Schertler and Company."