Rob Lincoln’s “Roosevelt’s Around” (mini-episode)

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Nathans & Roncast
Rob Lincoln's "Roosevelt's Around" (mini-episode)

This week we are featuring a musical force of nature here in the Philadelphia music scene: Rob Lincoln.

Rob reminds me a little of myself (Aaron) in his willingness to write about anything, including real people. We share an appreciation of historical figures — he took the stage name Lincoln, after all. (It’s his middle name.) Today we’ll present his song about a different former president. But first, i want to tell you a little more about Rob.

He’s a leader in the local music scene. I met him shortly after I moved back East in the mid-2000’s, and at the time I barely knew anyone in Philadelphia beyond family, much less any musicians. He was a big voice and a big presence at Philadelphia Area Songwriters Alliance Events. It was hard to miss Rob.

It was at one such PASA event that I was having a conversation around the potluck table with the late Sharon Abbott, and I casually mentioned something called February Album Writing Month. That was a relatively new thing at the time, invented in Madison, Wisconsin, where I had just moved from. FAWM is an online community of people who spent the month of February writing 14 songs. That’s something that I did, and continue to do, pretty much every year.

Sharon mentioned it to Rob, and it didn’t take long for Rob to get hooked on FAWM. He could always be counted on to push out well above the required amount of songs each February. In those songs, his playful side was always on display, something I’ve always admired about his work.

But Rob’s gone further — much further. He has a YouTube series called Quest for 1,000 songs. He’s already up to song number 926. What can I say, the man is prolific. But Rob is more than just putting up numbers. You will find no finer gentleman, nor anyone more devoted to the craft of songwriting and the art of folk music.

These days he’s a driving force behind the resurgent Philadelphia Folksong Society, which is planning, after one fallow summer, to once again stage its legendary Philadelphia Folk Festival this August. 

Here’s one of my favorite tunes off Rob’s album “Five Cents a Song” — it has 300 songs on it, which is apparently a record for number of songs on a debut album. This tune is a celebration of FDR. This is “Roosevelt’s Around.”

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