An incubator for emerging artists and bands.
Dr. Mitch Collman is a practicing cardiologist with a big heart. Medicine is his vocation, but music is his passion.
Mitch moved to Chapel Hill from Ann Arbor in 1983 to complete his medical training. He quickly realized that he was in the midst of an amazing diversity of musical talent. After many years as a local music follower and after learning from others in the music business, Mitch came to a second realization: that despite the quality of the music scene, there existed few local resources to help emerging artists learn about the music industry and plan a path to wider exposure.
True to form, Mitch acted. Not having any musical talent of his own, in 2008 he founded Robust Records with the mission of guiding aspiring artists and bands through the many important steps involved in making quality music, spreading that music, and acquiring fans – from recording and production, to disc design and manufacturing, to digital distribution, to booking and publicity, and to business management and funding.
He has shared his philosophy with his artists that the foundation for good music is rich lyrics – whatever the genre - and that success would follow.
Ten years later, Robust’s catalog ranges from Chapel Hill - born Mipso to Raleigh's bluegrass/classical Hank, Pattie & The Current, to the Durham hip-hop fusion band The Beast, to folksinger Reed Mahoney of Tallahassee (the latter produced in conjunction with Jim Avett) , to Winston-Salem alt country country artist Caleb Caudle, to pop rock The Letter Jackets (Chandler Holt and John Teer of bluegrass Chatham County Line), and to Greensboro's Wood Robinson's New Formal (Wood Robinson of Mipso).
Newcomers to the Robust roster include husband and wife folk and bluegrass duo Chatham Rabbits, the Nashville bluegrass collaboration of Justin Hiltner and Jon Weisberger as well as the Chapel Hill septuagenarian AC Bushnell If the Robust Records family seems uncommonly diverse, Mitch likes it that way. “I’m interested in music that crosses categories,” he says. “And what matters is music that reaches and touches people.”