Born of triumph and tragedy, Bobby Pinson’s songs embody the power and integrity to take them across the width of today’s musical landscape. Political statements, personal mantras, real-life situations, and the examination of the human condition all find a place in Bobby’s diverse material. When the panhandle Texan sings of who he is, where he’s been, and at what cost, his photographic voice rings with gritty truth. “I’ve been wrong enough to know what right is,” says Pinson of his life that’s so vividly depicted in the music that he affectionately calls “Gutter and Grace.”
Bobby’s the son of a high school football coach and an elementary school teacher who “grew up fifty miles past the middle of nowhere in the land of wind and dirt where football was life, Dad was boss, and Christ was King.” Raised in a string of small Texas towns, the perennial new kid learned that you immediately had to find a connection with somebody, while at the same time having almost a blatant disregard for what they thought. “You had to figure out what mattered to them, and at the same time, have a real strong sense of what mattered to you,” says Pinson. “I think that’s why my music is what it is.”
Pinson credits artist songwriter greats Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Bruce Springsteen, and Steve Earle with influencing that high school boy who is thirteen years into a career that’s just now surfaced. Though he attributes his “first three chords” to his dad and his early interest in songwriting to his grandpa, Pinson’s first fascination with rhyme was found on the pages of famed children’s poet, Shel Silverstein.
After three years in the U.S. Army, Bobby paid the first of his dues playing clubs and fairs across the country. In 1996, Pinson moved to Music City with a “sack full of songs that weren’t worth packin’.” The pursuit of his artist aspirations proved to be fruitless in the beginning. For the next three years, Bobby delivered everything from pizzas to the Yellow Pages, worked as a banquet server and bought and sold junk at yard sales and auctions to survive.
In 1999, Bobby signed with Sony/ATV Music as a staff songwriter. In 2000, he signed to what is now known as Stage Three Music. In 2005 Pinson released his debut album on RCA records. Though their artist/label marriage was short lived, it spawned one of the most critically acclaimed records of that year. An effort hailed by USA Today and entertainment weekly as Nashville’s cream of the crop, Pinson’s “Man Like Me” packed a punch that landed him a highly coveted slot in Blender magazines year end list as one of the top 50 albums in all genres.
After his label deal, over forty of Bobby’s songs found their way onto albums by Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Jason Aldean LeAnn Rimes, Tracy Lawrence, Blake Shelton, and more. Bobby’s had 5 number 1 singles, 4 of which were with Sugarland and one with Toby Keith. In 2009, Bobby’s success won him the coveted BMI Songwriter of the Year Award.