Robby Hecht’s music is the real deal. His lyrics deal with everyday issues and his gentle voice makes you feel like ‘everything’s gonna be all right’ as they say. Honest songwriting isn’t as common as one would think but Robby has got it down. Sing Out compares Robby’s music to “comfort food.” I can see that comparison. His music is warm and it’s comfortable and it fills your heart and soul til they’re overflowing.
Your music has been compared to the singer-songwriter style of the 1970s. Would you agree?
I think I would agree with that. The music we listened to as a family when I was growing up mainly consisted of singer/songwriters like Paul Simon, Jim Croce and Joni Mitchell.. that sort of thing. I think my writing style probably stems largely from a combination of those artists and the music that I listened to during the singer/songwriter revival of the ’90s- artists like David Gray, Marc Cohn and Sarah McLachlan to name a few.
Who would you cite as your biggest influences in terms of songwriting and playing?
If I have to pick only a few, I’d say my biggest songwriter heroes over the years in terms of lasting influence have probably been Paul Simon and Tom Waits. It’s hard to say though.. so many immaculate songs have been written by a broad range of writers; it’s really the songs themselves I think that have had the biggest influence on me as a writer.
What prompted you to move to Nashville after college? There are lots of music scenes in the country. Why Nashville?
I first tried out San Francisco after college, and while I will forever love that city, I found out two things relatively quickly. The first was that I wanted to live in a city with a major music scene, and the second was that I wanted to live in a place with a far less consuming cost of living. Nashville fits both of those requirements, and it’s less than three hours from my family and hometown of Knoxville. It’s also the land of the best songwriting in the world as far as I’m concerned.
You’ve garnered a nice collection of songwriting awards like Kerrville and Telluride. Do you have any special memories from any of those festival contests?
The best rewards that I ever got from those festivals are the amazing people I got to meet and built lasting friendships with. It’s wonderful to be recognized for my work, but those relationships are what keep me inspired as a songwriter.
How much of the year do you spend traveling to gigs?
I’ve been playing around 80-100 shows a year over the past couple of years.
Hopefully I’ll be making a new album soon. I’ve got a ton of new material and I can’t wait to get it out there!