- Personnel: Robin Holcomb (vocals, piano, organ, keyboards); Peter Holsapple, Bill Frisell, Stew Cutler (guitar); Doug Wieselman (guitar, tenor saxophone, clarinet); Peter Ostroushko (mandolin, violin); Bruce "Creeper" Kurnow (harmonica); Marty Ehrlich (tenor saxophone); Art Baron (trombone); Guy Klucevsek (accordion); Wayne Horvitz (keyboards, organ); Dave Hofstra (bass, tuba); Danny Frankel (drums, percussion, tambourine); Alan Bezozi (drums, tambourine); Mino Cinelu (percussion); Jevetta Steele, Jearlyn Steele Battle, J.D. Steele, Fred Steele (background vocals).
- Engineers: Joe Ferla, James MacMillan, Jay Folette, Tom Tucker Jr., Bryce Goggin.
- All songs written by Robin Holcomb.
- Rockabye, Robin Holcomb's second album, uses more familiar song structures (i.e., verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge) than her debut, which bore little resemblance to any other musical genre. This time, Holcomb draws on just about every American genre invented before, say, 1974 -- traditional folk music, country, classic rock, jazz, carnival music, Dixie brass, soul -- but the album is unified by her distinctive, earthy vocals and her staccato piano playing (her keyboard and vocal style seem to be inseparable from her personality). Holcomb's lyrics also fit the description of "earthy": her poetic explorations of personal pain and communal responsibility are pervaded by a sense of interconnection with the land. Wayne Horvitz produced this eclectic brew, and Peter Holsapple appears on a few tracks as both a guitarist and a co-producer. ~ Darryl Cater
Rolling Stone (10/29/92, p.69) - 3.5 Stars - Good Plus - "...Holcomb steps further into an eerie landscape that is both deeply traditional and avant-garde...Holcomb's lyrics resonate as finely as her playing and her voice...[her songs] are achingly painful and suddenly tender..."
Spin (11/92, p.119) - Highly Recommended - "...filled with memorable rock songs that sound as if she'd never heard one until she wrote one..."
Entertainment Weekly (11/6/92, p.68) - "...an unsettling, utterly original vision..." - Rating: A
Down Beat (6/92, p.35) - 4 Stars - Very Good - "...folksy, genuine, and expertly composed..."
Dirty Linen (Dec./Jan. 92-93, p.74) - "...ROCKABYE is an essential album for the cultural elite, as well as for anyone who requires more from a song than three chords and a video..."
Option (Jan/Feb 93, p.94) - "...although I enjoyed the awkward, strained sincerity of [Holcomb's self-titled debut], this is a much more accomplished recording all around..."