The DiBlanco Story – Part I, The European Days

Born in the small town of Tuttlingen near Stuttgart, Germany Robert DiBlanco was exposed to music at an early age. His mother was an active dancer, his dad played drums and his uncle is a versatile accordion player. Both his uncle’s sons were singers and one of them was responsible for the first taste of what would become Robert’s priority instrument later on …..the electric bass guitar.

After a short stint with piano lessons Robert went on to play the drums in his school band and played his first public show in September 1977. Shortly after that Robert switched his main instrument again and started playing the bass guitar. Starting out practicing through his parent’s hifi stereo system Robert got really interested in playing the bass. Listening to old jazz records as well as rock records provided Robert with a very open minded attitude towards music and enabled him to learn the importance of variety and versatility. The ability to play both drums and bass enabled Robert to get an insider’s look into the chemistry of rhythm section work. Up to this day Robert enjoys playing the drums every once in a while or whenever it is needed at a recording session.

Through his school days Robert started playing in rock bands like THE TIGERS, PRIVATEER as well as Top 40 bands like THE FELLOWS in the area of Gersfeld-Hettenhausen in Germany. This trend continued through the years with several projects like the APROPOS-SHOWBAND – a band that played for the German President and other high ranking officials of the German Government as well as the high society of the business world. Considered one of the best show bands in the back-then capital of Germany (Bonn) APROPOS stayed very busy and Robert had plenty of time to hone his craft.

In 1987 a meeting with band prospects and some studio work gave Robert his first taste of country music. Shortly after that Robert started studying the art of country bass playing. He got involved in several country band projects like NASHVILLE MUSIC COMPANY, NASHVILLE STUDIO BAND, LONGHORN and The LONGHORN Band. The latter was a project which lasted more than 10 years in almost the same lineup, combining the talents of some of the most talented country music musicians in Europe.

The LONGHORN Band recorded a CD in 1994 which saw Robert not only playing bass and singing lead- & background vocals but also co-producing the record. On top of that Robert signed responsible for the cover-design and layout as well as being the owner/president of the record label Touchdown Records which released the album.

The LONGHORN Band was nominated for the coveted BAND OF THE YEAR Award of the German American Country Music Federation (GACMF) in 1994. They also earned numerous nominations for NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR, BAND OF THE YEAR, MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR (guitarrist Joe Anslik) and FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR (Helen Billasch) at the award shows of the Country Circle, Germany’s leading publication for all things country.

During his stints with LONGHORN and The LONGHORN Band Robert earned a reputation as one of the top bass players in Germany and as a result got hired for several studio sessions. A little known fact is that LONGHORN was the studio band recording the first album “Movie” for Germany’s female country singer DAGMAR. Throughout their 10 years of existence The LONGHORN Band was fortunate enough to play with the creme de la creme of european and international artists such as country guitar royalty Albert Lee, Texas Honky Tonkers The Derailers as well as German top acts Truck Stop, Tom Astor, Jill Morris and Western Union.

In 1996 Robert DiBlanco and fellow bandmember Joe Anslik were featured on the european release of the product catalogue of Ernie Ball® Music Man®, Robert ‘s picture gracing the page together with the likes of Keith Richards (Rolling Stones). Up to this day Robert continues to use his arsenal of MusicMan® basses to get the right sound.

After getting offers to play for TOM ASTOR (Germany’s most successful country singer) and others and over 10 years of country music in Germany Robert and his wife decided to move to Houston, TX in March 1997 to pursue their goal of making the best country music they possibly can.