Recordings

“When I give people joy, it gives me joy,” Devlin often said.  And joy was what he shared with thousands, from the streets of DC to private homes to the halls of Congress, The White House, and wherever anyone would allow him to set up his rig.  Bob played five instruments all at the same time: guitar, harmonica – held in a rack along with various whistles and bird calls, snare drum – mounted upside down, bass drum – his own handcrafted fiberglass box, and hi-hat cymbal.  From his fisherman cap and red neckerchief to a variety of vests that usually sported a silk carnation, to the guitar belt buckle, Bob oozed rhythm and music from head to toe.  Proudly earning the title “Washington’s Own One-Man Band Extraordinaire” dubbed by The Washington Post, Devlin was as much a fixture of the city as any monument or memorial, except that he was a little more exciting to watch!  When his harmonica was joined by Devlin playing bones – the hand-held rhythm instrument of walnut or ivory, reserved for special tunes – his folding chair could not seem to rock wildly enough and usually Devlin was found leaping to his feet with his whole body dancing to his own music.

The recordings listed below are a smattering of the hundreds of songs Devlin wrote during his lifetime.  Some are now available at bobdevlin.bandcamp.com as downloads and/or cds.  Hopefully all of the recordings will become available sometime during 2013.  We will keep you updated.  If you would like to share a special memory or picture or story, please feel free to email me at bobdevlinmusic@gmail.com.  This website is a starter!  It will morph into whatever Bob’s fans would like it to become.  Send in your ideas – we’d love to hear from you!

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Live At 18th & M

(Initial release: 1976)

For eighteen years from 1977 to 1995, Bob Devlin brought his one-man band expertise to the streets of Washington, DC and various venues across the country. Playing a snare drum mounted upside down, a bass drum of his own design, a hi-hat cymbal and a guitar, harmonica and various sound effects – all at the same time, Devlin was a virtuoso at combining rhythm, lyrics and music into a toe-tapping show that turned simple street corner performances into major lunch-time shows. His smile was as contagious as his music; his love effusive with joy bent on causing his audience to be as in love as he was with the summer day.

Taking the Time to Take It Easy v Wabash Cannonball  *  Bobby’s Rag  *  Coffee Break  *  You Are My Sunshine  *  The Ballad of John Henry  *  The Apple Pickers Reel * Afternoon “Instant” Tune  *  MacDonald’s Farm  *  Barefootin’ Free  *  Turkey in the Straw  *  Pecos Trail  *  The Beer Barrel Polka  *  I Want My Money Back

 

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String Rambler

(Initial release: 1979)

String Rambler was Bob Devlin’s introduction into the professional recording studio.  Made possible by our friends Harvey and Bonnie Fernebok, this album debuted Bob’s vast songwriting ability that included rock, folk, bluegrass, ballads and love songs.  To back him up, Bob had elite musicians excited and desiring to be involved.  Instruments ranged from electric guitar to autoharp to dobro, drums to congas, upright bass to strings, and harmonica to piccolo trumpet.  Bob was in his element.  He was a master designer and around him he had fellow musicians who were able to play exactly what he desired.  I still see him in my mind’s eye, standing, swaying his hips, swinging his lightly snapping his fingers, and stepping his boots to the beat.  He was music.  Thank you, Harvey, for the gift.

String Rambler  *  Easier to Try  *  In the Morning  *  A Day in the Life of Bluegrass Bill’s America  *  Simple Plan  *  If I Had My Druthers  *  Country Lady  *  Just a Little Heartache  *  Sunny Smile

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For the Shepherd’s Children

(Initial release: 1983)

This album first debuted in 1983.  In 2003, a very dear friend who has now left the music field, transferred the songs from tape to cd.  These songs are being offered only as a download at this time.  We hope to have a cd manufactured sometime in 2013.  If you buy the download now, you will receive a special discount if we have a cd debut.

Just as David in the Original Testament had a heart for God, so Bob Devlin had a heart that was filled with joy and praise that comes through in these songs.  Originally designed for a summer Bible school, Bob wrote nine of the needed songs in just three days!  Bounding up the basement stairs from his studio, Bob hourly shared the miracle that God would ultimately turn into 12 songs on a tape for God’s glory.  Listen and enjoy as David grows from a shepherd boy to a man after God’s own heart.

No longer a part of Devlin Ministries which was closed according to IRS specifications, we do not accept tax-deductible donations.

“The wonderful energy and animation you’ve seen Bob display in his street jubilations are here distilled into a quiet, simple, child-like power, somewhere between worship and love … so there’s a gentleness, a warmth, a simplicity, a down-homeness in this collection that children – of all ages in the Kingdom of God – will enjoy.  …Bob’s music deserves the broadest audience possible, first because it’s good, and second because it’s folk music.” Progressive Vision. March-April 1984.

The Shepherd Boy  *  The Lord is Like That Too  *  David Had a Heart  *  David and Goliath  *  God Will Fight for Me  *  Morning by Morning  *  Play David Play  *  Yes I Would  *  Salvation  *  As the People of God  *  Sing Unto the Lord  *  Jesus Be With Me

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When the Rain Comes Down

(Initial release: 1984)

Never has rain seemed like so much fun as when Michele Valerie and Bob Devlin combine artistic efforts to bring rhyme, music and laughter to teach us about letters, bugs, gears, dinosaurs and more!  Being consummate musicians who sport delightful voices, Bob and Michele bring together a “Fruit Salad Scenario” of fellow musicians to share songs for both learning and fun.  Whether it’s clapping to the fat cat, or roaring to get your day started, or scrubbing away in the bath, each song brings joy to what could be an otherwise dull moment.  For over 20 years, Michele Valerie has performed with Ingrid Crepeau in their Dinorock shows featuring Danny Diplodocus, Hack the Hadrosaur and many others. Visit Michele and Ingrid at www.dinorock.com.

When the Rain Comes Down  *  The Fat Cat  *  Tomato Song  *  The Letter Song  *  The Little Black Bug  *  Have Your Roared Today?  *  Fruit Salad Scenario  *  The Bath Song  *  Tiny Little Gear  *  Strawberry Pastry  *  The Dinosaur Song  *  Spring is the Color  *  Rock Me in the Cradle of Your Love

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Circle of Love

(Initial release: 1985)

“Circle of love, get off your seat, circle of love, get on your feet, get in a line, don’t push or shove, we’re gonna dance in a circle of love.”  With his toe-tapping grace, Bob Devlin reminds us that we are all one in God’s circle of love, and that dancing in God’s love is pure joy!  Travel with Bob and his one-man band as we imagine Jesus in the temple when a young boy and then later healing Jairus’ daughter and forgiving Peter of all his sins.  If you are a child at heart, this music will remind you how much Jesus loves you!  Based on the life and teachings of Jesus, Circle of Love reminds us that God created each of us for relationship – a love relationship that sometimes includes fun music. No longer a part of Devlin Ministries which was closed according to IRS specifications, we do not accept tax-deductible donations.

Circle of Love  *  The People That Jesus Loved  *  Jesus Loves the Little Children  *  The Temple Song  *  My Father’s World  *  Jairus’ Daughter  *  1, 2, 3, Jesus Loves Me  *  Oh Blind Man  *  Zacchaeus and the Man from Galilee  *  Peter, Peter  *  Circle of Love (reprise); Lord Make Us One  *  Jesus Loves Me

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Drawing by Rae Owings

 One-Man Band Christmas

(Initial release: 1989)

In Bob and Jessie’s home, we had every possible type of Christmas music that exists but Bob thought one more should be added. Of course! You can’t have Christmas without Washington’s Own One-Man Band Extraordinaire to bring the joy and faith of the saints to a time of praise and fun. Bob had a faith in a very big God and a love that overflowed to many. This tape has special meaning because it brings back so many memories of all of our Christmas caroling parties with a fire in the courtyard, sleigh bells ringing to the beat, people leaning out their row house windows to lend their horn playing or voices, and of course a party later with grog (not for kids!), cookies the kids had decorated and hot, hot chocolate that could only be cooled with lots of whipped cream on top.

Jingle Bells  *  Rudolph  *  Winter Wonderland  *  Frosty the Snowman  *  Snow!  *  Silver Bells  *  Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town  *  I’m Broke Again this Christmas  *  Joy to the World  *  Angels We Have Heard on High  *  Deck the Halls  *  Go Tell it on the Mountain/Amen  *  Noel/Good King Wenceslas  *  Silent Night  *  He is Born  *  We Wish You a Merry Christmas

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2 Comments

  1. Paul B. says:

    May God bless you richly for this project, Jessie, and may Heaven’s Doors swing wide open with laughter and music when you waltz right in. I pray that God would annoint you with the Oil of Joy and lift your spirits through His Spirit. Blessings and thanks so very much for sharing this site with me.

  2. Sarah T. says:

    Grew up listening to “Are you my mother?” (When the rain came down) and have been looking for this album EVERYWHERE. Glad to find your site, and find that it’s not a figment of my imagination! Now to find the album in CD format (sigh) I’m guessing it doesn’t exist. From one member of a family of fans!

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