By Jesse Bertel

The R&D Project, a duo featuring singer Robbie Cox and acoustic guitarist and mandolin player Dave Cox, will perform at Winey Cats at Granite Creek Vineyards, 2515 N. Road 1 East, Chino Valley, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 26.

The performance is part of the 2024 Summer Concert Series, which features a variety of live bands throughout the season.

Robbie and Dave, who are also a married couple, have been performing together as a duo for over 10 years.

“Back in the ‘90s I had a country band, we were in Southern California at the time, and we had a female lead singer, and she left,” Dave said. “We were holding auditions and Robbie was the first audition. She was so good we canceled all the rest of them.”

The duo is known for their eclectic mix of music genres, ranging from classic country to ‘90s alternative rock.

“We do a little bit of everything,” Dave said. “We’ll do classic country and newer country. We do classic rock and some slightly newer alternative stuff, like The Cranberries, Sheryl Crow, a lot of ‘90s, a lot of Tom Petty, Styx, even Peter Frampton. So, we try to really cover a lot of bases. We even do some pop, like Adele.”

To add a level of interactivity to the performance, the duo often lets the crowd choose what songs they will play next.

“We have just under 200 songs that we offer on our list,” Robbie said. “Every time we perform, we hand out lists. If people are interested, they can request songs from our list.”

Winey Cats has become a favorite venue for The R&D Project. They are scheduled to perform on multiple dates throughout the season.

“It’s a beautiful venue outdoors,” Dave said. “They built a brand-new stage gazebo for this year and it is awesome. The people, the crowd they get are so nice to us.”

Because they live together, the duo has the advantage of being able to rehearse at their leisure.

“We work well together, and we practice a lot,” Robbie said. “We respect each other’s talent. We’re each self-taught and I think we each bring something different. Dave’s background in music is more on the punk rock side, and mine is more on the middle of the road, back genres. I think we respect each other and we enjoy music equally. So, we work well together.”

Being a married couple that performs together presents some challenges.

“Sometimes other things get in the way if we’re not clicking on other levels, but good days and bad days,” Robbie said. “We just want to do the best we can do and for the most part, we’re always on the same page. But sometimes Dave will suggest new material and I’m not into it. Sometimes I’ll suggest a new song and he’s not into it, but most of the time we agree.”

The upcoming performance at Winey Cats promises to be a diverse and engaging show.

“They’re going to get a lot of music, a lot of fun music,” Dave said. “We do everything from Tammy Wynette and George Jones and Johnny Cash to Lainey Wilson, the new girl. So, what they can expect is a wide variety of music coming at them and it’s all done with a beautiful lead singer and an acoustic guitar.”

For more information about The R&D Project and their upcoming performances, visit www.facebook.com/robbieanddave.

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