Singing Cowboy

A forme dude rancher hits the road with his guitar.

Singer-songwriter Robert Grevey’s cowboy adventures inspired the songs on his debut CD, Humongous. The Cleveland native -- who performs at the Barking Spider tonight -- spent three years working on a Wyoming dude ranch. “It’s the open space, the time to think, the inspiration in the hills,” says the 29-year-old. “Driving the open road was a religious experience -- to see what people would have seen 200 years ago when they crossed the country. It’s riveting.” @cal body 1:After graduating from John Carroll University in 2003, Grevey headed out to work on the 50-square-mile ranch. “The place was immense and easy to get lost in,” he says. “Long days led to relaxed evenings in a cabin on a creek, and the sounds of the moving water coming through the window provided a backing track for my guitar.”

On his days off, Grevey would play acoustic sets at the area’s upscale hotels and redneck bars. But after tiring of the isolation, he relocated to Columbus a couple months ago so he could be closer to friends and family. “People in Wyoming liked my music,” he says. “It’s just that there’s only 20 of them at any given time. I moved back because it’s better to get the word out. Wyoming’s great for writing, but sucks at getting any exposure.”

Grevey’s now making up for lost time. He’s a staple at several small clubs and coffeehouses in Columbus, and will be performing at the Barking Spider next month and in April. His repertoire includes tunes like “Irene” and “Pasture of Disaster” -- about “love lost and what’s happened in between.”
Sun., Jan. 28, 6 p.m.