Welcome to Robbie Wells’ “Page of Inspiration”.


Robbie Wells Facebook picWelcome to our page that celebrates Fiddlin’ Robbie Wells, and the inspiration that he created among the campers at “The Walker Family Band Fiddle Camp”. Robbie faithfully served on our faculty since the very first camp, in 2002.  This page is for all the people he taught, that he played music with, and that he loved with his sweet and caring nature.  He showed people how to enjoy life, and music, and he influenced people in a deep and lasting way. We will never forget him, and we will be inspired by him from now on.

Many beautiful words have been spoken about him since he passed away, and we want to share some of them with you, along with some photos and videos  that feature Robbie and many former campers over the years. We wanted to include everyone, but we had to leave some well deserving people out. To see more pictures of many more people, please visit our face book page, at https://www.facebook.com/WalkerFamilyBand/?ref=bookmarks

The best known song Robbie wrote is probably ”By the Waters of the James”. This was written when he lived with his family in an amazing house that overlooked the James river, with the railroad track directly below the front porch. The train made an impact when it went by that house, and the river was beautiful. Living in this spot inspired this beautiful anthem that will live for ever.

Here is the recording he made, with his sons, Jesse and Corey from his album, “By the Waters of the James” Click on the Blue Link:

By The Waters Acoustic Version.

From the announcement that Marsha wrote for the Memorial Service:

Fiddlin’ Robbie Wells

Robbie is survived by his “home team”, Marsha, Jesse Owen, and Corey Blaine; his band of brothers and sisters, Margaret and David, Jamie and Cathy, David, Brad, and Susan and Dean; nieces and nephews, Jesse Ray, Miranda, Carrie, Terence, C.D., Bennett, Becky, Michael, Richard, Taylor, Meggin, and Colby; his in-laws, Bonnie and Bernie; and friends that circle the globe.In lieu of flowers, please scatter big love, kindness and joy with the world around you.

Robbie with Marsha








Robbie loved his sons, and it was his joy to see them grow up to be the wonderful musicians that they are. He enjoyed performing and recording music with them. I was fortunate to give both of them their first violins lessons. Jesse plays fiddle, but Corey “didn’t take”, and now is a masterful guitarist. To his favor, he played fiddle at his dad’s memorial service, and did a great job!!!


Jesse at St. Pats day

Corey with Robbie at ST pats





Robbie was honored to have performed his song in a special arrangement with the Lynchburg Symphony.

By the Waters with Lynchburg Symphony

From Meghan Parrish: ”We are grateful to have known him and to have called him family and one of our truest friends.

Meghan with RobbieSo blessed and amazed to see how much of an impact he had on everyone he met. The world is not only forever changed for having Robbie among us…but we are all the better for it….Even those who never had the privilege to know him…because his energy and passion and humor and heart affected anyone and everyone who shook his hand; who heard him sing and play; who watched him teach; who listened to him tell stories about his family and friends and students.Robbie shared his heart and soul with the world and now the world gets to share his heart and soul forever.

Teresja happy with art work


Teresja Poole said it well:

Robbie, “you taught us how to play…you showed us how to live!”      Thank you!

Below is the picture that Sam Parrish drew and we had printed on our t-shirts at camp a few years ago, as tribute to Robbie and the dedication he had towards his art and towards the idea of a continuing tradition of family oriented, music made with love! He was a brave man! This from a picture of Robbie playing with Jeffrey Jones several years ago.

Shirt fromcamp


Robbie was fun to play music with, and we have been fortunate to have had him playing music at our camp, and lots of it!

Robbie and Scott fun yes!

Robbie in the midst







Robbie made this amazing video of the Walker Family Band concert at the park in Blowing Rock, when we were interrupted by a fierce thunderstorm. The sweet song he wrote, “The Empty Nest”, is the musical backdrop to a lot of rain drops, and a great group of resilient  campers! Robbie wrote this song when Jesse and Corey left home for college, here, played by his fiddle class that year. The video is called:

And the Sky was Crying

Linda Minke wrote:

We love the photographer of the picture on the left, Robbie Wells. His talent with the camera almost matched his magic with the fiddle and his voice. All of us – men, women, young and old – were under his spell! His eyes would reflect and invite deep spirit and peaceful love.

On the right, Landon and Scott love to play back up for the Fiddlin’ Robbie Wells!

Scott and Linda robbie photographer

Landon and Scott guitar and bass











Abigail Gruber wrote:

I can’t find the words to express the impact Robbie Wells had on my life. Nobody has made me feel the love of music like he did. Nobody has been such an influence like he was. I am forever grateful to him for sharing his gift. I give Robbie the credit for making me the musician I am today. All day I have been reading the tributes to Robbie and they make me smile and cry. He is so special. He is so loved.

Abagail Gruber on the pier

Kate with case smaller 2











On the left is Abigail Gruber, now the first ever violin student in jazz at the University of North Florida, which is very exciting. On the right is her sister, Kate Agnew, after she just won second place in the banjo contest at the Florida Folk Festival this year! Their family has attended camp from the very beginning;  they were just little kids! These are two girlshave become accomplished musicians, and beautiful people! The teachers and staff of both the Walker Family Band Camp and the Blowing Rock Conference Center have been fortunate to have watched them grow up. Robbie had a huge impact on these two! We are very proud of them, and of the many, many more students in our history!

I revisited Robbie’s Song, Josie Fergus, and I’m putting it here, so we can learn it, and Play IT, OK ABIBAIL, KATE, AND ANNA?

Josie Feagans by Robbie Wells

Shelly Stevenson DiLoreto wrote this:

From the mouth of a 4 year old Bryce. “I wish I was still 3. This way Robbie would still be here.”
Me too little man, me too.

Shelly wrote this about his song, “No U Hauls in Heaven”.This sums up Robbie Wells so well. I remember first hearing this song a year and a half ago in an intimate setting at Karen Gaskin’s  house. He had just written it and was so pleased with himself as he sang and played. That is how I will always remember him. If you don’t know Robbie, watch when Matt (Brown) does his solo- the smiling, giggling, head nod is so him. I love you Robbie- the things you have taught me over the years, I will take with me forever.

Robbie with Aria

With Maddie and Camden








On the left is Shelly’s daughter, Aria with Robbie, and on the right is Shelly’s sister, Anne’s girls, Maddie and Camden quite a few years ago.

Anne wrote this: 2016 has taken so many amazing musicians but this is the one that is nearest and dearest to my heart. I love you Robbie Wells. Thank you for playing music with me, for teaching me to find the creativity and joy in just playing, and for inspiring my girls and I. You will continue to live in all of us and in every note we play. Rest easy my dear friend.

Here is Anne performing “For Peter” with Robbie at the final concert one year.

Farewell to Peter

Here are are a couple pictures of Robbie inspiring and being inspired by Matt Brown, and Scott’s daugher, Jennie Brunner.

Robbie with Matt pottery jam 2

Haw River WSHP Jennie with Matt Brown and Robbie at








 The picture on the left was taken at our “pottery jam”. The sunset is alway so pretty for the end    of that session. The other one was taken at the Haw River State Park, where we had a weekend workshop a while back. Notice I’m not putting exact dates on these, I just know that Jennie, Robbie and Matt all look young!

 Robbie had a real love and connection with nature, and the world around him. One night he recorded a thunderstorm that we had on his new digital recorder. It sounded better than the real thing. As the leader of the Nature Walk at camp I love the words and feel of this beautiful song, “Mountain Rain”.

lMountain Rain

Alan Goble (top left) wrote:   Saddened to hear of the loss of one of my musical mentors and friends. Thanks to Robbiefor all of the lessons he taught me in the 6+ years I had the honor to know him. Rest in Peace, my friend. — remembering a great man.

Robbie with Alan Goble 2

Robbie with Kaitin Nelson








On the right, another devotee of Robbie, the composer of the Blowing Rock Waltz, Kaitlin Nelson!

Here are some heartfelt quotes from these campers:

Crystal Santana wrote these lovely words:

My heart is and always will be deeply moved by your spirit… By your laughter and your joy and your music. And that smile! Oh lord! You have left such a wonderful legacy and beautiful souls and music touched by your cool Fiddle factor! It pains me so much that I did not see you these past years but I always held your soul and heart close to mine. I always think of you when I touch my fiddle or when I hear spirit-lifting music. I will always play my music, and through it I will still feel my connection. Connection to the universe, to other beings, to love, and to you Robbie Wells I love you so much! And am sending you warm and music filled loving thoughts, to your dear dear family as well. RIP my old friend and may your music and memory remain with us and comfort us till the end of our time and beyond.

Karen Gaskins wrote:  You will be missed by my family!! Thanks for the wonderful memories of playing fiddle with Chase, for teaching him to love the music, and for encouraging him through the years. You were deeply loved!!

 John Navarro wrote:  The tears are real tonight. May your music and teachings keep heaven dancing and smiling my friend. Your lessons and songs were the core of my love for music growing up. You are dearly missed Robbie Wells

 Kevin DiLoreto wrote:  As I sit here completely devastated by this news, my mind goes blank in what combination of words i can put together to express the loss of a great man, a great teacher, a great artist, and a great human being. You are truly going to be missed Robbie Wells. Your candle has burned out long before your legend ever will…
Here is a picture of the Walker Family Band Campers who attended Robbie’s memorial service. We did Robbie proud, and played till the wee hours of the morning, and created big joy at the Hilton Inn!  From left to right on the back, Jensen Ahlberg, Abigail Gruber, Sam Parrish, Anna Strickland, Scott walker, Susan Ahlberg. Front row, Kate Agnew, Teresja Poole, Meghan Parrish, Kaitlin Nelson and Landon Walker
Group at the Memorial
    Midnight at the Hilton
                                                                                                                                                                        Finally, I wanted everyone to see this video of Robbie’s family, from way back.  It is so good to see that this family band goes back for generations. I guess we are all responsible to nurture our own nests, which is perpetually empty, with the loss of folks we love, but it is perpetually full of those that are here, caring for each other! Like Marsha says, “please scatter big love, kindness and joy with the world around you”.
Here is the “Empty Nest” again, this time played by Robbie and his boys and Robin Tolley on Bass.
Thanks to everyone for your love and care of Robbie and the Walker Family Band Camp Family!
Love to all,
Scott Walker
Director of the Walker Family Band




One Response to “Welcome to Robbie Wells’ “Page of Inspiration”.”

  1. Jean Costa Says:

    Thank you so much for this beautiful tribute to Robbie and his family. I only took a couple of classes with him but he was so kind and encouraging. I am sorry to hear of his death. I loved listening to his song, By the Waters and reading about his accomplishments and gifts. Thanks again for sharing his life with this lovely article.

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