Joan (far right) with Rosalie Caudle and Anibal Rodriguez, having a grand ‘ole time at the Hog's Breath in February 2009 with the band
One of the most amazing people in the Carter Brothers Fan Club pantheon is Joan Robbins, a firefighter who travels from the west coast to Nashville, Key West and North Carolina up to six times per year to listen to, party with and volunteer to support the Carter Brothers Band. Her work, which is obviously quite demanding, nonetheless allows for a flexible schedule since work is often many days in a row followed by a block of days off.
Among many other talents, Joan trained herself to be an electrician. This came in handy in 2008, when she volunteered to do the wiring for the expansion of the Tree House, the band's studio outside of Nashville. In fact, at one point she traveled to Key West to hear them play and promote their gigs, returned out west for one day to pay her bills and so forth, and then boarded a flight for Tennessee to do the next phase of the wiring for the studio. Amazing!
Joan is often the first person to start dancing at a Carter Brothers performance, and always is encouraging others to join her. My wife and I are often out there with her; her enthusiasm is contagious. But at least in Key West, her support of the band starts well before their 10pm show begins at the Hog's Breath Saloon.
By late morning, she normally is set up another classic bar - Schooner Wharf (www.schoonerwharf.com) - with friends, talking up the Carter Brothers Band performance later that day to all manner of patrons, most of whom are complete strangers until they fall into conversation with Joan.
On one recent occasion, Joan was talking to someone at Schooner's and invited them to hear the band. The woman said that she had just lost her job and could not afford to go and have even one drink at the Hog's Breath. Joan encouraged her to come and said she would be happy to buy her a drink. You can imagine the smile that crossed this woman's face when she heard this offer from someone she had not known even an hour earlier!
You can always pick out Joan on the Hog's Breath webcam from her long, blond hair and her winning smile, especially apparent when listening to the band play. Her favorite songs to dance to, based on detailed anthropological analysis, appear to be "Mr. Spaceman," "Moonlit Midnight," "Cry Love," and "Yellow Moon."
When writing a tribute to Joan and others who helped build the extension of the Tree House, Danny carter wrote: "Joan is a surfer-girl-hippie-chick. She also happens to be a professional firefighter/fire truck driver, EMT, licensed electrician, plumber and artistic tile layer, among other things. She is a true Renaissance woman. She LOVES music and beermilk. Joan has been known to show up at Carter Brothers gigs in Key West, Colorado and Ireland. She is a constant smiler and optimistic. She is my dear friend and I love her heart."
-Alex Counts, President, Carter Brothers Fan Club