Bob Atchley

Bob Atchley’s life as a singer-songwriter is an “encore career”—one taken up after a 45-year career as a university professor and book author. He worked as a folksinger in college, and performed and wrote songs sporadically throughout his adult life.  But when he retired from academic life in 2007, Bob finally had the opportunity to test his musical wings.

A friend suggested the Song School—a four-day intensive program dealing with all aspects of life as a singer-songwriter, offered by more than 30 experts in the week prior to the Folks Fest each August in Lyons, Colorado. Bob’s experience at the Song School in 2008 was transformative. He came away knowing that he has the voice, musical skills and instincts, and stories to tell that are necessary elements for a singer-songwriter. He left the Song School with concrete ideas about how to nurture his next career. He re-wrote several of his old songs and wrote several new ones. He started performing at open mic nights around Boulder and building an email list of people who came to his gigs. At the suggestion of Rebecca Folsom, his mentor at Song School, he began working with Ed Edwards, an excellent recording engineer and producer as well as virtuoso guitar player. Bob and Ed completed the 13 songs for Bob’s Life Lessons album early in 2010. Later that year, they completed the songs for his second album, Bob’s Blues. Bob also began participating in Rebecca Folsom’s Art of Vocal Freedom workshop to hone his performance skills and fire-test his newest songs.

Bob’s songs fall into three categories: love songs, inspirational songs, and blues. He uses fingerstyle guitar as well as beat-driven rhythm guitar styles and likes to move with the music as he performs.

People at Bob’s gigs say that his songs have lyrics they can relate to, catchy melodies, beats they can move to, and perverse twists that make them smile. Reviews of his albums stress the depth of the lyrics and the positive experiences invited by the music.

Stay tuned. Bob’s repertoire now includes more than forty original songs, and there will be more to come.