Rob Lumbard was about 13 when he began to play the harmonica. Along with two friends, he formed his first band, the Circus Boogie Band, in 1970. That group provided Rob with his first paying gig, a Franklin Junior High dance at the Jester Park barn in 1972, by which time Rob had also started playing guitar. After hearing Hot Tuna’s first album, Rob became inspired to concentrate on being an acoustic player and honing his finger-picking skills. Rob continued with the Circus Boogie Band until 1974, when he started playing mostly solo.
In 1979, Rob teamed up with Philip “Bunky” Marlow, and the two of them joined the Wapsie River Band the following year. During this time, as a frequent patron of So’s Your Mother, Rob had opportunities to sit in with Luther Allison several times, as well as Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, among others. In 1990, Rob left the Wapsie River Band, and since that time has performed primarily as a solo artist, although he has participated in a few side projects, including Two Bobs & a Babe, with the Blue Band’s Bob Dorr and Molly Nova, from 1994 to 1998 and the CJC Big Band from 2008 to 2012.
Rob has been a huge supporter of CIBS, from opening at the society’s first benefit show in September 1992, to participating as an instructor for CIBS’ Blues in the Schools programs, to being the most oft-appearing act at the Winter Blues Fest with the 2016 festival ringing up his seventh appearance. In January 2014, CIBS extended an Honorary membership to Rob in appreciation for his many contributions to the society in countless ways.