New Album in 2018 and other news

A late spring update: We spent about a year putting together the new ‘ Prophets on the Boulevard ‘ album, featuring 12 original songs and a cover of Willie Dixon’s 1961 blues tune ‘ Little Red Rooster ‘. The project was recorded in Asheville, NC with producer Chris Rosser and recorded at Hollow Reed Studio and Sound Temple Studio, with Mastering by Michael Hynes ( Nomatic Studio, Asheville, NC ). All members of the band played on the album and also dear friends Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards chimed in on the title track from Massachusetts, Mark laid down some banjo they both laid down some vocals on the track too ( many thanks to Mark and Raianne ).

Artist David Merck ( Company Town, Fields, Tom Dooley and Friends ) graced us with his excellent artwork again for the album cover. David is an amazing artist and has a unique talent for bring out the theme in the cover painting.

In March we released the album to radio, about 500 cds sent to stations around the United States, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and Europe. The album charted at #8 with the #8 song ( Common Ground ) the #11 song ( Woody’s Shoes ) and the #23 song ( Blair Mountain ). Joan Baez charted the #1 album. Many thanks to the FM DJs around the world for their support once again.

I am just returning from performing in Scotland in late April and have a few dates coming up in May and June.

May 5th – The Tom Dooley Project – Court St. Statesville, NC

May 10th – Summit Coffee Songwriters Showcase – Summit Coffee with Daniel Thrailkill and Heather Kenney with new show hours 7-9 pm

May 16/17 – Southeast Regional Folk Alliance – Montreat, NC

May 19 – Tom Dooley Day – Whippoorwill Village, Ferguson, NC

June 8th – Alleghany County Library with Author Charlotte Corbin Barnes, Tom Dooley presentation and historical concert 7PM

June 22nd – Festival of the Artisan – Ashbourne, England – solo

June 23rd – Festival of the Artisan – Ashbourne, England with Steve Bonham and the Long Road

Please check my website for updated performance times.

“Prophets on the Boulevard is definitely one of the best albums thus far in 2018, consistently good from the first song to the last “
– Ken Nagelberg, WHYR 96.9 FM, Baton Rouge, LA

The new album is available at all major internet retailers in physical and digital forms and also right here at

Thank you for listening, hope to see you soon !

#8 on the Folk DJ Charts March 2018!

Prophets on the Boulevard

Prophets on the Boulevard

Many thanks to the Folk DJs around the world for supporting our new release ‘ Prophets on the Boulevard ‘ – #8 Album – #8 – #11 – #23 songs

New CD Release: Prophets on the Boulevard

Prophets on the Boulevard

Prophets on the Boulevard

In “PROPHETS ON THE BOULEVARD”, Rob takes you on a walk through the Boston Common, up to a mountain top in West Virginia, to a street corner prophet helping the downtrodden, and on a stroll in an historic small town along main street.

Woody Guthrie leaves us with an inspiration to make the world a better place in “Woody’s Shoes“ as Mother Jones is too late to stop a movement on “Blair Mountain”. Folk songs with a dash of roots and contemporary bluegrass influence make observations about ourselves and our world.

Recorded in the North Carolina mountains with producer Chris Rosser, ( Tom Dooley and Friends 2016 and Fields 2014 ) Rob and his band mates returned for a balanced album featuring social commentary, history and love. Massachusetts artists Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards made contributions along with Rob’s brother Pat featured on the harmonica, and a few other musical friends.

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Tom Dooley On The Charts!

Tom Dooley & Friends - Rob McHale

Thank you to all of the DJs around the world for helping to keep the Tom Dooley Legend alive and all of you for the support – Folk DJ Chart #2 Song, #9 Song, and #8 Album for October 2016 – and thanks especially to Kari Estrin Management, Nashville TN

CD also available at CDBaby!

The Tom Dooley Files

The Tom Dooley Files

The Tom Dooley FilesThe North Carolina mountain folk legend of Tom Dooley, made internationally famous by the Kingston Trio’s 1958 chart-topping ballad, is the subject of an in depth, historically accurate book based on years of research performed by author Charlotte Corbin Barnes.

The Tom Dooley Files: My Search For The Truth Behind The Legend goes into far greater detail than any of its predecessors in an effort to determine what really happened in the events that led to the hanging of Civil War Veteran Thomas C. Dula [a.k.a. Tom Dooley] for his part in the murder of his alleged fiance, Laura Foster.

The Tom Dooley Files is filled with the oral accounts from descendants of the folks who lived through the time the murder took place. Read what they have to say about the events surrounding the murder according to the stories that have been passed down through their families for generations.

It is an interesting and informative read whether or not you are familiar with the legend and the Tom Dooley song. Now available, The Tom Dooley Files: My Search For The Truth Behind The Legend by Charlotte Corbin Barnes is a LIMITED EDITION offering in hardcover only. Find out more … »

Tom Dooley & Friends - Rob McHaleThis book is the perfect accompaniment to Rob McHale’s new CD, Tom Dooley & Friends.Order here … »

Woody Guthrie Songwriting Contest

2nd Place in the Woody Guthrie Songwriting Contest 2015

The Alternate Root Magazine

The Alternate Root Magazine
January 30, 2015

Rob McHale has been nominated, and taken home awards for his work as a singer/songwriter. The real prize with the North Carolina songman, however, is what is felt with his songs, the way his words offer experience, advice and overviews of life. Rob is old school folk singer, his voice a guiding beam on Fields, his recent release, as he begs you to follow memories into the story in the title track. The album delves into history with “Irons and Chains (Dred Scott)”, chance on “Wishing Well” and softly centers its heart on “Mother’s Love”.
Fields opens on a dark day for the soldiers riding with General Custer in “Surrounded Again (General Custer)” and brightens with tinkling piano and guitar strings as the album heads into the comfort of “Back Home”. Rob McHale wears the skins of his characters; his stories allow for the familiar to be felt as an old friend and the unknown to become family by the end of his song. A riff and rhythm slowly click the tracks under “Fast Movin’ Train” as Celtic beats invade every nook and cranny of early morning 1798 as it dawns over “The Castlebar Races”. Fields focusing on environment by telling a coal tale of mountain top removal, pollution and greed on “Old Smoky”.

Danny McCloskey
The Alternate Root Magazine
Palm Springs, CA

Folk Words Magazine

Folk Words Magazine – Heronsgate ( London ), England
December 12, 2014

Music of a hundred years ago, from yesterday or today – whenever you place them the songs of Rob McHale should be taught in school because they reflect vibrant history, the value of tradition and living social comment. This North Carolina-based poet, musician and composer writes folk Americana songs that walk you through their narratives in an entirely involving way. They bring home the wealth of heritage and place it firmly in the present, they observe the days we live in and offer valuable meaning.

Throughout his album ‘Fields’ gentle reflective lyrics move with an assured confidence to tell their tales. Softly engaging melodies surround the words with a captivating web. While mellow, richly textured vocals carry their significance. The overall impression is ‘music to listen to and lyrics to absorb’, the messages in ‘Fields’ are so timeless that listening without focus is wholly wrong, do them justice and take time to really listen – the rewards will come in shovel loads.

Each song engages with its own tale, the affecting plea of ‘Surrounded Again (General Custer)’ takes a rare perspective on its well-known story, ‘Back Home’ lays out a homage to those special places we all have, and ‘Irons and Chains (Dredd Scott)’ exposes the futility felt by enslaved individuals. McHale’s ability to reveal underexplored facets of the past comes through such songs as ‘The Castlebar Races’ and ‘Fire and the Guns’, and through ‘Fast Movin’ Train’ and ‘Wishing Well’ resides his understanding of the life of the common man.

‘Fields’ simply says things that need to be said, remembered and repeated to each generation.

Folk Words – Tom Franks

Durham Skywriter – Artist of the Month

Rob was chosen ‘ Artist of the Month ‘ September 2014 in the Durham Skywriter Magazine

Lonesome Highway Magazine

Lonesome Highway Magazine
Rob McHale ‘Fields’ – Wooden Door Records

Rob McHale is a North Carolina-based folk-Americana artist whose songs can take you through a small town, down a dirt road or on an historical journey – and bring you back home again. What we have here is ten beautifully realised songs, arranged, produced and performed with maturity and a style that is very appealing. The production by Chris Rosser and the band ensemble of 11 musicians deliver on all fronts. I can hear early Jackson Browne in the gorgeous Back Home with harmony vocals to lift you away from your reality and the songs Mother’s Love, Fields and Wishing Well add to the feel of authentic folk music. Real and mature, reflective and sincere, this is music for the spirit and a really excellent release.

-Stephen Rapid
Lonesome Highway
Dublin, Ireland