Robert Harley was born in London to Irish parents, at the age of five they moved to San Francisco, this is where Robert began to notice the live sounds of street buskers and blues music around the Haight-Ashbury district, his family then moved back to Cork City in Ireland. Robert bought his first guitar, a 12 string Ibanez acoustic, and began to try and emulate the songs of The Beatles moving on to the blues of John Lee Hooker and Rory Gallagher.
At nineteen Robert became a student at The Music, Management & Sound course at Colaiste Stiofain Noafa meeting many like minded musicians and artists where he honed his songwritting and perfomance skills. As a front man Robert went on to join an alternative rock band, called 'Clinic', recording his first EP "Don't Look Just Listen" with sound engineer Dennis Herlihy. The single 'Running The Red Light' from the EP was played on The Dave Fanning Show and positively reviewed by Hotpress. In 2003 Rob Harley released his first solo album 'Dirty Black River' which received rave reviews, launching it at The Lobby Bar in Cork City. Rob formed the band 'Rob Harley and the Black River Band' and toured Ireland extensively performing his album to enthusiastic audiences. Robert continued to perform in many residences in clubs and pubs in and around Munster and Ireland.
In 2019 Robert started his second album 'Big Tree' with Producer/Engineer/Drummer Christian Best, a ten track album ‘Big Tree’ was due to be released in 2020 but due to the covid lockdowns and the birth of his daughter, the release had to be postponed.
Produced and mastered by the renowned Christian Best, "Big Tree" is a collection of songs that showcase Robert Harley's unique songwriting and vocal abilities.
"Big Tree" features a diverse range of musical styles, from the emotional ballad "When You're Done" to the evocative "These Days," and the energetic rocker "Straight For Your Love." The album also includes the soulful blues track "I Can't Wait," which showcases Robert Harley's dynamic range and lyrical prowess.