top of page
  • Writer's pictureStevie Connor

JUNO Nominated Film Composer Turned Folk Artist, Robbie Teehan, Releases Emotive Folk Singer-Songwriter Project 'River' as Gentle Sparrow

Robbie Teehan

A classically trained musician, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and songwriter with two music degrees, Robbie Teehan has orchestrated a remarkable, illustrious music career separate from the world of mainstream artistry. As he embarked on a profoundly personal journey of growth, self- acceptance, and self-discovery, Teehan began writing music under the alias Gentle Sparrow - a name for his artistry reflective of the person he sought to become. Earnest, emotional, and healing for both the artist and listener, Gentle Sparrow presents an innovative, creative take on Folk music, mixing elements of Soul, Folk, and orchestral sounds to create heartfelt music that envelops the listener in sound and acceptance. His satin, expansive vocals instil deeper meaning into his profound messaging. Sharing the unvarnished version of his journey and evolution of who he is becoming, Gentle Sparrow's EP "River" is as much of a manifestation as it is a universal voyage.

In addition to his four JUNO and eight Canadian Folk Music Award nominations, Teehan scored the eight-time Canadian Screen Award winning film "Scarborough", which premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. He also contributed additional music on three seasons of the hit TV drama, "Elementary", and two seasons of "Jessica Jones". Mentored by four time Emmy Award winning composer Sean Callery ("24", "Homeland"), Teehan's distinguished career also includes composing and arranging for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Toronto and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. His first forays in the Indie Folk genre have been featured in Roots Music Canada, Folk Roots Radio, and on CBC Radio 1. No stranger to the art of collaboration, Teehan worked with producer and engineer Dan Hosh (City & Colour, Serena Ryder), engineer Mike Butler (Phoebe Bridgers, Ray LaMontange), Grammy nominated multi-instrumentalist Drew Jurecka (Dua Lipa), and numerous others to bring his latest works to life.

Migrating from the world of creating music to help tell tales in film and television to telling stories of his own, Teehan's Gentle Sparrow was born as he pursued healing and recovery from issues surrounding his mental health, encouraged by his partner. Serving as both an outlet and a tool in his endeavour to move forward, the music coming from Gentle Sparrow focuses on emerging from darkness and despair. On "River", Teehan is both graceful and direct, demonstrating his mastery of musical storytelling. By shining a light on himself and his struggles while compassionately acknowledging his progress, his well crafted words and melodies accept his progress, even if there is still a way to go. The five songs on Gentle Sparrow's "River" deliver to its audience what the artist sought out for himself, tenderness and empathy.

With the EP and lead track sharing the same name, "River" delivers a heartfelt and soulful introduction to the character of Gentle Sparrow. Teehan's "River" is a metaphor for what it takes to move forward, in which the artist pledges to his loved one that he's working hard to find wholeness in himself so he can be fully present in the relationship. The powerful bridge leads to the striking, soaring chorus that is both truthful and raw. Using the expansive range of his vocals as a central part of the melody, Teehan's unending musical originality shines through his emotive delivery of a plea for more time to make it to the other side.

Radiant and warm, the project opens with "Shining a Light Over You", a supportive and reassuring promise that whenever the other is ready, Teehan will be there. Filled with bright harmonies and the imagery of a lighthouse guiding a ship home, the song offers the patient glow of loving someone while they are away, and the comfort of being there when they return. Later, the delicate melody of "Only Love in My Heart" accompanies Teehan's lyrical prayer to leave the past behind and evolve into the person he wants to be.

Through embracing change, Gentle Sparrow transcends mere music by turning his artistic focus inward and telling his poignant story of growth and resilience. As an allegory for progress, "River" tenderly navigates the currents of Teehan's life while offering a safe, empathetic invitation for listeners to do the same. "I have written music in many different ways in the course of my life and career, but never purely for myself until this project." Teehan shares. As I began exploring my songwriting voice, I realized that more than anything else I needed a compassionate and loving guide who would take me by the hand and guide me out of the darkness of my long-standing mental health issues. In these 5 songs, I attempt to fill that role for myself."

Gentle Sparrow Show Dates

May 2, 2024 - Westport, ON - The Cove Inn

May 18, 2024 - Carleton Place, ON - Farmers Market

June 2, 2024 - Watson's Corners, ON - Community Hall

June 8, 2024 - Perth, ON - Farmers Market

June 9, 2024 - Ottawa, ON - Irene's Pub - EP Release Show w/ Ali McCormick

June 13, 2024 - Toronto, ON - NXNE - Free Times Cafe

June 21, 2024 - Smiths Falls, ON - Farmers Market

June 28, 2024 - Toronto, ON - Cameron House Front Room

June 29, 2024 - Delta, ON - Bastard Coffee House w/ Pat Johnson

July 13, 2024 - Perth, ON - Farmers Market

July 19, 2024 - Smiths Falls, ON - Farmers Market

July 27, 2024 - Carleton Place, ON - Farmers Market

July 27, 2024 - Merrickville, ON - M.A.G. Festival

August 2, 2024 - Smiths Falls, ON - Bowie's

August 16, 2024 - Smiths Falls, ON - Farmers Market

August 17, 2024 - Carleton Place, ON - Farmers Market

Gentle Sparrow



bottom of page