You are here:  / Gallery / Indie / Local Music / Show Review / Robin Adkins and Chris Pipkins turned up the Valentine’s Romance in Milwaukee

Robin Adkins and Chris Pipkins turned up the Valentine’s Romance in Milwaukee

Loved In Return: An Intimate Evening with Nat King Cole @ Saint Kate The Arts Hotel

Who doesn’t enjoy a delicious dinner and a show, especially on the most romantic weekend of the year? Making this even more special was the carefully crafted song list of Nat King Cole’s hits performed by Milwaukee’s iconic Robin Adkins. If you did not have a date, then bringing family or friends was just as good. Honoring Nat King Cole, on the 55th Anniversary of his death, by celebrating so many romantic songs he performed, was the type of challenge meant for everyone who appreciates the love of romance.  Chris Pipkins, Milwaukee’s premier saxophonist from Christopher’s Project, also provided beautiful music during the show by performing two sets following Robin’s sets.

Robin Adkins 35

About Saint Kate The Arts Hotel

 This hotel opened in June 2019, located at 139 Kilbourn Avenue, Milwaukee, where The InterContinental once stood. I find Saint Kate The Arts Hotel to be one of the most intriguing hotels in Milwaukee by reason of how they showcase an amazing variety of artwork in various groupings and their delicious food. This was my first trip inside and as someone who enjoys art museums I know I will return to explore all of the featured artwork exhibits, including the dancers, acrobats, and musicians. I have to thank the Marcus Hotels & Resorts for bringing Saint Kate the Arts (yes, literally named after Saint Catherine of Bologna, the patron saint of artists) to Milwaukee as the vibe is magically uplifting and delightful. Loved In Return was held in the Simone Ballroom for the ticket price of $50.00. The delicious dinner, buffet style, before the show, included: Saint Kate Salad, Grilled Vegetable Salad, Roasted Squash, Green Bean Almondine, Mashed Potatoes, Baked Pasta with Vegetables and Sausage, Roasted Chicken Breast with Gravy, Rolls, and a generous slice of Carrot Cake for dessert. There were also two well-stocked bars in the Simone Ballroom with very attentive staff.

Robin Adkins sings Nat King Cole

Robin brings thirty-nine years of performing expertise to “Loved in Return: An Intimate Evening with Nat King Cole,” including performing in a Nat King Cole cover band, and he is a member of Milwaukee’s premier Temptations tribute band, ‘The Tempters.’ He also is a veteran of the US Marine Corps, and he can be found performing to our veterans at Milwaukee’s Zablocki Veterans Medical Center. He wore a white tuxedo during his first set and changed to a sharp blue tuxedo for his second set. He is an excellent baritone singer, and he knows how to interact with the audience, including his pleasant sense of humor. The corresponding video display, shown on a large screen, matched whatever song he was performing and there was an instrumental soundtrack used, instead of an orchestra, to keep the ticket price affordable.

Robin Adkins 13

The Song List covered many favorites

My greatest takeaway from this performance is how I need to add more Nat King Cole vintage vinyl to my collection, especially when I want to add to my romantic mood. I grew up with a Nat King Cole Christmas album and I made sure to add the vintage album to my ‘reunited with vinyl’ collection. I cannot fathom experiencing the Christmas holidays without hearing (many times), Nat King Cole sing “The Christmas Song,” and I had tears when Robin sang it. Robin shared how there were many song requests made when he was putting this show together and he tried to include as many requests as possible. It was very obvious, to me, how much the audience appreciated hearing all of the songs (see the complete song list below), including: “Love,” “Unforgettable,” “When I Fall in Love,” “This Is All I Ask,” and “Mona Lisa.” It was impossible to not feel the love in the air by the conclusion of this show.

Chris Pipkins saxophonist extraordinaire

Chris Pipkins 14

Chris Pipkins, a three-time “Showtime at the Apollo” winner, played a few different saxophones, including the infrequently seen soprano saxophone, which totally added to the romance of the show. The audience appreciated Chris’s performance throughout his song list, which included “In Rio,” “This Masquerade,” “A Wonderful World,” “Misty,” and “My Funny Valentine.” Chris brings years of experience as an extraordinary saxophonist, and singer, as he leads ‘Christopher’s Project,’ opening for many national touring acts, including George Benson and David Sanborn.

Chris Pipkins 9

Robin Adkins Song List:

Once In Awhile

Too Young

When I Fall in Love

Sentimental Reasons



Walking My Baby Back Home

Somewhere Along the Way

Ballerina Dance

The Christmas Song

This is All I Ask

Lazy Days of Summer

Autumn Leaves

Ramblin’ Rose

A Blossom Fell


A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square


For All We Know

Nature Boy

Mona Lisa

Chris Pipkins Song List:

In Rio

This Masquerade

Sara Smile

A Wonderful World

Girl From Empanada

A Song for You


My Funny Valentine

See full gallery of the night here!

Shutter 16 Magazine:

Tune In To Our Podcast: