Duke Robillard

Worl Full of Blues | Stony Plain
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  June 26, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
Duke Robillard has released four albums and a DVD over the past three years, and if that’s not enough to convince you that this New England–bred blues and jazz guitar legend is prolific, you might note that his new World Full of Blues boasts 23 tunes on two CDs. As the title suggests, those songs slice through every root and offshoot of the blues. Maybe Robillard’s stint as Tom Waits’s tour guitarist in 2006 fueled his creativity, because here he rumbles through T-Bone Walker’s swinging “Treat Me So Lowdown” and knocks out the dirty Chicago grind “You’re Killin’ Me Baby” with the same élan he brings to the mesmerizing, Wes Montgomery–inspired “Stoned.” The native Rhode Islander deploys his impeccable tone on the frayed Mississippi-juke-joint arrangement of “Everything Is Broken,” a tune penned by another of his famous ex-bosses, Bob Dylan. And “Low Side of the Road” gets its Waits-like voodoo vibe from a mix of electric and acoustic guitars and some lute-like saz. The messin’ ’round’s not limited to guitar tones, either — Robillard drops to his lowest vocal register to echo Bo Diddley’s dusty howl for the rock grandpappy’s “Who Do You Love.” It all culminates in “Stretchin’,” nearly 10 minutes of the evocative soul-jazz, guitar-and-organ-combo sound invented by Jimmy Smith. And everything on these CDs is played with total command.

Duke Robillard | Blues Barge Series, Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, Boston | June 28 | 617.439.7000 | Johnny D’s, 17 Holland Street, Somerville | June 29 | 617.776.2004
Related: Back to the future, What to do?, Pop your cork!, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Jimmy Smith,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   TOM HAMBRIDGE | BOOM!  |  August 23, 2011
    Roots rock is the new country and ex-Bostonian Tom Hambridge is the style's current MPV.
  •   COUNTRY STRONG | SOUNDTRACK  |  January 11, 2011
    This steaming pile of songs is emblematic of the state of mainstream country music — all artifice, no heart, calculated anthems written to formula and meant, like the film itself, to do no more than capitalize on the genre's current success and rob its undiscriminating fans.
  •   MARC RIBOT | SILENT MOVIES  |  November 02, 2010
    This exceptional, eccentric guitarist has traced a slow evolution from screamer to dreamer.
  •   IN MEMORIAM: SOLOMON BURKE, 1940 — 2010  |  October 11, 2010
    Boston-based blues-guitar virtuoso Ronnie Earl seems to be considering his past on his 23rd album as a leader.

 See all articles by: TED DROZDOWSKI