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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Stony Plain Records artist: Duke Robillard Band - Calling All Blues - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (September 23, 2014), Calling All Blues, from the Duke Robillard Band and it has a fresh feel. Opening with Down In Mexico, Robillard takes the lead on vocal on this track with a dose of Memphis rhythm. Bruce Bears has the keys covered and Rich Lataille, Mark Earley and Doug Woolverton add some nice horn work. On boogie track I'm Gonna Quit My Baby, Bears leads the way on piano and the track which actually reminds me of a Neil Young song. Svengali is a very rudimentary track with very cool stumble drums by Mark Teixeira and and slide work by Robillard. With a lot of the traits of early blues this is one of my favorites on the release. Blues Beyond The Call Of Duty features Sunny Crownover on lead vocals and has that polished blues/jazz feel that Robillard has really made as his trademark. Well conceived and executed guitar work by Robillard as well as cool bass riffs by Brad Hallen. Very nice! Emphasis On Memphis has a definite R&B feel with solid horn work and vocal harmonies. Confusion Blues finds Bruce Bears at the mic accompanying himself on piano for a cool jazz feel. I always love Bears' piano styling and this track does a nice job showing it off. Robillard lays down one of the nicest guitar solos on the release creating a very nice groove. Motor Trouble has a Willie Dixon feel and with paired vocals from Robillard this track has a real honest feel. Robillard keeps the riffs less polished and Bears simple giving the track a real gutsy feel. Very cool! Nasty Guitar features Robillard and Crownover sharing the lead vocal duet. With a slow cocky strut the track is highlighted by a cool bass riff by Hallen and a primarily an overdriven guitar sound. Robillard does clean the sound up to clear for his solo but returns to a grinding sound overall. On Temptation, the band has a swampy feel with swirling trumpet, electric piano, and guitar riffs creating a kind of dark ambiance over the funky drumming of Teixeira. Robillard lays down a really nice guitar solo on this track as well as Dr John like vocals making it another of my favorite tracks on the release. Wrapping the release is Carter Brothers tune, She's So Fine. With 60's style guitar riffs and horn backing this track almost transports you back into the 60's. Cool finish to a cool release.

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 Here's a recent performance by Robillard:

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