Stony Plain Records Set to Release The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard on September 25
A Decade in the Making, Latest Album from Multi-Award-Winning Guitarist Includes Special Guests Maria Muldaur, Jay McShann, Jerry Portnoy and Sunny Crownover
EDMONTON, AB – Stony Plain Records announces a September 25 release date for The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard, a very special album from the two-time Grammy nominee and multi Blues Music Award winning guitarist that focuses on the music that has informed his over 50-year career as a performing artist, bandleader and producer of seminal American roots music. The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard was recorded primarily at Duke’s own Mood Room studio, with additional work done at Lakewest Recording and some live recording done at the Blackstone River Theater in Cumberland, Rhode Island.
“This project has been about a decade in the making for various reasons I won't go into here,” Duke Robillard says in the liner notes about the sessions for the new CD. “As many of you know, I am, and always have been, a huge fan of American roots music in its entirety. Blues, ragtime, early jazz, Appalachian music, early country, swing, honky-tonk, folk, R&B, soul, New Orleans music, rock and roll and all kinds of roots music have always moved and inspired me the most. Especially the artists that were there at the beginning of each style. Those artists always seem to be the most honest to my ears.”
Accordingly, Robillard has fashioned an album that salutes many of those influences on the new disc, demonstrating in the process the immense scope and breadth of the talent that has made him one of the most revered and beloved musicians in the world.
“With this album I honor many of the pioneers of true American music, from close to the beginning of recorded music to the 1940s,” Robillard declares. “This is the time period I love most and find a never-ending river of new music to discover, enjoy and be influenced/inspired by. This recording concentrates on music written and recorded in the ‘20s to the ‘40s, with the exception of some original songs and Robbie Robertson's ‘Evangeline,’ which sounds like it could be from that time period!”
Besides Duke’s lead vocals and multiple stringed instruments performed throughout The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard, the all-star backing cast includes special guest vocalists Maria Muldaur and Sunny Crownover, former Muddy Waters band member Jerry Portnoy on harmonica and the late, Kansas City piano legend Jay McShann. Other players include Mary Flower – acoustic finger style and lap slide guitar and vocal; Marty Ballou and John Packer - acoustic bass; Matt McCabe – piano; Mark Teixeira and Marty Richards – drums; Billy Novick – clarinet; Doug James - baritone sax and harmonica; Dave Babcock - tenor sax; Jon Ross – mandolin; Russell Gusetti – concertina and the Providence Mandolin Orchestra.
Robillard taps into his wellspring of great American music songbook knowledge by covering everything from such blues icons as Big Bill Broonzy, W.C Handy, Sleepy John Estes, Robert Lockwood and Pete Johnson, to country legends Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers and the Delmore Brothers, with a nod to traditional popular music from writers including Stephen Foster. And Duke gets an early jump on the holiday season with the inclusion of “Santa Claus Blues,” featuring the soulful vocals of Maria Muldaur and written by one of America’s best pop music composers, Gus Kahn.
The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard – Track Listing
1 My Old Kentucky Home 1:25
2 Big Bill Blues 3:35
3 I Miss My Baby in My Arms 3:15
4 Jimmie's Texas Blues 3:08
5 Backyard Paradise 2:39
6 Evangeline featuring Sunny Crownover 3:01
7 Left Handed 3:06
8 I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water 3:25
9 I'm Gonna Buy Me a Dog (To Take the Place of You) 5:15
10 Nashville Blues featuring Mary Flower 3:07
11 St Louis Blues 5:07
12 What Is It That Tastes Like Gravy? 3:04
13 Someday Baby 3:17
14 Let’s Turn Back the Years 2:37
15 Take a Little Walk with Me 7:04
16 Santa Claus Blues featuring Maria Muldaur 2:50
17 Profoundly Blue feat. Jay McShann 3:46
18 Ukulele Swing 0:46
About Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard’s career path was set in 1967 when he founded the iconic Roomful of Blues, later holding down the guitar spot in The Fabulous Thunderbirds (following Jimmie Vaughan’s departure from that band), then working with rockabilly maverick Robert Gordon and recording two albums with the Legendary Blues Band (a sterling group of former members of Muddy Waters’ bands). In addition, Duke has logged countless gigs over the years as a producer, bandleader and guitar player with a plethora of giants of blues, roots and jazz music. That laundry list includes late icons such as Big Joe Turner, Jimmy Witherspoon, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Jay McShann, Rosco Gordon and Herb Ellis, as well as contemporaries Bob Dylan, Dr. John, Jay Geils, Joe Louis Walker, Billy Boy Arnold and Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne.
Since 1980, Duke’s been a touring bandleader for 98% of the time with nearly 30 albums to his credit under his own name. He is the true link from those great artists of the past to the current and future of roots music. With the recent passing of B.B. King and the aging of other blues elders, Duke continues to carry his blues torch held high, leading the music from the wilderness into the light. In recognition of his lifetime achievements, he was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in May of 2014.