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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 2, 2011


Low Down and Tore Up is a collection of
hard-rockin’ early R&B tunes from the 40s and
50s on Canada’s international Stony Plain Records label
EDMONTON, AB - One of the most versatile and accomplished guitarists playing today, Duke Robillard has always been fascinated by the roots of American popular music — and he’s tackled everything from blues to the classic American songbook to jazz guitar duets, rock-influenced trios, small and big band swing recordings.
On September 20, Robillard will release his 18th album on Stony Plain Records, the Edmonton-based roots music label. Low Down and Tore Up is described as an affirmation of his grittier blues roots and early influences.
Low Down and Tore Up is, once again, a tour de force — this time Robillard is taking hard-rockin’ songs from the forties and fifties, and refitting them with screaming tenor sax solos, gut-bucket vocals and guitar solos that shake the walls.
Duke sums it up: “Basically, I just wanted to go in the studio and record live and capture the real feeling of the lowdown blues in an off-the-cuff sort of way; the way singles used to be made in the blues world for small labels.”
He and his band immerse themselves into the songs of artists like Guitar Slim, Pee Wee Crayton, Sugar Boy Crawford, Bobby Blues Merrill, Tampa Red, Elmore James and John Lee Hooker — some of them artists who are, alas, almost forgotten today. But Robillard brings their tunes and their ragged-but-right approach straight to the table and steaming hot.
A powerful video for one of the songs, “What’s Wrong,” is now available on YouTube and is being distributed to television stations with arts or video programming:

Low Down & Tore Up will be released simultaneously in Canada and the United States, the UK, throughout Europe and in Australia and New Zealand on September 20
A serious road warrior who usually performs as many as 200 shows a year, Robillard has festival and showcase venue dates booked throughout the U.S., as well as Canadian appearances at the Calgary Blues Festival, the Edmonton Folk Festival and the Nanaimo Blues Festival, with September appearances at similar events in Norway and Northern Ireland.
Along the way, he’s earned no less than four Guitarist of the Year awards from the Blues Foundation, was chosen Traditional Males Blue Artist earlier this year, and has been nominated for two Grammy Awards, for his 2006 release, Guitar Groove-a-Rama, and for Stomp! The Blues Tonight (2009)

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