Here’s a fine new CD to tempt the palates of traditional and electric blues aficionados. Two outstanding New England guitarists team up for a kick-ass blues party with some old friends. Duke Robillard
is well known for his work as a founding member of Roomful Of Blues
and for his numerous recordings from his solo career. His last CD for Stony Plain
drew fabulous reviews from both the jazz and blues press. New Guitar Summit
had Robillard in the company of Jay Geils
and Gerry Beaudoin
in a burning guitar excursion into blues and jazz. His Blue Mood
session for the same label documented the music of T-Bone Walker.
Bostonian Ronnie Earl
met Duke Robillard during the mid 1970s and often sat in with Roomful Of Blues
at a blues club in Cambridge, "The Speakeasy." Inspired by Muddy Waters and T-Bone Walker, he eventually replaced Robillard in Roomful. His 2004 CD Now My Soul
is a winner in every way.
The W.C.Handy Blues Awards
in May will find both Robillard and Earl fighting it out for guitarist of the year. Both are nominees in other categories, Robillard for Traditional Blues Album Blue Mood
and Ronnie Earl for his Now My Soul
in the Contemporary Album. The Duke Meets The Earl
is a delightful meeting of the two exciting players in the studio. Guitar students will sit in awe of the talents of these bluesmen. Backed by some of the best sidemen around, Earl and Robillard put on a show that is pure fireworks.
Material is drawn from B.B.King, T-Bone Walker, Walter Price and Eddie Taylor plus three originals by the two guitarists. While there isn’t a mediocre track on this album, three pieces stand out. I Need You So Bad
showcases Earl and Robillard and special guest Jimmy McGriff
on the Hammond B-3. I’ve always admired the organist and met him in 1973 when he toured with Richard "Groove" Holmes in an "organ battle" show.
Another winner is A Soul That’s Been Abused
. It’s a hauntingly beautiful composition by Ronnie Earl. The thirteen-minute track features a vocal by Mighty Sam McClain
and some great B-3 sounds by Dave Limina
. Last, but not least is the Walter Price song, My Tears
and the song speaks for itself. Listen to a sample at the Stony Plain website.
There are guitar sounds on this album that will chill your bones and stand your hair on end. Highly recommended!