Thursday, September 22, 2011

Music Review: “Low Down And Tore Up” by The Duke Robillard Band

Duke Robillard

I’ve been following The Duke Robillard Band for about twenty-five years now, and Low Down & Tore Up just reminded me why. With a voice that congers Howlin’ Wolf, and gutbucket rockin’ blues delivered with a Live feeling, this is good times get-on-the-floor or order another round of beers while I dance with your baby, music.

This is not an academic study of blues history, nor an exploration of the different genre of the blues. This is gritty, honking sax, honkytonk piano and screaming guitars. Makes you want to comb your hair in a DA, and put some grease in it. Dust off your best kicks and knot up a skinny tie and grab your baby, we’re going to get Low Down & Tore Up tonight.

All the usual suspects are here, of course, Duke Robillard is on vocals and the guitar that BB King called, “One of the greatest players, one of God’s guitarists”. Bruce Bears is on honkytonk piano, Brad Hallen plays the ‘dog-house bass’, Mark Teixeira bangs the skins and vocals on one track and Matt McCabe contributes piano on a few tracks and laying down the honk on tenor sax is Sax Gordon.

There was a time in America, back in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s when bands like this were making the best “singles” around and it was made just like this on small labels. That was the birth of Rhythm and Blues. Then a young guitar virtuoso named Ike Turner released a single called “Rocket 88”, and they called it rock n’ roll. A truck driver from Memphis channeled that sound and brought it to white audiences and it became the most popular music in the world. In the late fifties and early sixties English kids name John, Paul, George, Ringo, (listen to the intro to “Do Unto Others”  and you’ll know where George got the intro for “Revolution”)  Mick, Keith, Brian, Alan Price, Eric Burdon,  Chas Chandler and a host of others gave a new voice to that down home feeling and the spirit still lives some seventy years later.

“What’s Wrong” by the Duke Robillard Band from the album “LowDown And Torn Up”

This latest installment in the legacy of Duke Robillard affirms that it was no fluke he was Grammy Nominated for the album Stomp The Blues Tonight.It’ll also give you a hint of why Duke has been a session player for more main stream artists like Bob Dylan, Dr. John, John Hammond and has shared a stage with BB King and toured with Tom Waits band. This is rousing and rocking roots music, at it’s lowdown best.

The Dirty Lowdown

Copyright © 2011 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved

Article first published as Music Review: The Duke Robillard Band - Low Down And Tore Up on Blogcritics.

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