The Boston Phoenix
July 15 - 22, 1999

[Music Reviews]

| clubs by night | bands in town | club directory | pop concerts | classical concerts | reviews | hot links |

** Duke Robillard



Twenty-five years after establishing himself as a modern-day monster of older blues-guitar styles, Duke Robillard is both displaying his known wares and reaching into new terrain on his Shanachie debut. The jabbing, razor-sharp lines on his original "Don't Fool with My Love" are a loving tribute to Johnny "Guitar" Watson's early Texas sides, and Duke and his two fine saxophone accompanists apply an easy, greasy, soul-drenched sheen to the extended instrumental "Big Bottom Blues." The pure-toned original leader of Roomful of Blues and later a Fabulous Thunderbird, Robillard is also blessed with an exuberant, warm voice, which is why it's so weird to hear him tackle Bob Dylan's extraordinarily dark "Love Sick," a dirge from Mr. Zimmerman's acclaimed 1997 release Time out of Mind (Columbia), or the border ballad "You're the Only One (Who Can Move Me That Way)." Robillard's skills can take him anywhere, including the suspenseful, rock-and-rolly peaks of "Love Sick," but even the blues material on this set is uneven, and as a result New Blues is not Duke's finest ride.

-- Bill Kisliuk
[Music Footer]

| home page | what's new | search | about the phoenix | feedback |
Copyright © 1999 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group. All rights reserved.