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Duke Robillard
LIVING WITH THE BLUES
(STONY PLAIN)

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Duke Robillard sounds hungrier than he has for a long time. The founder of Roomful of Blues, former Fabulous Thunderbird, and all-around New England blues and roots man sticks to the straight stuff on this release, howling out vocals on winners like Freddy Kingís "Use What You Got" and burning the strings on the guitar rave-up "Stratisfied." Robillardís work for Stony Plain includes a jazz disc with Herb Ellis and inspired session work behind old-timers (including an excellent comeback disc by Rosco Gordon), and he usually incorporates swing and other elements into his own recordings. But this is as straight a shot of blues as heís let loose in a while. With Sax Gordon Beadle and other blues stalwarts in tow, Robillard digs into tracks by B.B. King, Little Milton, Brownie McGhee, and other lions, including songs heís been playing live for decades but never recorded. Maybe thatís why he sounds more at home and just plain tougher than he has on other recent discs.

(Duke Robillard celebrates the release of Living with the Blues next Friday, May 31, at Johnny Dís. Call 617-776-2004.)

BY BILL KISLIUK

Issue Date: May 23 - 30, 2002
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