Duke Robillard & His All-Star Combo- Blues Full Circle review

Still catching up on summer…


Duke Robillard & His All-Star Combo

Blues Full Circle

Stony Plain Records  www.DukeRobillard.com

It is a fool’s errand attempting to enumerate Duke Robillard’s albums: his Wikipedia page lists over fifty projects of which he has been a part, some forty of which carry his name and over twenty with Stony Plain.

Coming off the award-winning The Acoustic Blues & Roots of Duke Robillard, the quartet (bass, keys, drums, guitar) returned to the studio to layout some fiery electric jams only to be curtailed by Robillard’s rotator cuff surgery and rehabilitation. Among those initial tracks, “Mourning Dove” and “I Got the Feelin’ That You’re Foolin'” offer different shades of blues heartache, while “Blues for Eddie Jones” achingly traces the blues journey of Guitar Slim. Replete with flights of instrumental fancy, the All-Star Combo prove themselves to be a tight posse, with Robillard’s growly vocals providing character and depth. Guests include Kelley Hunt who provides additional swing on her composition, “The Mood Room.” The highlight of this robust, multi-dimensional examination of the blues is six and a half minute instrumental “Shufflin’ and Scufflin'” featuring blistering interplay between Robillard and Jimmie Vaughn over an epic bed of organ from Bruce Bears with Doug James painting waves of baritone sax.

Blues Full Circle gives credibility to the adage that one is born to the blues: Duke Robillard continues to create music that draws folks toward this realization.

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