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Index of Artists

Duke Robillard

Biography:

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Independently Blue — it's the title of his new Stony Plain album — and a fine definition of his musical philosophy

Believe it not, there are times when a CDs sleeve notes form the basis of a pretty good bio. And so it is with Nashville writer Ted Drozdowski, who penned the essay that’s part of Duke Robillard’s 19th album for Stony Plain, aptly named Independently Blue.

Ted tells it exactly like it is: “Over the four-decades-and-more that Duke has plied his unshakeable virtuosity in the studio and on stage, its needle has tilted between all manner of roots music: jazz, R&B, Tex-Mex, rock, urban, backwoods and even into the dimensions of tiki gods and the psychedelic. But it has always come to rest at the blues.

Independently Blue is a true blues album, but like all of Duke’s work it has a wide arch. His stories plunge deeply into matters of the heart and soul: from the blood and guts basics of human relationships to the heights of the transcendent, and from the streets of New Orleans to the vistas of the astral.”

The soul of Independently Blue is in large part due to the musicians that Robillard has surrounded himself with.

I’m proud of the way we all play together so effortlessly,” Robillard says. “My band has been together quite a few years now and we have done many recordings under my name and with other artists, so we are pretty quick in the studio and we’ve developed a real language of our own.”

In addition to keyboard player Bruce Bears, Duke’s group includes bassist Brad Hallen and drummer Mark Teixeira. Besides special guest guitarist Monster Mike Welch (who plays on every track and also contributed two songs), the album’s guest players include clarinetist Billy Novick and Roomful of Blues trumpeter Doug Woolverton.

Until recently, the Duke Robillard Band has toured the world non-stop, with breaks only for recording (and sessions like the parts he contributed to Bob Dylan’s 1997 record Time Out of Mind) and an intense tour with Tom Waits.

As an artist, Duke has unwaveringly followed his own road, pursuing his personal vision of excellence and creativity wherever it’s taken him, always guided by the light of his personal North Star, the blues. And that makes Independently Blue both an apt title for this new collection of songs, and a colorful description of the man himself.

Now, new horizons await. But he’ll always remain independently blue…

COVERING (MOST OF) THE BASES IN DUKE ROBILLARD’S BASIC BIOGRAPHY

Any biographical summary of Duke Robillard has to cover a lot of ground. In no particular order:

His legendary playing skills make him one of the most versatile guitarists on the planet. He’s also a smooth, intimate and engaging singer.

The Blues Foundation has named Robillard “Best Blues Guitarist” no less than four times, B.B. King says “Duke’s one of the great players” and the Houston Post called him “one of God’s guitarists.”

He won the Best Traditional Male Artist category at the Blues Awards in Memphis, and his 2009 recording, Stomp! The Blues Tonight gave him his second Grammy nomination (the first was for Guitar Groove-a-Rama, released in 2006).

Robillard had his first band in high school, and was fascinated from the beginning by the ways in which jazz, swing, and the blues were linked. In 1967, still a teenager, he formed Roomful of Blues, and the band was tight enough and tough enough to accompany two of his heroes, Big Joe Turner and Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson on record and in live appearances.

Roomful of Blues — which still continues, more than 40 years on — gave Duke his first exposure to a wide public, and when he left after a dozen years, he played briefly with rockabilly king Robert Gordon, then cut two albums with the Legendary Blues Band (a sterling group of former members of Muddy Waters’ bands). He led his own group until 1990, then replaced Jimmie Vaughan in the Fabulous Thunderbirds, before fronting his own band once again.

THE ROAD, IN YOUR TOWN AND JUST ABOUT EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD

A glance at Duke Robillard’s discography over the 20 years since he signed with Stony Plain in 1993 would suggest that this is a man who lives in the recording studio.

And while it’s a fact that he has made excellent recordings in his own home studio, he’s made even more projects at Lakewest Recording, a Rhode Island facility owned by his manager Jack Gauthier. The task, as always, is to make great music fast and economically, without sacrificing energy, feeling, and sound quality.

This allows him to spend most of his time on tour — he’s a veteran “road warrior” who has played as many as 250 live shows a year, rivaling the legendary tour schedules of Buddy Guy and B.B. King in their younger days. Robillard travels literally from Montreal to Moscow, from Brazil to Barcelona, and from London, England to London, Ontario.

Independently Blue

Independently Blue
SPCD 1364
Genre: Blues
Released: 9 April 2013
For over four decades, Duke Robillard has been one of the most respected blues and roots music guitarists working today. This release shows endless creativity in bringing new ideas to blues forms. Fellow New England guitar hero Monster Mike Welch is an important contributor providing Duke with a daredevil foil on all tracks.
  1. I Wouldn't-a Done That (4:04)
  2. Below Zero (3:53)
  3. Stapled To The Chicken's Back (4:08)
  4. Patrol Wagon Blues (5:24)
  5. Laurene (2:52)
  6. Moongate (5:56)
  7. I'm Still Laughing (3:25)
  8. Strollin With Lowell And BB (3:46)
  9. You Won't Ever (3:19)
  10. This Man, This Monster (5:05)
  11. Groovin' Slow (5:54)
  12. If This Is Love (4:48)

Reviews:

about.com
By Reverend Keith A. Gordon

Grade A+  "More entertaining than just about any blues album you'll hear this year."

Low Down And Tore Up

Low Down And Tore Up
SPCD 1357
Genre: Blues
Released: 20 September 2011
  1. Quicksand (3:12)
  2. Train Fare Home (4:36)
  3. Mercy Mercy Mama (3:04)
  4. Overboard (3:19)
  5. Blues After Hours (4:33)
  6. Want Ad Blues (3:58)
  7. Do Unto Others (2:27)
  8. It's Alright (3:22)
  9. Let Me Play With Your Poodle (2:35)
  10. Tool Bag Boogie (3:10)
  11. What's Wrong (3:35)
  12. I Ain't Mad At You (3:30)
  13. Twelve Year Old Boy (4:32)
  14. Later For You Baby (3:19)

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Reviews:

BluesWax
By Beardo
Duke is a master at every style of guitar and on this one shows his early rough side with youthful abandonment. Put it on and turn it up!

Passport to the Blues

Passport to the Blues
SPCD 1349
Genre: blues
Released: 17 August 2010
  1. Workin' Hard For My Uncle (Listen to mp3 clip) (4:05)
    * free full length download *
  2. Hong Kong Suit (Listen to mp3 clip) (4:47)
  3. Blues Train (5:20)
  4. Girl Let Me Tell Ya (2:45)
  5. Rhode Island Red Rooster (3:45)
  6. Fatal Heart Attack (4:10)
  7. Make It Rain (5:44)
  8. When You're Old You're Cold (Listen to mp3 clip) (5:29)
  9. Text Me (4:00)
  10. Duke's Evening Blues (5:22)
  11. The High Cost Of Lovin' (4:47)
  12. Grey Sky Blues (8:38)

    Related:

Reviews:

beachmusic45.com
By Mike Little
Passport To The Blues by Duke Robillard is your passport to some great music.

Stomp! The Blues Tonight

Stomp! The Blues Tonight
SPCD 1342
Genre: Blues
Released: 2 June 2009
  1. Stomp The Blues Tonight (3:22)
  2. Do Me Right (3:31)
  3. Three Hours Past Midnight (4:38)
  4. Baby You Don't Know (2:53)
  5. I Wanna Hug You, Kiss You, Squeeze You (4:59)
  6. Frankie and Johnny (3:11)
  7. Look But Don't Touch (3:47)
  8. Playful Baby (3:32)
  9. Million Dollar Secret (7:47)
  10. Jumpin' The Bone (5:36)
  11. Hands Off! (4:17)
  12. Money's Gettin' Cheaper (3:48)
  13. For You My Love (2:18)
  14. Tore Up (3:59)
  15. Ain't Nobody's Business (3:23)
  16. Early In The Morning (4:36)

Reviews:

Juke Joint Soul
By Ben the Harpman
Duke is the most consistently damn good blues player on the planet.

Introducing Sunny And Her Joy Boys

Introducing Sunny And Her Joy Boys
SPCD 1341
Genre: Blues/Jazz
Released: 24 March 2009
  1. Strictly From Dixie (Listen to mp3 clip) (2:54)
  2. You’re Driving Me Crazy (4:57)
  3. That’s My Desire (3:49)
  4. Stop You’re Breakin’ My Heart (3:16)
  5. You’re My Thrill (Listen to mp3 clip) (5:01)
  6. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea (3:53)
  7. I Don’t Mind (4:01)
  8. Travelin’ All Alone (2:37)
  9. Today I Sing The Blues (3:26)
  10. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams (Listen to mp3 clip) (4:11)
  11. I Got It Bad (and that ain’t good) (5:53)
  12. Undecided (4:46)
  13. I’m Satisfied (4:27)
  14. A Hundred Years From Today....... (4:21)

    Related:

Reviews:

O's Place Jazz
By D. Oscar Gnoomes
This is a classy Bourbon Street band singing fourteen American classics including "Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea", "I Got It Bad" featuring Novick on alto sax and "You're My Thrill". Producer Robillard is on his game and Sunny's soft and warm demeanor matches the spirit of the tunes making them believable and fun.

Rehab [Digital single]

Rehab [Digital single]
SPDD 0002
Genre: Blues
Released: 29 April 2008

Download on iTunes
  1. Rehab (5:23) Only ever available digitally
This disc is no longer available to order physically.
Download on iTunes

A Swingin' Session With Duke Robillard

A Swingin
SPCD 1331
Genre: Blues/Swing
Released: 29 April 2008
  1. Deed I Do (Listen to mp3 clip) (3:56)
  2. The Lonesome Road (6:42)
  3. Them That Got (Listen to mp3 clip) (5:20)
  4. Just Because (Listen to mp3 clip) (4:36)
  5. Meet Me At NSP (3:30)
  6. Red Dog (6:49)
  7. They Raided The Joint (4:53)
  8. When Your Lover Has Gone (6:34)
  9. The Song In Ended (3:08)
  10. Singin' With Lucy Mae (6:30)

Reviews:

Blues Revue Oct/Nov 2008
By Michael Cote
We should thank Robillard for reprising and reinventing classic American music in an age when real musicianship gets short shrift while shallow theatrics can earn you a stint on American Idol. Call me cranky, but I'd rather swing.

World Full Of Blues

World Full Of Blues
SPCD 1323
Genre: Blues
Released: 15 May 2007
Disc 1
  1. Jump The Blues For You (Listen to mp3 clip) (3:08)
  2. Everything Is Broken (Listen to mp3 clip) (4:48)
  3. Treat Me So Lowdown (3:29)
  4. Slam Hammer (3:45)
  5. You're Killin' Me Baby (5:29)
  6. Slim Jenkins Joint (3:51)
  7. Sweet Thing (4:06)
  8. You Won't Let Me Go (5:26)
  9. Six Inch Heels (6:03)
  10. World Of Blues (3:21)
  11. Look Out (4:08)
  12. Stoned (4:56)
Disc 2
  1. Gonna' Get You Told (4:51) Free Bonus CD
  2. Monkey Arms (3:52) Free Bonus CD
  3. Who Do You Love (5:24) Free Bonus CD
  4. Low Side Of The Road (5:20) Free Bonus CD
  5. Too Much Stuff (6:35) Free Bonus CD
  6. Blues Nightmare (8:35) Free Bonus CD
  7. Bounce For Billy (5:58) Free Bonus CD
  8. Bright Lights, Big City (4:15) Free Bonus CD
  9. Steppin' Out (3:18) Free Bonus CD
  10. Anything It Takes (5:41) Free Bonus CD
  11. Stretchin' (9:19) Free Bonus CD

Reviews:

www.jsitop21.com
By John Shelton Ivany
A tour-de-force, World Full of Blues, solidifies that Duke Robillard is a man charged with creative talent causing him to birth unique blues. Robillard is a man in his prime hour.

Outtakes and Oddities: The Unheard Duke Robillard [Digital album]

Outtakes and Oddities: The Unheard Duke Robillard [Digital album]
SPDD 0001
Genre: Blues
Released: 3 April 2007

Download on iTunes
  1. Pony Blues (Outtake - No Horns) (6:15)
  2. I'm Stickin' With You Baby (Outtake - Trio Version) (4:32)
  3. Gypsy Woman (Unreleased) (3:22)
  4. World Radio Theme (Unreleased Radio Theme) (2:09)
  5. The Change Is On (Unreleased TV Theme) (2:33)
  6. The Return Of Duke's Mood (Unreleased Demo) (7:21)
  7. I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water (Outtake) (3:28)
  8. Minor For McDonough #1 (Unreleased Demo) (4:06)
  9. Minor For McDonough #2 (Unreleased Demo) (4:31)
  10. I'm In Cahoots With You (Unreleased Outtake) (3:09)
  11. I Live The Life I Love (Unreleased Outtake) (4:48)
  12. Exalted Lover (Work In Progress) (4:09)
  13. Something To Remember (Unreleased Outtake) (7:11)
  14. I Tried (Outtake from Duke's Blues) (4:00)
  15. Pony Blues (Demo) (5:47)
This disc is no longer available to order physically.
Download on iTunes

Guitar Groove-A-Rama

Guitar Groove-A-Rama
SPCD 1316
Genre: Blues
Released: 21 February 2006
  1. Do The Memphis Grind
  2. Gamblers Blues
  3. Down Along the Cove
  4. Sunday Mornin'
  5. Sewed up
  6. Danny Boy
  7. Blues a rama
  8. I'll Do Anything But Work
  9. No Way Out
  10. This Dream
  11. Just Before Dawn
  12. Dawn
  13. Cookin'
  14. Dark Eyes

Live at the Blackstone River Theatre DVD

Live at the Blackstone River Theatre DVD
SPDVD 1308
Genre: Blues
Released: 4 October 2005
  1. Hard Road
  2. I Miss My Baby In My Arms
  3. Cow Cow Boogie
  4. Honeysuckle Rose
  5. I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
  6. Lonesome Woman Blues
  7. Blue Harlem
  8. Just Because
  9. Buy Me A Dog
  10. Deed I Do
  11. Cry Me A River
  12. Sweet Georgia Brown
  13. Jivin In Rhythm

The Duke Meets The Earl

The Duke Meets The Earl
SPCD 1303
Genre: Blues
Released: 8 March 2005
  1. West Side Shuffle (Listen to mp3 clip) (7:43)
  2. Two Bones & A Pick (Listen to mp3 clip) (8:06)
  3. My Tears (15:53)
  4. Looking For Trouble (6:42)
  5. What Have I Done Wrong (Listen to mp3 clip) (6:42)
  6. Zeb's Thing (7:27)
  7. I Need You So Bad (8:14)
  8. A Soul That's Been Abused (13:05)

Blue Mood

Blue Mood
SPCD 1300
Genre: Blues
Released: 1 June 2004
  1. Lonesome Woman Blues (4.08)
  2. T-Bone Shuffle (5.07)
  3. Love Is A Gamble (4.37)
  4. Alimony Blues (3.28)
  5. You Don't Love Me (4.13)
  6. T-Bone Boogie (5.24)
  7. Blue Mood (3.10)
  8. Pony Tail (3.07)
  9. I'm Still In Love With You (8.58)
  10. Hard Way (2.46)
  11. Born To Be No Good (5.34)
  12. Tell Me What's The Reason (2.49)

Blues In My Heart

Blues In My Heart
SPCD 1288
Genre: Jazz/Blues
Released: 3 June 2003
  1. Scam (Listen to mp3 clip) (6:46)
  2. Willow Weep For Me (7:20)
  3. Bernie’s Tune (4:49)
  4. I’ve Got A Right To Sing The Blue’s (5:01)
  5. Shine (3:34)
  6. Blue Bossa (Listen to mp3 clip) (4:51)
  7. Please Send Me Someone To Love (Listen to mp3 clip) (5:09)
  8. If Dreams Come True (4:27)
  9. Blues In My Heart (5:19)

Duke's Blues

Duke
SPCD 1195
Genre: Blues
Released: February 2003
  1. Midnite Cannonball (3:06)
  2. Glamour Girl (4:49)
  3. I Still Love You Baby (2:55)
  4. Texas Hop (2:36)
  5. Don't Leave Me Baby (3:22)
  6. Tell Me Why (2:42)
  7. Something To Remember You By (5:42)
  8. Love Slipped In (3:43)
  9. Information Blues (4:57)
  10. Don't Treat Me Like That (3:15)
  11. Never Let You Go (5:17)
  12. Gee I Wish (3:15)
  13. My Heart Is Cryin' (4:24)
  14. Red's Riff (6:53)
  15. Dyin' Flu (11:28)

Exalted Lover

Exalted Lover
SPCD 1293
Genre: Blues
  1. Down Home Country Girl (4:55)
  2. I'll Never Be Free (Listen to mp3 clip) (3:45)
  3. Real Live Wire (2:51)
  4. Exalted Lover (Listen to mp3 clip) (4:57)
  5. Deep Inside (4:42)
  6. How Long Has It Been (3:55)
  7. Tore Up (4:10)
  8. Love Made A Liar Out Of Me (4:22)
  9. Double X Daddy (4:33)
  10. Travelin Mood (3:24)

More Conversations In Swing Guitar

More Conversations In Swing Guitar
SPCD 1292
Genre: Blues
  1. Moten Swing (Listen to mp3 clip) (7:32)
  2. Train To Texas (7:22)
  3. Robin's Nest (6:47)
  4. Just You And Me (5:39)
  5. Blues For Terry (7:36)
  6. End Of Session Jump (6:37)

Living With The Blues

Living With The Blues
SPCD 1277
Genre: Blues
  1. If Walls Could Talk (Listen to mp3 clip)
  2. Use What You Got
  3. Stratisfied (Listen to mp3 clip)
  4. Hard Road
  5. Buy Me A Dog (Listen to mp3 clip)
  6. Goodtime Charlie
  7. Painful Memory
  8. I Live The Life I Love
  9. I'm Mad About It
  10. Sleepin' On It
  11. Living With The Blues
  12. Long Gone Baby

Explorer

Explorer
SPCD 1265
Genre: Blues
  1. Male Magnet (4:34)
  2. Just Between Me And You (4:38)
  3. Soulful (4:46)
  4. Hang On (3:51)
  5. You Mean Everything To Me (5:01)
  6. Sayin' Don't Make It So (3:07)
  7. Jumpin' With The Duke (3:47)
  8. Misunderstanding Blues (4:42)
  9. You Dropped The Thing On Me (4:26)
  10. Lonesome Old Town (4:18)
  11. Brand New Fool (3:40)
  12. Time Is Short (6:58)

Conversations in Swing Guitar

Conversations in Swing Guitar
SPCD 1260
Genre: Blues

New Blues For Modern Man

New Blues For Modern Man
SPCD 1259
Genre: Blues
  1. Jumpin' Rocking' Rhythm (4:05)
  2. Pony Blues (6:40)
  3. Don't Fool With My Love (2:41)
  4. Addiction (5:16)
  5. Fishnet (4:34)
  6. Good Man (5:23)
  7. I Don't Want to Say Best Wishes (4:31)
  8. Hurt Me (4:51)
  9. You're the Only One (4:59)
  10. Love Sick (8:49)
  11. How Long Baby (4:27)
  12. Big Bottom Blues (9:46)

Stretchin' Out Live

Stretchin
SPCD 1250
Genre: Blues
  1. Too Hot To Handle (7:14)
  2. Never Let You Go (6:40)
  3. Midnight Canon Ball (4:00)
  4. Gee I Wish (6:26)
  5. Glamour Girl (9:07)
  6. That's My Life (4:55)
  7. Dyin' Flu (11:20)
  8. Tell Me Why (3:46)
  9. Don't Leave Me Baby (7:38)