Duke Robillard ( http://www.dukerobillard.com/ )Walking with the Blues
Stony Plain ( http://www.stonyplainrecords.com @stonyplainrec )
In light of Duke Robillard's recent success with the best selling release of Duke's Blues, the Duke has vowed to treat his fans to a "pure blues" album for an encore. In struts Walking With the Blues to give blues fans and initiates something to smile about. With a collection of songs that includes some blues classics, and not so classic, fans of the genre are sure to find something they will enjoy.
The guitar-work on this album leaves no doubt in the listener's mind as to why the Duke has received the W.C. Handy Award for "Best Blues Guitarist" two years running. One minute of the epic "Stratisfied" is enough to convince anyone that this man oozes skill. He runs through the spectrum of blues guitar styles over the span of this disc by swapping electric for steel and back again with talent that his twenty-five years as a musician has yielded.
The vocals on this album are surprisingly strong as well. The range rolls from low growl to pained scream, the way the blues ought to be sung, straight from the gut. This meshes well with the lyrics, which are typically amusing ("Use What You Got") and often thoughtful and honest ("Buy Me A Dog").
This is not to say that it is all peaches and cream. Some songs are stronger than others are, and one or two seemed entirely lacking in intensity and style. Just the same it is a strong album overall and well worth the time and money of any blues fan looking for a new buy.
RECOMMENDED TRACKS: "Stratisfied", "Hard Road", "Goodtime Charlie", "Living With The Blues"
- Chris Fredericks, CHSR 97.9 FM, Fredericton NB
By Chris Fredericks
May 22, 2002