Blues Full Circle

Duke Robillard

Stony Plain 2016

Review by David Bowling


Duke Robillard is back with a new album after a year of being unable to play the guitar. Surgery and extensive rehabilitation have enabled him to reclaim his place as one of the best blues guitarists working today.

Robillard has always been a superior technician on the guitar but it is the tone he creates that sets him apart from most of his contemporaries.

The original intent was to record an album of music with just a basic band of keyboardist Bruce Bears, bassist Brad Hallen, and drummer Mark Teixeira in support. The problem is Robillard has too many musical friends not to have a few guests. The best example is Jimmie Ray Vaughan trading guitar licks with Robillard on “Shufflin’ And Scufflin.'” Kelly Hunt adds the vocal to to the rocking boogie song “The Motel Room.”

When it is just the four basic musicians, “Rain Keeps Falling,” “Fool About My Money,”Come With Me baby,” and “You Used To Be Sugar, Robillard’s guitar work shines.

Blues Full Circle is another fine outing from a master bluesman. His albums rarely disappoint.

Rating: ***1/2