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Today in Music – 1948 – Happy Birthday, Duke Robillard!!

Duke RobillardAfter reviewing a couple of the birthday lists, that I usually check in the morning, I didn’t see any names that really caught my attention, so I decided that I’d search for any “today in jazz'” birthday sites. I found a list at All About Jazz and as I scrolled down the list there weren’t many names that I recognized (Can anyone tell me if there’s someone I should check out on the list) until I arrived at the Ds and there I saw blues guitarist Duke Robillard‘s name! Now you may say what’s a blues artist doing on a list of jazz musicians. Well that’s because Duke’s music ofttimes resides in that common ground that jazz and blues share! From Wikipedia:

Michael John “Duke” Robillard (born October 4, 1948, Woonsocket, Rhode Island) is an American blues musician . After playing in various bands and working for the Guild Guitar Company, he co-founded the band Roomful of Blues with pianist Al Copley in 1967.[1] He has also been a member of The Fabulous Thunderbirds which included Kim Wilson, replacing Jimmie Vaughan on guitar. Also experienced in jazz, swing, and rock and roll, aside from his preferred blues music, Robillard has been generally regarded as a guitar player keeping the blues style of T-Bone Walker.   He has recorded with artists such as Jimmy Witherspoon, Snooky Prior, Jay McShann, Hal Singer, Pinetop Perkins,Joe Louis Walker, Todd Sharpville, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan. In the summer of 2006, Robillard accompanied Tom Waits on a tour of the Southern United States. Read More

Awards Duke has won include:

  • 2007 Rhode Island Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts
  • 2001 “Best Blues Guitarist” W.C. Handy Award[2]
  • 2000 “Best Blues Guitarist” W.C. Handy Award[2]

His Nominations include:

  • 2007 “Best Contemporary Blues Album” for “Guitar Groove-A-Rama” Grammy Award
  • 2010 “Best Traditional Blues Album” for “Stomp! The Blues Tonight” Grammy Award

I bet he’s particularly proud of those two W.C. Handy Awards!! I know i would be!

I just discovered Duke’s music around 2000 or so, and as a result I’ve only known him as a solo artist. It sounds familiar that he was a founding member of Roomful of Blues but that may just be me trying to feel that I didn’t know something!! Anyway when I saw he a founding member of the Roomful of Blues I remembered that their new album 45 Live is number 1 on the Roots Music Reports Blues Chart! So I thought, hey, maybe Duke played with them on the latest album! So I went to their website 

I read about the band’s new album which appears to be without former member, Duke Roillard!

In celebration of their 45th anniversary, Roomful of Blues, the jumping, swinging, rocking, award-winning band, will release their new live CD, 45 Live, on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. For the recording, the band hosted a three-day party in March of 2013 at one of their favorite haunts, The Ocean Mist, in Matunuck, Rhode Island. They packed the club to capacity, playing to roaring ovations each night. The resulting album, 45 Live , is among Roomful of Blues’ crowning achievements. The album is a lightning-in-a-bottle blowout, showcasing the larger-than-life vocal and instrumental power of the band.     For the last two decades, Roomful has been led by Chris Vachon, one of the most underrated guitarists in the blues. For 40 years, their hard-charging horn section has been sparked by Rich Lataille on tenor and alto sax. Energizing the band on Hook, Line & Sinker is their terrific new vocalist, Phil Pemberton. Phil’s performances showcase his flamboyant, multi-octave voice, fun-loving attitude and his deep understanding of the era when jumping blues bands were fronted by huge-voiced singers like Roy Brown, Wynonie Harris and Big JoeExcellent, marvelous wall-to-wall grooves…between the wicked guitar work and the brassy horn section, things never stop swinging. –USA Today

Even without Duke the album sounds interesting and needs to be listened to by yours truly!!

Wobble WalkinSo since this post is to acknowledge and wish Duke a :’Happy Birthday” and I saw his name listed at All About Jazz I think that it’s only fitting that this morning’s music comes from The Duke Robillard Jazz Trio! So here they are performing “Sunday Morniin'” from the trio’s 2012 release Wobble Walkin’ which just got added to my “To Be Listened To” (TBLT) list!!