What can you say about the Duke that hasn’t already been said? Having achieved a lofty level of constant and worthy acclaim, he probably wonders when the financial rewards of his art will equal the praise.
The legendary artists with whom he has recorded are an all-time who’s who. Johnny Adams, Jimmy Witherspoon, Joe Turner, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Muddy Waters, the list is endless.
Acclaimed by no less than T-Bone’s widow as the heir apparent to her late husband’s guitar throne, Duke has no problem filling many musical shoes without sacrificing his own identity. “Channeling” covers the style and is an art form unto itself, but retaining one’s own vision within another style takes the game to another level!
Stretchin’ Out is his long-awaited live album.
Robillard and the folks at Stoney Plain Records picked a powerful set of classics. Duke grabs you by the throat on the first cut, “Too Hot To Handle,” and never does let go! Like most of his followers, I was caught in mid-stream when he released his rock CD a few years ago. In a ’97 interview, he categorized it as a left turn, but made no apologies in stating it was merely one more aspect of his multifaceted career.
Robillard should be held in the same hushed reverence that many other, perhaps less-prodigious, guitar greats enjoy. Stony Plain spcd 1250.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Jan. ’99 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.