A master of jump-blues and T-Bone-Walker-style guitar, here Duke Robillard pulls out “Treat Me So Lowdown,” a T-Bone gem from the ’60s that originally featured studio players and arrangements that didn’t feel right. But with his version, Robillard proves it’s a classic tune that moves from swingy blues to a funk groove – the perfect vehicle for the sinewy T-Bone licks Robillard has perfected.
There are plenty of others in this set’s 23 cuts. “Monkey Arms” is fun, with its baritone-guitar solo, or the nasty lyric and guitar of “Six Inch Heels.” Duke lets the jazz influence sneak in a bit on a cover of Booker T’s “Slim Jenkins Joint” with its greasy feel, and the ballad “You Won’t Let Me Go.” He even serves up an oddly appealing jazzy version of the Jimmy Reed classic “Bright Lights, Big City.”
Guitar fanatics will appreciate the liner notes, too, where Duke breaks down the instruments used on each song, along with a description of the tune. Robillard fans will love this, and if you’re not familiar, this is the perfect introduction to what this veteran is all about with the six-string.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Nov ’07 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.