Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tad Robinson's Blue-Eyed Soul-Blues

The following review of a strong recording by Tad Robinson originally appeared in Jazz & Blues Report in 2004. I received the review copy from Severn Records, the label.

Tad Robinson is an exceptional blue-eyed blues and soul singer who recorded some years back on Delmark and I was privileged to write the notes for one of his discs. David Earl's Severn label has just issued his latest cd, Did You Ever Wonder? Robinson has really grown as a singer and along with the veteran Billy Price, label-mate Darrell Nullisch and also Curtis Salgado has emerged as a first-rate exponent of blue-eyed soul. There is more than a tinge of Memphis in the feel of these songs with Willie Henderson contributing the first rate horn arrangements for these tracks. Benji Porecki and Kevin McKendree handle the keyboards while Alex Schultz adds some hot guitar as on the remake of Jimmy McCracklin's The Bitter & the Sweet on which Robinson tosses in some harp. The legendary Otis Clay even provides backing vocals on the Cornelius Brothers' hit, Too Late to Turn Back Now. Other covers include Robert Ward's marvelous Your Love is Amazing, and the Little Willie John Suffering With the Blues. On both of these Robinson puts forth his own distinctive interpretation of the song. The highlights on a consistently excellent album may be two of the originals by Robinson and lyricist John Bean, Woman Trouble and Pockets Full of Nothing. Perhaps its the exceptional lyrics that standout, but this whole disc should appeal to fans of modern urban blues and soul.

No comments: