Overdubbing allows him to showcase his mandolin on the brief "Old Kentucky Home," followed by his capturing a pre-war Chicago blues groove on Broonzy's "Big Bill Blues." "Left Handed," with Portnoy contributing the Sonny Boy Williamson I harp comes across as another Big Bill styled performance. Portnoy is also on the cover of Sleepy John Estes' "Someday Baby." There is a pretty straight rendition of "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water," while Novick's clarinet and Robillard's mandolin are heard on a nice"St. Louis Blues."
There are affable renditions of country tunes including Jimmie Rogers "Jimmie's Texas Blues," with a credible yodel"; a lovely duet with Mary Flower on the Delmore Brothers' "Nashville Blues"; and a cover of Hank Williams' waltz, "Let's Turn Back The Years." Sunny Crownover sings "Evangeline," covering a song associated with Emmylou Harris and The Band. With Novick on clarinet, Robillard sings some Tampa Red hokum on "What Is It That Tastes Like Gravy?" Most performances are short (Under 4 minutes), with the longest being a take on Robert Lockwood's "Take A Little Walk With Me," that has outstanding piano from McCabe. A treat is a duet with Jay McShann on the moody Meade Lux lewis composed instrumental "Profoundly Blue."
Robillard acquits himself as a vocalist and the playing is wonderful throughout resulting in an enjoyable change of pace from Duke's other recordings.
I received my review copy from Mark Pucci. Here is Duke Robillard jumping the blues.