Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tad Robinson Day Into Night

Blue-eyed singer Tad Robinson returns for another helping of soul and blues on Severn Records "Day Into Night." Robinson has matured as a singer and his vocals (and occasional harmonica) are backed by the Severn house band of Johnny Moeller, guitar; Robb Stupka, drums; Steve Gomes, bass and Kevin Anker, keyboards. DC area organ wizard Benjie Porecki is on one track and Anson Funderburgh and Alex Schultz also add guitar while trumpeter Kenny Rittenhouse provides the handsome horn arrangements.

With the exception of a cover of "Lead Me On," Robinson, Gomes and Anker contributed these solid originals that evoke the classic Memphis sound, especially Hi Records, with the understated, smoldering feel of many of these performances. One highpoint is "Lonely Talking," with Robinson's soul vocals on this modern urban blues enlivened by Funderburgh's guitar bursts. Rittenhouse's arrangement for "He's Moved On"  has a touch of the Philadelphia Sound with backing vocals added as Robinson tells his lady she will realize that he has moved on. "Lead Me On" has a fresh arrangement allowing Robinson to place his own spin on this Bobby Bland classic with a heartfelt moaning vocal. "While You Were Gone," has a bass pattern that evokes "Take Me To the River" and on which Robinson adds a dose of harmonica.

The overall tenor of the performances (including the backing and arrangements) of "Day Into Night" are very much in the manner of the late Severn soul-blues legend Lou Pride. Severn has produced another modern urban and soul-blues recording that showcases how striking a singer Tad Robinson is.

I received my review copy from a publicist.  This review originally appeared in the May-June 2015 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 360). Here Tad performs "That's How Strong My Love Is."

No comments: