Monday, August 24, 2009

Review -- DUKE ROBILLARD -- A Swingin Session

Duke Robillard
Stony Plain
Duke Robillard is a music industry on to himself. This guy must live in a studio with his guitars. He appears on literally dozen of recordings, sometimes as guest, often as the lead.
An accomplished blues guitarist, this time around Robillard offers up his guitar work to bring us a CD packed with good ole' swing time music. Swing is the music that sandwiches somewhere between jazz and blues, and Robillard handles it with his usual relaxed, and practiced style.
When it comes to guitar work, at least in terms of blues, swing and jazz, Robillard takes a back seat to very few. He can flat out play, and on A Swingin Session he proves that yet again.
Generally Robillard lets his guitar do all the talking on a CD, but here he also lends vocals on some of the cuts, such as the upbeat Deed I Do which leads off the CD.
Now most of us tend to think swing is a completely upbeat music, but on occasion Robillard slows it down. There is an absolutely mournful lead-in to The Lonesome Road, which intros to a number that then shifts up a gear in terms of swing music, but stays a tad more sombre based on the lyrics. It is a perfect counterpoint number for this CD. At a time of 6:39, it's also a cut where Robillard let's himself go musically, and the guitar work is just so fine.
Of course a number of songs here go over five-minutes, so you know Robillard is experimenting just a little.
Them That Got is a favoured cut for me, but that may be because it is perhaps the most blues-leaning swing number here, and I of course love the blues.
I have lost track of how often I have reviewed a Robillard CD over the years, but I can tell readers this guys seldom disappoints in terms of what he creates musically. He is a consummate musician who has honed his craft well.
A Swingin Session is no exception. If you like swing music at all, then this is an absolute must have.
Check it out at


-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Aug. 12, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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