This CD is kinda like one of those smoldering fires: A little hard to get started, but once the spark catches it’ll keep you warm for a good long while.
The first couple of cuts on this CD are fine enough, meaning they’re well-written, well-performed and well-polished. The professionalism is evident all around, but the soul is somewhat missing. The mechanics are there, but mechanics without mojo doesn’t amount to much in the blues.
Then comes the third cut, “Soulful.” For my money, Robillard would have served himself better changing the order of songs around and kicking the whole party off either with “Soulful” or “Hang On,” the tune that follows it. Each of these numbers is driven by a thick-as-molasses Louisiana swamp groove that would make a statue get up and boogie.
It’s safe to say that Robillard has done his homework, studying guys such as the great Louis Jordan and other jump-swing blues bands from an earlier era — one that leans heavily on piano and horn arrangements. But he also can draw creative strength from the same well that fuels the likes of Dr. John. Speaking of Dr. John, I swear these two guys are sharing the same voice.
Keith A. Owens is a Detroit-based freelance writer and musician. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.