on 26 March 2013
I have been a fan of the blues for more years than I care to remember and a fan of Robin Trower since the original release of the "Bridge of Sighs" album way back, which to me was the classic Trower album.
This new offering "Roots and Branches" is in my opinion right up there with it. It is a long time since I have enjoyed an album so much that it is nearly worn out!!!!! To me there is not a weak song on the album.
The playing and production of this album is just superb and so laid back. This is one album that will stand the test of time..
Buy it, you won't regret it....
This album consists mainly of covers, but they are shoogled about and given a new lease of life by Mr Trower. We get familiar tracks such as That's all right Mama and Little Red Rooster slowed down to become dirty blues whilst Hound Dog is given a funky makeover and the only obvious "Hendrixy" guitar is on the album closer See my life. It shouldn't work, but does, because Trower is a consummate musician and the vocals shared between himself and bassist Richard Watts are top notch. I have however felt the need to drop a star mainly because tracks such as The Thrill has Gone and Born under a Bad Sign don't really add much to the originals and the latter-day Claptonesque When I Heard Your Name is a tad bland. They're not bad by any stretch but just don't excite like the other tracks. Still a very worthwhile album though - Get it!
on 3 March 2013
Robin has been around a long time, first saw him - I think on the Old Grey Whistle Test - BBC, about 1976/7. And been listening to him ever since. Amazing sounds and wish I could get to a live concert... Not easy unless he comes to Qatar! Maybe one day.. Great stuff anyway. If you like blues and rock I think you'll enjoy this.
on 10 February 2013
`Roots and Branches' is a fine collection of classic covers and original songs. For those of us who have kept tabs on Mr T since his trail-blazing, guitar hero days of the seventies, this new CD is further proof, if proof were needed, that Robin's playing just gets better and better, more soulful and expressive than ever.
'Roots' is a tribute album to some of Mr T's musical heroes - BB King, Howlin' Wolf, Booker T et al. My favourite cover has to be Robin's fabulous arrangement of Ray Charles' `I Believe To My Soul'. It's the blues, perfectly stated. 'One of these days and it won't be long' cries singer Richard Watts. We get whispered falsetto backing vocals, then underneath Robin's soulful solo, the swell of rich chords from Luke Smith's keys. Everything about it, is just so right. The vocal touch, the pauses, the expectation, the subtlety all makes for something completely different.
The Trower tunes on `Roots' are very much in keeping with the special vibe which producer Livingstone Brown and the band create on the covers. `When I Heard Your Name' is a dark and sultry affair led by drummer Chris Taggart and his battery of floor toms. You can almost imagine Richard Watts standing at the mike, alongside his fellow backing singers, dressed in their sharply-cut DJs, synchronising every arm, leg and head movement, well into the mould of those Motown, Stax and Atlantic vocal groups of the 60s and 70s. All that's missing here is the horn section!