When I Play My Blues Guitar
(Burnside Records - 0045 c.2002)
by Craig Ruskey
Review date: October 2002
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
There's no questioning the guitar prowess of Terry Robb, a talented individual from the Pacific Northwest with a bagful of awards to his credit and a wide-ranging list of heroes. His latest offering, "When I play my blues guitar," consists of thirteen tracks at just over forty minutes of playing time with nothing more than a man and his guitars. His skills with a pen are effectively evident on his originals, including a wonderful slide showcase, "But Not Now," where Robb deftly works the bottleneck with exceptional results, and "Drag In F," a fine instrumental showing his ability at ragtime. The title track offers more solid work, but vocally, there's a certain emptiness here, and in other spots around the CD. It's not so much a question of conviction, but the ever-important emotional connection necessary when delivering blues. Of the great selection of covers chosen, Furry Lewis is paid tribute in a rolling version of "Judge Boushay Blues," a track which displays incredible slide technique complete with skilled fingerpicking. Tommy Johnson's "Bye And Bye" is done respectfully as well, but Robb is missing the range and eerie falsetto howls Johnson effortlessly excelled at. The standouts here could well be Jimmy Rogers' Chicago chestnut, "You Left Me With A Broken Heart," and the closer, a stellar five-minute blend of of intense slide with Bukka White's "Panama Limited" being the end tag. Robb worked between a Martin 00028 and a Harmony Sovereign for these tracks and the recording quality is pure and unadorned, simple and clean. While it's not essential, it's very entertaining. For more information on Terry and a good listing of his influences and favorites, visit: http://www.terryrobb.com/terryrobb/default.htm or head to www.burnsiderecords.com for details on how to order this disc and a selection of others.
Simply click on the CD cover at left to order this CD NOW!
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