Sherman Robertson
Interview and show @ The Blues Saloon, April 12, 1997

blues picture Sherman Robertson will be returning to the Blues Saloon September 26 and 27, 1997 for the club's 12th Anniversary celebration. Tuck's famous BBQ will be featured along with some great blues and soul music.

When Sherman was in town this past spring he was joined on stage with Michael Alexander on bass, Ken Hill on drums, and Bobby Alexis on keyboards. His first song was a rousing instrumental that had the crowd with him right from the start. Robertson is an entertainer as well as a fine singer and guitar player. He realizes that the audience is the important one, not the performer and he is right out there on the edge of the stage playing "to" them and exhibiting some priceless facial expressions. Robertson has a soul flavored voice that soars on a Temptation's song like "My Girl" and can get right down in the basement with the best of them when he sings some straight blues.

Growing up in Texas during the 1960's, Robertson was still in high school when he went on tour with Bobby "Blue" Bland. He had a band called the "Soul Vibrations" and later "The Cross-town Blues Band." Robertson fondly recalled his experiences with Albert Collins and Freddie King, two of his important influences. "It's good to see these guys first hand. It's a gift. I heard Albert when he was beginning. When he was putting his sound together, when Albert was real hungry for it." When I asked him about Freddie King, Sherman said "Freddie was my main guy. When I heard Freddie (in the early 1960's) he was doing it then. He was getting that rock sound. I'm afraid it was before his time because most of the public wasn't ready for that sound. He was high energy then. 'San-Ho-Zay,' and some of those songs are still being played today, they are classics. There will never be another Freddie." Robertson opened his second set, and did justice to the Freddie King classic "Hide Away." You can hear the guitar influences of both Albert Collins and Freddie King in Robertson's superb playing.

An opportunity opened up for Sherman when he got the chance to play with Zydeco legend Clifton Chenier. When asked how he got hooked up with Chenier, Sherman said "he called me early one morning (around 4 AM) and said he needed a guitar player. I said let me think about it. I knew he had known my father. Well, he called back 4 hours later at 8 AM...what could I do?" Robertson ended up spending the next 2 years playing with Clifton Chenier. During this time Sherman learned how to really work an audience from one of the masters.

When Chenier died, Robertson played with Terrance Simien and Rockin' Dopsie before he put together a band of his own to back up Johnny Copeland. He was writing songs at this time and someone heard him play and booked him over in Europe. This was the early 90's and he has been on the road since, recording two well received albums in the process (I'm The Man, 1993 and Here & Now, 1996).

Sherman Robertson likes to mix things up on stage, playing in a variety of musical styles from Ray Charles to Motown, from swamp pop and Zydeco to Texas blues, with excursions into Memphis and beyond. Robertson said "I play a variety of music. I play a little rock, a little soul, and blues...I'm more of an R&B artist." He even did the New Orleans flavored "My Toot-Toot," and closed out the night with "Let The Good Times Roll." He was able to keep the enthusiastic crowd riveted for all 3 sets, not always an easy task. You can always count on a very entertaining show when Sherman Robertson is in town so make a trip over to the Blues Saloon on the weekend of the September 26-27.

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Copyright 2001 Ray M. Stiles
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