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Duke Robillard

Duke Robillard - Turn it Around - 1990 - Rounder

"Turn it Around" was released after Duke Robillard's successful touring with the Fabulous Thunderbirds. The album has the T-Bird groove and harmonies, with six of the tracks either composed or co-written by the great man. A very enjoyable album from the great Rhode Island vocalist and guitarist, and his wonderful band. Susann Forrest's vocals are Grade A, and she contributes her own composition, "Turn It Around", and also "Down by the Delta", co-written with Duke. Buy Duke's great "Swing" album. Listen to some of The Fabulous Thunderbirds' albums, some of which feature Duke Robillard, and for music in a similar vein, check out the late, great T-Bone Walker's brilliant "T-Bone Blues" album. You can find info on Duke Robillard's "Duke's Blues" album @ DUKROB/DUKBLUS


1 Down by the Delta Forrest, Robillard 4:02
2 Passionate Kiss Robillard 4:55
3 Don't Look at My Girl Like That Robillard 2:58
4 Just a Human Basile, Robillard 4:04
5 Turn It Around Forrest 3:21
6 Shoulda Coulda Woulda Portnoy 2:36
7 The High Cost of Loving Pomus, Robillard 4:16
8 Sweets for My Sweet Pomus, Shuman 3:58
9 Tell Me How Allison, Holly, Petty 2:52
10 I Think You Know Robillard 10:52


Duke Robillard Guitar, Vocals
Susann Forrest Vocals
Scott Appelrouth Bass, Bass (Electric), Bass (Upright)
Malcolm Walsh Organ
Doug Hinman Drums
Dennis McCarthy, George Henderson, John Paul Gauthier, Robert Cummings, Joseph Amarai, Gary Cummings Vocals (bckgr)


Guitarist Duke Robillard emphasized the rocking blues and barrelhouse side of his musical personality on this '91 session that highlighted what was then his band. Vocalist Susan Forrest provided a lusty, sensual quality while bassist Scott Appelrough and drummer Doug Hinman laid down sparse rhythmic backgrounds. Robillard provided the lead guitar presence and energy, adding more flashy chords, riffs, licks and driving solos than on his more restrained jazz-based material. It was an effective session, though Forrest's vocals weren't always as hard-hitting as the material demanded. But Robillard and his mates provided instrumental cover when Forrest didn't quite hit the mark, and were even more on target when she did. Ron Wynn, © allmusic.com


Susann Forrest is a five star performer, a talent who is rare and exceptional. Susann, from Louisville, Ky has an enriched style that combines musicianship, singing and songwriting in a melodic roots rock and blues framework. Her interest in music began when she started playing the piano, and composing at age three. In grade school she created plays for the neighbourhood children to perform. After playing in the highest paying Summer stock show in Ky, Susann knew that singing and songwriting was more her passion than acting. Susann has toured and recorded with her own band and the Duke Robillard Band, winning rave reviews for her duets and her songwriting contributions. Rounder Records chose her " Turn It Around" song for the album title. Susann has appeared twice on "Mountain Stage" radio program. She opened on New Year's Eve in Manhattan for the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan. Memphis and the deep south has been host to Susann's unique style. Susann has also toured internationally, appearing at the world-famous "Jazz Club" in Hong Kong on three saparate occasions. Susann spent a Summer working on the movie, "Roadhouse" with Patrick Swayze as an extra, and appeared in Jeff Healy's music video from the movie. Susann continues to write, and is currently producing a new album that attests to her wide range of abilities. © http://susannforrest.com/


Duke Robillard is one of the founding members of Roomful of Blues, as well as one of the guitarists who replaced Jimmie Vaughan in the Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1990. Between that time, Robillard pursued a solo career that found him exploring more musically adventurous territory than either Roomful of Blues or the T-Birds. On his solo recordings, the guitarist dips into blues, rockabilly, jazz, and rock & roll, creating a unique fusion of American roots musics. In 1967, Duke Robillard formed Roomful of Blues in Westerly, RI. For the next decade, he led the band through numerous lineup changes before he decided that he had grown tired of the group. Robillard left the band in 1979, initially signing on as rockabilly singer Robert Gordon's lead guitarist. After his stint with Gordon, Robillard joined the Legendary Blues Band. In 1981, the guitarist formed a new group, the Duke Robillard Band, which soon evolved into Duke Robillard & the Pleasure Kings. After a few years of touring, Duke Robillard & the Pleasure Kings landed a contract with Rounder Records, releasing their eponymous debut album in 1984. For the rest of the decade, the band toured America and released a series of albums on Rounder Records. Occasionally, the guitarist would release a jazz-oriented solo album. In 1990, Robillard joined the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Even though he had become a member of the Austin group, the guitarist continued to record and tour as a solo artist, signing with the major label Point Blank/Virgin in 1994 for Temptation. Duke's Blues followed two years later, and after one more album for Virgin, 1997's Dangerous Place, Robillard signed to Shanachie for 1999's New Blues for Modern Man. Conversations in Swing Guitar followed later that year, and the prolific guitarist returned in mid-2000 with Explorer. Robillard switched to the Stony Plain label with 2002's Living with the Blues, and began a steady run of releases for the imprint, including a second pairing with jazz guitarist Herb Ellis for More Conversations in Swing Guitar (2003). Exalted Lover followed later that same year. Blue Mood, a tribute to T-Bone Walker, and New Guitar Summit (which teamed Robillard with guitarists J. Geils and Gerry Beaudoin) both appeared in 2004. Guitar Groove-A-Rama was released in 2006. Robillard continued to explore the jazz and jump blues path with 2008's A Swingin Session with Duke Robillard. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine, allmusic.com

BIO (Wikipedia)

Michael John "Duke" Robillard (born October 4, 1948 in Woonsocket, Rhode Island) is an American blues musician. After playing in various bands and working for Guild guitars, he co-founded Roomful of Blues with pianist Al Copley in 1967. He has also been a member of the The Fabulous Thunderbirds which included Kim Wilson, replacing Jimmie Vaughan. Also experienced in Jazz, Swing, Rock and Roll and modern electric blues forms, Robillard is generally regarded as a guitar player keeping the blues style of T-Bone Walker. He has recorded with leading artists such as Jimmy Witherspoon, Snooky Prior, Jay McShann, Hal Singer, Pinetop Perkins and Bob Dylan. In the summer of 2006, Robillard accompanied Tom Waits on a ten date tour of the Southern USA. Waits had not visited many of these cites in almost 30 years, and tickets for the Louisville, KY show (which Waits had not played since 1978) sold out in less than 10 minutes. He has been nominated for and has received numerous awards over his career. Awards include 2007 Rhode Island Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts , 2001 "Best Blues Guitarist" W.C. Handy Award, 2000 "Best Blues Guitarist" W.C. Handy Award. Robillard has also been nominated for: 2007 "Best Contemporary Blues Album" Grammy Award