The Duke Robillard Band w/ special guest Milton
Saturday April 4, 2015 @ 8:00 PM
Guitarist. Bandleader. Songwriter. Singer. Producer. Session musician. And a one-man cheering section for the blues, in all its forms and permutations. And every one of those names has shared recording studio space or stage time with a man who is a legend in the blues community.
The Blues Music Awards (formerly W.C.Handy Awards) have named Duke Robillard "Best Blues Guitarist" four years out of five (2000,2001,2003,2004) making him the second most honored guitarist for that award! He was also nominated in that category in 2005, 2007 and again this year of 2008.
BB King himself has called Duke "One of the great players," The Houston Post called him "one of God's guitarists. And the New York Times says "Robillard is a soloist of stunning force and originality.
None of that goes to Robillardís head. Heís still on the road, still playing as many as 250 dates a year. And still proving, night after night, that his true talent is bringing people out to hear the music, appreciate the show, and dance to the blues.
Duke Robillard is a man in command of a full range of creative talents ó unique in the blues, and rare in the music industry as a whole. He is, in fact, a complete artist at the height of his power.
"Iíve spent a good part of my life in the library, a good part of my life in music venues and a good part of my life next to the record player. I grew up like most American suburban kids in the 1980ís, watching MTV and listening to top 40 radio. I also raided my friendsí parentsí record collections for all of the cool old stuff they had. ďThe Harder They ComeĒ was one of the first albums I loved and itís still one of my favorites. My songwriting heroes have always been the really smart ones who write great poetry over great tunes: Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Hank Williams, Bob Marley. My favorite singers were always the real churchy ones: Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Roberta Flack, Ralph Stanley, Dolly Parton, Toots Hibbert, The Staples. I also love raspy, intimate rock singers like Rod Stewart and Paul Westerberg. More than just about anything in life, I love a tune that you canít wait to hear again, a story that takes you somewhere and a singer that you can feel in your heart. I started hanging out in Greenwich Village when I was 12 or 13, looking for old records, checking out poetry readings and watching punk rock matinees at CBGB. My brothers had a band and I was often their roadie. I went to college and studied English and Spanish literature in New York City. I still live there today. I love the city very dearly. I love the country too, but I feel most at home in downtown Manhattan. I started filling up notebooks with little rhymes and verses from a very young age. In high school and college, Iíd write songs in class while the teachers lectured. I started playing my first gigs in coffee houses and bars, wherever I could. I only knew a few chords and I knew nothing about singing. I was lousy but I got better. I learned a lot on the job. I sent my first demos to a club called the The Living Room and soon I was a regular performer there. I put together a band to back me and we played all over the place. I was playing a solo set at a music conference in Florida when I got approached to make my first album. I sent it to my local radio station WFUV and my song ďIn the CityĒ got a lot of airplay. Since then Iíve played a lot of gigs in a lot places and put out two other albums. Iíve written and recorded a lot of songs, Iíve played on TV and on radio stations around the country and I wrote the score for an HBO movie. Just like when I was a kid, Iím still filling notebooks with rhymes every day and freaking out about great writing and great songs. You can hear echoes of a lot of my old records in my stuff, whether itís blues or country or Nick Lowe or Jimmy Cliff or any number of things. I love keeping the roots alive in my music and I love the intimate experience of a song. Iíd like to write a thousand more songs and play a thousand more gigs. You might see me on stage singing by myself, with a trio or with a six piece band. In whatever format I play, Iíll be going for something intimate and honest, trying to catch a good groove and tell you the story with all Iíve got."