Whether it’s a song, a style, an idiom or an image, Duke Robillard will render it with mastery, power, nuance and an unerring grasp of its essence. After showing an early affinity for music and guitar, Duke Robillard founded Roomful Of Blues with pianist Al Copley in Westerly, R.I., in 1967. By adding horns, Roomful announced itself emphatically as the prototypical jump blues band, and became a New England legend and a fixture beyond, as did Duke himself. His unsurpassed mastery of the guitar style of T-Bone Walker (later crystallized memorably in his 2004 release “Blue Mood”) was deservedly heralded, but his breadth was also head-turning – from swing, standards and ballads to rockers, gutbucket Chicago blues and rockabilly.
At this point for Duke, versatility and mastery should come as anything but a surprise; it just means more richness in a superlative career for us to celebrate.