Duke Robillard : A guitar master’s constant commitment to roots music and blues. Here’s a quick quiz : What do Bob Dylan, Jay McShann, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, John Hammond, the late Jimmy Witherspoon, Dr. John, Maria Muldaur, Roomful of Blues, and Ruth Brown all have in common ? Answer : Duke Robillard. 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 W.C. Handy Awards have named Robillard “Best Blues Guitarist” two years in a row (2000 and 2001) and again in 2003, B.B. King says “Duke’s one of the great players,” and 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.”
Now, with a brand new album on Dixiefrog (” Exalted Lover “), he brings new colors to his palette with a rootsy album that includes appearances from country singer Pam Tillis and blues guitarist Debbie Davies.
None of that goes to Robillard’s head. He’s 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.