Duke Robillard review…October 16, 2017….

DUKE ROBILLARD

DUKE AND HIS DAMES OF RHYTHM

M. C. RECORDS  MC–0083

FROM MONDAY ON–GOT THE SOUTH IN MY SOUL–PLEASE DON’T TALK ABOUT ME WHEN I’M GONE–SQUEEZE ME–WALKING STICK–BLUES IN MY HEART–LOTUS BLOSSOM–MY HEART BELONGS TO DADDY–WHAT’S THE REASON (I’M NOT PLEASIN’ YOU)–ME, MYSELF, AND I–EASY LIVING–WAS THAT THE HUMAN THING TO DO–IF I COULD BE WITH YOU (ONE HOUR TONIGHT)–READY FOR THE RIVER–CALL OF THE FREAKS

For his latest project, Duke Robillard wanted to cross another item off his bucket list.  Mark Carpentieri of M. C. Records had long wanted to record Duke, and they hatched a plan to team Duke with his long-time rhythm section, a full horn section, and six of the classiest female singers in all of contemporary blues.  They would all perform vintage Tin Pan Alley-era songs from the 20’s and 30’s, so,  “Duke And The Dames Of Rhythm” fires up Duke’s passion for this music, and gives the listener a unique perspective on this world-renowned musician.

At a robust fifteen cuts, there are highlights aplenty.  Sunny Crownover and the Duke lead things off with a spirited duet on Bing Crosby’s “From Monday On,” with the arrangement and clarinet by Billy Novick, also Duke’s go-to licorice stick man.  Sunny returns a bit later for the sultry-and-sexy story of a girl who knows where her sugar comes from, “My Heart Belongs To Daddy.” Madeleine Peyroux keeps that sultry vibe cookin’, begging for her “daddy” to “Squeeze Me, and squeeze me again!”  Maria Muldaur, herself no stranger to this music, lends her one-of-a-kind voice to the honey drippin’ “Got The South In My Soul,” and the playful “Was That The Human Thing To Do?”  Elizabeth McGovern has a swingin’ good time with “Me, Myself, And I,” featuring the only electric guitar appearance, from Andy Stein, while Catherine Russell lays down a torchy read of “Blues In My Heart,” with a horn of plenty from Jon Erik Kellso.  Kelley Hunt offered up our personal favorite, “Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone.”  Duke’s subdued guitar is Kelley’s perfect foil for the opening verses, before giving way to the full band at mid-song.

With “Duke And His Dames Of Rhythm,” one can be sure of two things.  First, there is top notch musicianship from all involved, and then there is the eclectic mix of songs bound to bring joy to his legion of fans!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

 

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