Tad Robinson review…September 19, 2019….

TAD ROBINSON

REAL STREET

SEVERN RECORDS CD 0076

CHANGES–FULL GROWN WOMAN–SEARCH YOUR HEART–LOVE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD–WISHING WELL BLUES–YOU GOT IT–YOU ARE MY DREAM–MAKE IT WITH YOU–REAL STREET–LONG WAY HOME

Tad Robinson has long been one of our favorite singers in any genre’, and the eight-time Blues Music Award nominee has hit on a winning formula for his latest set, “Real Street.”  Not only did Tad venture to Memphis for this recording, (at the Electrophonic Studios), but he is backed by the iconic Hi Rhythm Section–Charles Hodges on B-3, Leroy Hodges on bass, and Howard Grimes on drums–and they give this set a downright regal air throughout.  A fairly equal mix of covers and originals, plus the overall ambience and vibe of the Bluff City and the Hi players brings out the absolute best in the velvet-voiced Tad.

The set begins with the shufflin’ groove of “Changes,” an anthem of empowerment that shows “only love can bring about the Changes,” co-written by Tad, Kevin Anker, and Tad’s long-time friend and collaborator, keyboard master Ken Saydak.  Tad learns the hard way as a lover leaves, ’cause “she’s got a made-up mind,” and is sho’ nuff a “Full Grown Woman.”  A similarly-themed song closes the set, with Tad always “taking The Long Way Home, when there’s no one there to hold!”

We had two favorites, too. Tad shows off his harp skills in the story of a man who owned his mistakes and their subsequent consequences, with “Love In The Neighborhood,” as, now, “our love is a memory.”  And, Joe Restivo’s shimmering guitar lines add an authentic touch to Tad’s brilliant cover of the David Gates/Bread classic, love song, “Make It With You.”

Tad Robinson’s vocals have always been emotion-packed, and pairing him with the Hi legends seemed to give him an extra edge and shot of adrenaline throughout.  This stroll down “Real Street” is sweet, indeed!!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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