Duke's News

It's been so long since I've posted news here I'm ashamed of myself.

But life gets busy in these uncertain times and the going's on of a musician can at times, seem to be unimportant.

Thank God that you, the listener, constantly remind us that our music does play an important role in your lives. There is a lot to report since my last news blast.

Which was well over a year ago I'm afraid to say.

This spring saw the release of "Swingin' Again," the Duke Robillard Band's collaboration with Scott Hamilton for a spring 2021 release on Blue Duchess/Shining Stone Records. Special guests Jon-Erik Kellso, Tim Ray, Sugar Ray Norcia and Sunny Crownover add to the swinging mix of small band jazz and blues from the 30s, 40s and 50s. The reviews have all been excellent and it's available here at Duke's store.

After 18 months of being in exile due to covid 19 and the Delta variant, things are slowly coming back and musicians are beginning to work again on a precautionary level. Summer was great for outdoor events, and it began to feel a bit like things were getting back to normal somewhat. It's still uncertain how things will be as music moves inside for the fall and winter months. I for one have my fingers crossed that it becomes safe and virus free, though that's a lot to hope for.

On a cheerier note, The Duke Robillard band's next CD "They Called it Rhythm and Blues" is set for a spring release. We are all very excited about it's release and it is pretty much a tour deforce of blues and R&B from the 1950s with a few original tunes of mine. 18 tracks in all with many friends guesting and giving great heartfelt renditions of great tunes from the heyday of the original rhythm and blues.

Guests include my old friends John Hammond, Kim Wilson, Michelle Willson, Sugar Ray Norcia, Sue Foley, Mike Flanigin. The newly expanded line up of Chris Cote on vocals and Doug James on tenor and Baritone sax is here along with Doug Woolverton and Mark Earley who appear on a few tunes also to great effect. It was fun to record and I'm certain you'll have fun listening and dancing to it...

It was recorded last winter by Graham Mellor at Uptown Sound in Providence, RI. I'm really proud of this one and we've got our fingers crossed...

As far as future gigs and projects keep your eyes on our tour dates and news. I have many projects I am working on when time allows. I've been working on my book for a few years now and this winter will, I'm sure, provide some time to get back to work on it. Other projects in the works for the future are a boxed set of the best of my Stony Plain years which I have been working on compiling.

There is also talk of a potential documentary produced by Alan Edelstein who has produced excellent films on The Wizard of the Strings, Roy Smeck and slight of hand genius Ricky Jay. The idea started last winter when Paul Mason had the insight to interview several local muscians during shutdown. More on that as it develops...

I am in the middle of going through hundreds of cds, cassettes and board tapes of live performances of mine from the early 1970s until recent days to release a collection of my best playing and all around great live performances that have been recorded in my long career. It's a long and painstaking process and will take me a few years to organize but for fans of my guitar playing and music it should be worth the wait.

There is also an album of material recorded a dozen or so years ago that will be my final release with a big horn section on several tracks. It's classic blues and remakes of early tunes of mine that I felt I should re-record.

That will cover my life pretty well I'd say! I've lost track of exactly how many albums I have as a leader but I will rectify that soon….. It's about time for a full and accurate discography of everything I've recorded as leader, producer or sideman. Look for us coming to your area, we will gig as much as is safely doable.

Please keep on supporting live music and when in NYC, don't miss my favorite band Vince Giordano's Nighthawks at Bond 45 on 46th street. They're there every Monday and Tuesday night from 8 to 11. Reservations recommended. Great Italian food there also. Dining, dancing and incredible music and musicianship like you've never experienced!