Jay N. Miller
As the news about the approaching pandemic got darker back in March, Duke Robillard knew if he wanted to get a new album out this year he’d have to move fast. Robillard had a clear concept in mind, got in touch with some of his best musical pals, and recorded “Blues Bash” over two days – March 12 and 13.
The new album, released two weeks ago on Stony Plain Records, is a sizzling blast of blues and roots rock, and the perfect soundtrack for your “quaran-stream.” But that shouldn’t be a surprise, for if there’s anyone in New England music who’s a Grandmaster of Good Times, it’s Robillard.
Right after graduating high school, Robillard and his piano-playing buddy Al Copley founded Roomful of Blues, which turned their love of rhythm and blues into an internationally acclaimed “little big band” that toured the world. Robillard left Roomful in 1979, embarking on a solo career, which also included stints with The Legendary Blues Band, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Robillard’s solo work, with his trio the Pleasure Kings, tended more toward primal rock, but he also loves jazz, and has recorded and performed with such jazz stars as