I must say when I got the press pack for the new album from Robin Trower I had a slight hesitation, A flash back to my twenties when all I listened to were guitar shredders like Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai & Joe Satriani. If you had approached me with a Robin Trower album then I probably would have looked at you in distain thinking I was far too cool for one of the old guard of British blues.
I was wrong and not mildly wrong, like way out left field wrong.
Robin Trower is cool … Way too cool for me as it turns out! His latest offering “Where you are going to “ is an example of what four decades dedicating you life and soul to music can achieve. The opening track “When will the next blow fall” brought a smile to my face immediately as I heard it, I was pleasantly surprised to hear this rock influenced track but more so that I just knew right away that Trower with all his years experience had this presence in his playing, An unwavering confidence that comes across from a player of his calibre that just says “I have nothing to prove”.
Whereas the young guitar slingers in today’s modern blues revolution don’t want to hold back and go balls out covering every inch of their fretboard at speed, Trower seems to be at one with his instrument, making it sing note for note. The opening track is a beautiful introduction for what is to come, a superbly written and executed story that any aspiring guitarist, blues or otherwise, should have in their collection as an educational tool on touch poise and technique.
The albums title track “Where you are going to “ is possibly my stand out track, One of many favourites. I had a moment during this song that made me think of Wayne’s World and the moment Wayne and Garth meet Alice Cooper and drop to their knees crying “We’re not worthy!! We’re not worthy!! “ Because when Trower hits that solo mid song I simply wanted to fall to my knees myself. This is a master class in guitar and a beautifully executed track that pulls you with every bend of that string. A simply gorgeous song full of heart and soul. Throughout his career Robin has been considered by many as the “White Hendrix” and you can certainly see why as he delivers his laid back vocal style and psychedelic approach at times.
“Back where you belong” would again make you think Jimi was in the room with an up-tempo bluesy tune to lift the spirits before you are transported to Trower’s world with “Jigsaw” another beautifully penned tune that draws you right in note for note and bend for bend. A hypnotic intro and hook throughout. “The fruits of your desire” once again picks up the pace with a funky little number to get the feet tapping. While “We will be together someday”, a tune dedicated to the memory of his late wife, carries all the heart and soul you would imagine a bluesman who pours his heart into his music would do.
“Ain’t no use to worry” and “In too deep” up the tempo once again reminding you that Trower is not all laid back he can certainly pack a punch too! Catchy and gritty you’ll soon be cranking up the volume enjoying his Strat at work. “I’m holding onto you” takes it back down a notch with a slinky blues standard before the album’s closing track “Delusion Sweet Delusion” a funky number inspired by the likes of James Brown and John Lee Hooker.
I have to say all in all this is a beautifully written and majestically executed album, One that shows Trower’s years of experience and poised approach to song writing over these 10 songs. For an artist who has spanned four decades it’s a tribute for him to be putting out work of this calibre and an example to young musicians everywhere to stand up and take notice. If you are an aspiring guitarist of any genre there are lessons in abundance on this album to take with you, like a fine wine Trower has clearly got better with age.
“Where you are going to” is released May 6th 2016 Via Mahaton/V12 Records and he will follow this up with a UK Tour in September & October with Special Guest Steve Nimmo. This will be an experience not to be missed as he truly is one of the greats in British Blues.
Words by Mark McGrogan
When Will The Next Blow Fall
Where Are You Going To
Back Where You Belong
The Fruits Of Your Desire
We Will Be Together Someday
Ain’t No Use To Worry
In Too Deep
I’m Holding Onto You
Delusion Sweet Delusion