Terry Robb has a hellishly burning blues hand brandishing up many manifestations in Resting Place. I'm far from the only one who's noting this, though, as Buddy Guy and Steve Miller, among others, have asked him to open for their shows. It takes only the first two cuts, with their speedily complex fingerpicked runs (My Baby Left Me) and throatily twanging down-home leads (My Mind is Trying to Leave Me) to establish the guy as a prime exponent in anyone's mind.
Nor is he just a player. John Fahey was summarily impressed with Robb's no-nonsense technical mentality and asked him to produce (and play on) several records, one of which climbed to #3 in Rolling Stone's estimation of the best records of '83...right behind Springsteen's Born in the USA (huzzah!) and Prince's Purple Rain (retch!). Robb has also performed with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra and received the prestigious Muddy Award a record 16 times. Damn!, if I could turn in a resume like that, I could conquer the world.
The gent, however, is known for a dead-serious attitude once he gets down to cases, and Resting Place is a modern antiquarium of just that, a curated compendium of old and new blues all in prime flavor, steeped in tradition but bristling with 20th century vitality. Whether tackling Booker T & the MGs' My Sweet Potato—investing it, frankly, with a vim the original does not have—or the traditional Louise, newly jazzed up in breezy West Coast / Gulf Coast culottes and halter-top. Robb produced this masterpiece in one day—shades of Led Zeppelin 1!—and each note is enshrined, captured in glowing shades of blue, a textbook for the field. Now what we need is a follow-up, which I await with eager ears and so, momentarily, will the FAME readership. Bet on it.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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