ROBIN TROWER:
TOWER OF POWER

Electric Blues Great Lights Up Starland Ballroom!
A SoundPress.net Archive Article by Rich and Laura Lynch

The Robin Trower Band gave a powerful performance at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey on September 20, 2009. The band currently is Robin Trower (guitar), Davey Pattison (vocals), Pete Thompson (drums) and Glenn Letsch (bass). The quartet attracted a mixed crowd - many of whom were long time fans with countless concerts to recall who were friendly and anticipating an awesome show.

Robin Trower in Concert at the Starland Ballroom
Robin Trower and his Fender Strat tore it up in New Jersey.

Robin Trower was born in England in 1945. Robin is an influential and idolized blues rock guitarist with a varied and vibrant career including many productive collaborations (Jack Bruce and Bryan Ferry to name just two), solo work and a prominent period of time (1967-1971) with Procol Harum.

Robin favors Fender Stratocasters that nowadays are customized with retro features and pick-ups with unusual tunings. Trower is touring in 2009 in support of his latest release What Lies Beneath with Trower handling vocals on songs that vary in speeds and styles and are suffused with Robin's singular string work.

Armed with a trusty red Fender, Robin and the band took the stage by storm around nine, playing a fervent version of "Twice Removed From Yesterday". Trower combined techniques by mixing effects with traditional strumming and welding the whammy for prolonged notes. The band was tight with Pete providing beguiling bass lines underneath Glenn's robust rhythms. Davey's singing was soulful and strong.

"Somebody Calling" featured Robin crafting lengthy spacious leads by melding the treble and whammy movements - then, Trower transitioned the piece with long pulsing pulls of the strings with precise picking.

"For Earth Below" had a tone of sorrow combined with sultry textures. Robin played this and all his songs with feeling that could be seen in his face and felt through the flow of his fret board.

Robin Trower in Concert at the Starland Ballroom
Davey Pattison - Vocals; Glenn Letsch - Bass/Vocals; Robin Trower - Guitar/Vocals; Pete Thompson - Drums

"Shame The Devil" was sinister with its riveting riffs and rousing rhythms. Trower's solo was brilliant and bold. "Time and Emotion" was an intricate instrumental with intense but not overpowering drumming combining with Robin's crisp clean chord progressions.

Other highlights included "Victims of the Fury" that ran the gamut from faint to fiery with a feisty hook. "Hannah" was haunting and harrowing with its energy and effects. The closer "Little Bit Of Sympathy" soared on blazing beats and blistering leads.

The encore included a spirited yet slightly bluesy "Too Rolling Stoned" and a rich robust version of "Another Time Another Place". Robin is a stand out player who is succinct in his approach, allowing him to pack a lot of notes and nuance into a 90-minute set. The show at Starland was powerful and from our perspective met the fan's high expectations.

Opening for The Robin Trower Band was The Doughboys (Myke Scavone-vocals/harp, Richard X Heyman-drums, Mike Caruso-bass & Gar Francis-guitar) a local New Jersey quartet generating a buzz in the area. The Doughboys' sound was a blend of R&B, soul and garage rock. They came out strong with their version of The Yardbirds' "I'm A Man". Myke played harmonica on this and many of the tunes in their energized and engaging ten-song set.

The Doughboys had good musicianship and were able to capture a variety of moods. They played a mix of covers and originals from their first album Is It Now. Their songs had a classic rock feel. The Doughboys were animated in their actions and inflections. Their covers included extended instrumentation, thus putting their own spin on familiar songs. They closed their set with the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black", which was eerie with the added effects that The Doughboys baked up for good measure.

Robin Trower Setlist 09/20/2009
• Twice Removed From Yesterday
• Somebody Calling
• For Earth Below
• Shame the Devil
• Time and Emotion
• No Time
• The Fool and Me
• Day of the Eagle
• Bridge of Sighs
• Go My Way
• Victims of the Fury
• Rise Up Like the Sun
• Hannah
• Little Bit of Sympathy
Encore
• Too Rolling Stoned
• Another Time Another Place

Related Links: For more information on the ROBIN TROWER and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- TrowerPower.com | BUY What Lies Beneath | TheDoughboysNJ.com | StarlandBallroom.com

Robin Trower - What Lies Beneath CD

(Originally Published on Spetember 22, 2009)

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