RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Robin Trower – Roots and Branches
V12 Records

Rating: B+

Robin Trower is one of the most artistic lead guitar players in the history of hard rock music.  He can make a solo blister, fester and rip through your senses as easily as he can play sweet shit so soulful that you shed a tear.  His music, while always influenced by the blues, is so much a part of his soul that anything he plays is genuine. 

Trower was bit by the Hendrix bug, and while his style of playing pays homage to the iconic guitar god, Trower has a true bag of tricks in his arsenal and is much more than the one trick pony his detractors claim.  While he wears his influences on his sleeve, underneath that sleeve is a wealth of creativity and inspiration.  Not content to live the latter part of his professional life looking backwards, Trower has continued to play music, both new and old, to the utter delight of his fans.

This time around Trower decided to Trower-ize 11 of the songs that influenced him as a young guitarist.  Trower steps up to the microphone and delivers vocals that are every bit as impressive as his guitar playing. 

Beginning with “Hound Dog” the album shows a passionate Trower putting his stamp on the classic tune, paying respects to the song’s original blues soaked nature.  “Little Red Rooster” and “That’s Alrigtht Mama” are pretty true to the genre, but when Trower cranks up “Born Under a Bad Sign,” this album goes from being hot to being an inferno.  Trower graces the classic tune with his presence and sends the tune to the stratosphere, proving he was born to play this song.

This one is a winner from start to finish.  Trower continues to defy time as he is playing with the same excellence that he did in the early 1970’s. 

Robin Trower is the real deal.  Do yourself and Robin a favor and buy this one.  Artists, this day and age, need support from rock fans more than ever in order to keep the music alive. 

Robin Trower is a master craftsman who remains at the top of his game. 

By Jeb Wright