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Author: Subject: how to best appreciate Robin Trower?

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  posted on 2/10/2020 at 11:51 PM
I'd heard of Robin Trower over the years but never heard his stuff.

I did go gonzo over Procol Harum from about 2000-2010 and heard all of his stuff with them, and it's great. Beautiful sqwaks and stabs in the midst of the keyboard-driven progressive tales from those Brits.

However, I am a guitar whore, and Trower was always praised as the guy who inherited Jimi's torch until SRV grabbed it, so a good 10 years ago or so, I had bought "Bridge of Sighs," but was underwhelmed. It sounded a little sludgy, not very dynamic, so I shelved it.

10 years go by, and Trower is coming around here in the fall, so tickets are on sale, and friends have suggested that I need to see him. I did spin "Bridge of Sighs" again and was not knocked out on the first listen. The singer sounded too much like Paul Rodgers, the songs had some sludgy elements, the soloing was good but did not grab me with hooks or amazing moments like we can cite with the ABB.

However, I have left the CD in the player, and it is now growing on me. Sometimes I just need to hear things repeatedly to get it, rather than listening once with misguided preconceived expectations.

The vocals really do have great command; even if it does sound Paul Rodgers / David Coverdale to me, maybe he influenced them.
And the guitar work is very fluid and natural. I do respect that, and in particular, even though "Too Rolling Stoned" seems to get all of the praise, I think the guitar work on the next song, "About to Begin," is more distinctive and exceptional. I can appreciate the vibey-ness of the album, and that seems to be the key.

Once I get the hang of this disc, where to go to next? I have his 5 Procol Harum albums. How's the Jack Bruce disc with him?

 
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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 12:11 AM
quote:
how to best appreciate Robin Trower?


loud

 

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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 12:12 AM
Robin is great, bummer that sludgy type sound w/BOSighs, that was the big one for him - James Dewar’s voice never knocked me out but it fit well w/the music - Victim of the Fury you may want to check out - I recall his live one from that era having many good moments on it, but that was a long time ago - the later BLT w/Jack, as stoked as many were to hear it, didn’t really reach my ears - great artist

 

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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 12:26 AM
"Twice Removed From Yesterday" is the other big one . Beautiful record. I posted an early Trower show on Vines page 1, at a night club in Atlanta 1973

James Dewar was one of the alltime great "white soul" singers -

just crank the volume, gotta have good speakers or beefy headphones, you have to move air to feel Trower gut punch.



[Edited on 2/11/2020 by BrerRabbit]

 

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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 12:53 AM
Yes, I knew there was another one I wasn’t thinking of - Twice Removed From Yesterday - thx

 

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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 06:37 AM
I think that next to BoS, the next “must have” Trower album is “Live” which came out in 1975 or 76. “For Earth Below” is another strong recording. He was really on a roll with the first 5 or 6 albums he released starting with Twice Removed in ‘73. His collaborations with Jack Bruce have their moments, but if you are just trying to develop an appreciation for Robin, I’d save BLT and Truce for a later time. Also, do yourself a favor and catch him live, his playing is as good as it’s ever been and he’s damn near 76 years old, so you never know when he’ll stop touring.
 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 09:20 AM
Cool thread.
I really have begun to appreciate more of his recent material over the last 10 yrs...really good!!

Checkout his stuff with Jack Bruce.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GrALCfxrSo

 

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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 10:45 AM
quote:
"Twice Removed From Yesterday" is the other big one . Beautiful record.


I would wholeheartedly agree with this. I actually prefer it to BOS. It's heavy and though you don't like sludgy, I enjoy it. I Can't Stand It is one of my favorites and a fun song to play on guitar.

I finally saw Robin last year. He is older, but he still put on a great show. His sound was good and he rocked the hell out of the place. Hope you enjoy it!

 

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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 11:57 AM
You could take the plunge with this release...

https://www.amazon.com/Studio-Albums-1973-1983-Robin-Trower/dp/B07KLCY961/r ef=sr_1_1?crid=3NGXCO8QAB6O7&keywords=robin+trower+box+set&qid=1581 439387&sprefix=robin+trower%2Caps%2C174&sr=8-1

I just bought a copy to add to my collection a couple of days ago.
I've seen him play live twice and I have 3 or 4 of his early albums on vinyl (which I bought back in the 70's) but at $31, this looked too good to pass up.
It doesn't include his live album from the mid-70's, though, which is definitely worth a listen.

 

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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 12:01 PM
quote:
It sounded a little sludgy, not very dynamic, so I shelved it.


Understandable, I bought "Bridge of Sighs" a long time ago and after a couple of listens, it became skeet.

Robin Trower = "The Emperor's new Clothes"..Never "got" Procol Harum either, although I do appreciate GB's vocals....

 

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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 12:06 PM
The first Trower album I bought was Victims Of The Fury, great listen for me I like the title song, Roads to Freedom, Mad House, The Ring and the Shout best. Album has a great bluesy sound. Long Misty Days, For Earth Below and Twice Removed are all nice albums. To me most of the albums have rocking tunes, mellow blues and maybe one or two filler songs. I happen to like his tone a lot.

If your going to try the Bruce/Trower albums start with the first two, BLT and Truce, I enjoyed them both. There’s great songs on both and a fair amount of filler. The good songs to me are Fall In Love, Little Boy Lost, Fat Gut, Into Money, Life On Earth and No island Lost. Jacks voice is great with these songs

 

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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 12:24 PM
I Love Robin Trower

the song that is pure Trower to my ears is Long Misty Days.
Enjoy the journey!

 

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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 02:59 PM
sugarmegs.org just happened to have this Robin Trower show as a "new show added". Surgarmegs also has lots of other Robin Trower shows from 1969-2018 in their data base.

Listen here> http://ia801502.us.archive.org/25/items/RobinTrower1973-08-13SeattleWestStu diosSeattleWA/RobinTrower1973-08-13SeattleWestStudiosSeattleWA.mp3?cnt=0

ROBIN TROWER
Seattle West Studios aka Sea West Studios
Seattle WA.
August 13th 1973

KOL FM Broadcast
Broadcast date August 19th 1973
A JEMS 10.5 Inch Master Reel to Reel
Transferred and Presented By Krw_co

LINEAGE KOL SEATTLE FM BROADCAST JEMS 10.5" MASTER REEL IN MONO @ 3 AND 3/4 ips>TEAC A-7300 REEL TO REEL>
(W/MANUAL AZIMUTH ADJUSTMENT)CREATIVE SOUNDBLASTER X-FI HD MODEL #SB1240 WAV (24/96KHZ)>MAGIX AUDIO CLEANING LAB
FOR KRW TRACK MARKS VOLUME ADJUSTMENT AND EDITS>WAV 16/44.1>TRADERS LITTLE HELPER FLAC (LEVEL 8)

THE BAND
Robin Trower Guitar
James Dewar Bass Vocals
Reg Isadore Drums

SETLIST
1 Intro
2 The Fool and Me
3 Twice Removed from Yesterday
4 Lady Love
5 Daydream
6 Another Day Another Night aka Day of The Eagle
7 I Can't Wait Much Longer
8 Man Of The World
9 Sinner's Song
10 Little Bit Of Sympathy
11 Still On The Air
12 Kol DJ Jimmy Pitkin

More info here>http://tela.sugarmegs.org/_asxtela/asxcards/RobinTrower1973-08-13Se attleWestStudiosSeattleWA.html



[Edited on 2/11/2020 by IF]

 

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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 03:10 PM
Saw Trower in 1974 Bridge of Sighs tour . . . IT WAS NOT OF THIS EARTH.. Probably the most pure guitar I ever heard in my life, to where you hear it in your bones and never forget it. Clean, raw, unbelievable energy. Just phenomenal. Impossible to describe what this sounded like to a kid in 1974, I was completely blindsided, I think I had only heard the song " Day of the Eagle" on the FM, but had no idea that I would be attending a pangalactic communication workshop. The guy was spacewalking for real.

Do not try this at home kids, anyone else who saw Trower back then knows what I'm talking about.

Was it just me or did they have a moon surface backdrop? The damn drumkit looked like the Lunar Module.

Damn you Robin.

 

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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 03:17 PM
quote:
sugarmegs.org just happened to have this Robin Trower show as a "new show added". Surgarmegs also has lots of other Robin Trower shows from 1969-2018 in their data base.

Listen here> http://ia801502.us.archive.org/25/items/RobinTrower1973-08-13SeattleWestStu diosSeattleWA/RobinTrower1973-08-13SeattleWestStudiosSeattleWA.mp3?cnt=0



nice. Listening now. Excellent. Bass coming thru pretty good for FM boot

 

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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 03:56 PM
Really like Trower, saw him a few times, once with BLT. Saw him a few years ago and he was still bringing it. Loved Twice Removed and Bridge of Sighs..... Whenever I hear Victims of the Fury I have to crank it up ... every once in a while that song just pops into my head..... definitely go see him if you get the chance....
 

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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 04:29 PM
As another poster stated: LOUD.

Saw Trower just a few years ago at the Fillmore in SF; still brings it, money well spent, great show.

Definitely go see him if you have the opportunity.

 

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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 05:28 PM
I bet he killed it at the Fillmore

Hey, that archive show posted above is really good. It is up on Lossless Legs page 1 now, a memorial to Seattle taper Stan who just died, this is his radio capture - good flow right now, quick dl.

Also in top 10 on dime just checked.

Must be the day of the eagle

So strange well into the 21st century to hear the primordial ooze of sonic bliss referred to as "that sludgy sound." Ah well.

Tandan would have had something to say on this thread - he was a big Trower fan, it was his comments on James Dewar got me paying more attention to Dewar's singing chops and not just trippin on the Trower . . . Dewar did indeed have a powerful fine rock voice.


[Edited on 2/12/2020 by BrerRabbit]

 

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  posted on 2/11/2020 at 08:41 PM
I'm not sure if he is playing well now but the best way to appreciate Trower is see him live.

I did on the 1970's and in the 1980's when he had slipped crowdwise and he played a medium town fair
A buddy and I got down front. Tower"s playing and band were real good. He had real good sustain and a killer Stratocaster tone.

Some Fender Stratocaster players have a tone that is too thin and light for me. Robert Cray comes to mind. But others get great tone. I notice a mix or variety of tones from Strat players where as Les Paul and. ES-335 tones are close to the same. So.e better than others but yet similar. Strat tones are all over the place. Some Strat tones are fantastic. SVR and Eric Johnson had different but great tones for example.

Fender Telecasters are more like Gibson guitars. The tone from one Tele to another is usually very similar. Don't you love that tele tone on George Jones's The Race is On or Lost Planet Airman and Hot Rod Lincoln.

 

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  posted on 2/12/2020 at 02:01 PM
quote:
Robin Trower = "The Emperor's new Clothes"


This can certainly be said of a lot of artists, many whom I enjoy but clearly see the hype. It doesn't really stick on Trower tho, here is why:

#1: Trower was never wildly overrated, except for a couple of years in the late 70s when he managed to fill some big venues for very short run relative to the length of his career. It started out as a cult audience and quickly returned to a core of die-hards after Robin's brief day in the sun.

#2: Many Trower fans are guitar players, who simply like his tone and the atmosphere he creates and are baffled by how he pulls that off with a Strat. I have never heard anyone refer to Robin's technique as superior, most of us are aware that he is extremely sloppy - but we like the sound, not because of his reputation or because it is cool, we found it ourselves and just enjoy it. Most folks I knew back when couldn't stand Trower, it really isn't for everyone.

#3: Robin Trower is a humble hardworking player. Trower hit on his signature sound early on and has doggedly worked his whole life as a journeyman guitar player, enjoying his craft and playing small venues, consistently cranking out decent records, keeping his brand going . He isn't fabulously wealthy, he is still singing for his supper approaching 80 years old. Just a solid, exemplary musician. A workingman's guitarist.


 

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  posted on 2/13/2020 at 07:44 AM
quote:
quote:
Robin Trower = "The Emperor's new Clothes"
This can certainly be said of a lot of artists, many whom I enjoy but clearly see the hype. It doesn't really stick on Trower tho, here is why:

#1: Trower was never wildly overrated, except for a couple of years in the late 70s when he managed to fill some big venues for very short run relative to the length of his career. It started out as a cult audience and quickly returned to a core of die-hards after Robin's brief day in the sun.

#2: Many Trower fans are guitar players, who simply like his tone and the atmosphere he creates and are baffled by how he pulls that off with a Strat. I have never heard anyone refer to Robin's technique as superior, most of us are aware that he is extremely sloppy - but we like the sound, not because of his reputation or because it is cool, we found it ourselves and just enjoy it. Most folks I knew back when couldn't stand Trower, it really isn't for everyone.

#3: Robin Trower is a humble hardworking player. Trower hit on his signature sound early on and has doggedly worked his whole life as a journeyman guitar player, enjoying his craft and playing small venues, consistently cranking out decent records, keeping his brand going . He isn't fabulously wealthy, he is still singing for his supper approaching 80 years old. Just a solid, exemplary musician. A workingman's guitarist.
I'll add a 4th - he respects and cares about his fans. Many times after his gigs, he hangs out while fans line up to get an autograph, take a picture, and shake a hand. He's been doing this for decades.

BrerRabbit said it well - Robin's a craftsman who's been working his style for longer than most of us have been alive. He's stayed true to his vision. Seeing him live is the only way to really understand. The thickness of his unique tone simply doesn't come across on recordings, it has to be experienced.

 

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  posted on 2/14/2020 at 12:33 AM
quote:
I'll add a 4th - he respects and cares about his fans. Many times after his gigs, he hangs out while fans line up to get an autograph, take a picture, and shake a hand. He's been doing this for decades.



You beat me to it. Robin is a very nice guy and so approachable. I have watched him do that inside the gig for an hour and then again at his tour bus.

Surprised to see some dismiss him so easily. Aside from his career itself, his influence on guitarists is huge. Van Halen stole all his riffs, sped them up and added tapping to it. Covered Robin's tunes before the first album.

Eddie isn't alone as many guitarists did the same. I stole all of them too. Bridge Of Sighs is a classic album for me.

50+ years in the music industry and still going. Doing something right.

 

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  posted on 2/14/2020 at 01:06 AM
This one, Daydream, man I'd like to steal this - Nice little montage here:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VxVbUiN1LIw








[Edited on 2/14/2020 by BrerRabbit]

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 2/14/2020 at 08:56 PM
quote:
This one, Daydream, man I'd like to steal this - Nice little montage here:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VxVbUiN1LIw
Daydream is one of my favorites to hear from him live. He extends the solo and puts me in guitar hero heaven. I remember when it came out in '73 on Twice Removed From Yesterday, his first solo effort. And James Dewar's vocals... man is he ever missed

 

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  posted on 2/15/2020 at 12:36 PM
https://youtu.be/a3DsErlBPdY
I think this live version of Daydream puts the studio version to shame. His guitar tone is much better (not as sterile sounding as the ‘73 studio recording) and his solos just ooze with soul. Bill Lordan is drumming on this version as opposed to Reg Isadore on the original. IMO, Lordan is a much better drummer.
I think Robin unfairly got labeled as a Hendrix clone after Jimi died. Robin will be the first to say that Hendrix, along with BB King and Albert King were huge influences on him. The fact that he played a Strat into a Marshall and used the hell out of a Wah and Uni-Vibe probably just reinforced the Jimi “clone” tag. Robin will always point to James Brown as a huge influence and that funkiness has been prevalent in his recordings since day one. I think the more you listen to his work, the more you’ll hear his own distinct style. Also, not many aging guitar heroes from the 60’s & 70’s haven’t had some decline in their playing abilities. Besides Jeff Beck, Robin is one of a very few that come to mind immediately.

[Edited on 2/15/2020 by meandean]

 
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