Exalted Lover (Stony Plain)
By: Mark A. Lawrence the IV
The soulful Blues of Duke Robillard's Exalted Lover is deep on emotions and overflowing with groove. There is a historically rich feel to these songs like, "I'll Never Be Free" which carries a nostalgic feel of World War II, as though it's floating across a USO dance floor. Never fear though, Robillard isn't afraid of getting raunchy, with the dirty-raw sound on "Real Live Wire" filled with aggressive guitar and near ragged vocals. Exalted Lover is an album that flirts with the jazzier off shoot of the blues with the infusing of horns and a mellow flow saturating the tracks of this CD. This is a good album with enough change up to keep it lively without being distracting. The consistently high quality is rewarding to the listener, though not the rough-edged guitar-shredding blues like Buddy Guy and Michael Burkes nor the Boogie of John Lee Hooker, but this album is still sure to please listeners looking for a jazzier blues. Rating: B+
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