Duke Robillard & Ronnie Earl: The Duke Meets The Earl

The Duke Meets the Earl (Stony Plain) is a first-ever summit meeting for Ronnie Earl and Duke Robillard. As you’d imagine, this is unfiltered, unhyphenated blues all the way. Robillard and Earl sling barbed phrases back and forth like a pair of Wimbeldon pros. Robillard handles most of the vocals, although Mighty Sam McClain steps in for Earl’s dark ballad “A Soul That’s Been Abused,” which finishes the set. Walter Price’s “My Tears” is the marathon jam of the hour; other highlights include Eddie Taylor’s “Lookin’ for Trouble” (with ripping saloon piano from Matt McCabe), Magic Sam’s “What Have I Done Wrong?” and T-Bone Walker’s “Two Bones and a Pick.” The silky Hammond-organ tones of Jimmy McGriff and Dave Limina temper the caustic, unrelenting two-guitar attack.