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Tad Robinson: Last Go Round

In the tradition of Delbert McClinton, Joe Cocker, Billy Vera, Sugar Ray Norcia, Big Joe Maher and Darrell Nulisch comes Tad Robinson, another white guy with great pipes, undeniable feeling and slippery, soulful phrasing. A New York native, Robinson relocated to Chicago in the mid-’80s where he fronted his own band before being recruited by Dave Specter and the Bluebirds. On his second Delmark release, Last Go Round (Delmark DE-722; ), Robinson makes a dynamic impression, singing and playing blues harp with skill and conviction. Guitarist Alex Schultz, formerly of Rod Piazza and The Mighty Flyers, acts as Tad’s foil throughout in their sly game of call-and-response. On R&B flavored originals like “Payback” and “Another Song, Another Day,” Robinson comes on strong like soulmeisters Otis Clay or O.V. Wright. He handles a N’awlins stroll, “Have You Heard From My Baby?,” with soulful aplomb. His work on “Some of My Best Friends Are the Blues,” a moving ballad reminiscent of Percy Mayfield’s “Please Send Me Someone to Love” is strictly heartfelt. He also blows some meaty blues harp on the title track, a buoyant jump blues in the Louis Jordan tradition, on the more raucous Chicago-styled boogie “If I Had to Do It Again” and a cover of Little Walter’s juke number, “I’ve Got to Go.” Robinson currently lives in smalltown Indiana but clearly his heart resides in Chicago.

Originally Published