As the title implies, Guitar Groove-a-Rama is a showcase for Duke Robillard and his guitar collection. It allows him to both flex his chops in a variety of styles and display his impressive set of instruments--on the cover and in the grooves. Although he has recorded jazz discs, the founding member of Roomful of Blues is primarily a blues player, and that genre grounds the majority of this crackling release. It's also a jumping-off place for songs that reference twang (a peppy version of Bob Dylan's "Down Along the Cove"), jazzy lounge/gospel ("Sunday Mornin'"), and tough swamp ("Sewed Up"), plus a "Tequila"-styled surf take on Sonny Boy Williamson's "No Way Out" and even a swinging instrumental rendition of "Danny Boy" with a surprise Beatlesque ending.
The album's 16-minute centerpiece, "Blues-a-Rama," is a magnificent vehicle for Robillard. He uses a standard slow blues to introduce and play licks in the style of about a dozen influential guitarists, from the usual suspects such as Buddy Guy and Freddie, Albert, and B.B. King to the slightly more obscure likes of Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. That track, like this terrific album, is a mini history lesson in blues guitar that every lover of the genre will enjoy and newcomers can use as a handy course. --Hal Horowitz
His rendition of the surf classic “Dark Eyes” is spectacular, more in the Spanish guitar influence – git it!!! –nuff said!
1. Do The Memphis Grind 2. Gambler Blues 3. Down Along The Cove
4. Sunday Mornin' 5. Sewed Up 6. Danny Boy 7. Blues A Rama
8. I'll Do Anything But Work 9. No Way Out 10. This Dream
11. Just Before Dawn 12. Dawin 13. Cookin' 14. Dark Eyes