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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    "Bridge Of Sighs"...The Robin Trower Thread

    Dunno if there are many Trower-heads out there, as he was primarily popular with guitarists alone. Trower gave Procol Harum some much needed heft, then struck out on his own forming one of the better blues-based power trios of the 70's.

    To start, here's a few Trower tracks worthy of checking out...


    Little Bit Of Sympathy 5:41
    Last edited by chefcraig; 02.21.07 at 09:39 AM.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

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    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Day Of The Eagle 3:58

    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

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    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Daydream 9:53

    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

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    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Alathea 4:50

    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

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    The Frantic Antic TopTimi's Avatar
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    Hey Craig,
    You know that Trower is a major influence and inspiration on meself. If I remember correctly, the first time I was at your pad I played "Daydream" and you almost hit the floor("WTF!! Somebody other than me digs Trower!") Funny how you posted this today, as I was playing that exact same song and thinking of that particular day. Trippy shit man.
    Robin Trower still sounds great and gigs regularly. He most certainly has a 70's sound that brings me back to times of smokey images and aromas. He always had a cool band. Liked it most when Dewar was helming bass/vocals.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopTimi View Post
    ...If I remember correctly, the first time I was at your pad I played "Daydream" and you almost hit the floor("WTF!! Somebody other than me digs Trower!") Funny how you posted this today, as I was playing that exact same song and thinking of that particular day. Trippy shit man.

    Too cool! I was thinking of the exact same thing this am, Tim!


    Excellent to hear from you, my brother. Enjoy!
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

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    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    A Fine Day 3:37

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=&mode=related&search=
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

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    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Double post....
    Last edited by chefcraig; 02.21.07 at 10:24 AM.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Default Trower Interview Part 1 FEB 23, 2006

    http://www.modernguitars.com/archives/001649.html

    Robin Trower Interview
    by Brian D. Holland

    With an extensive repertoire of classic hits and album-oriented rock to his credit, Robin Trower is one of very few authentic '60s and '70s blues-rock guitar heroes still keeping it alive today. He tours the world extensively, entertaining fans with memorable songs, such as 'Bridge Of Sighs', 'Daydream', 'I Can't Wait Much Longer', 'Day Of The Eagle', 'Too Rolling Stoned', and with new material that eventually becomes as enduring as the others. The sight of him standing onstage with his signature Fender Stratocaster in front of his Marshall stacks is as characteristic to his fans as his classic songs.

    Robin departed the successful British classic rockers, Procol Harum, in the early Seventies when the ideas he was developing in his own mind warranted the decision to start his own band. Putting his innovative guitar style and compositional strengths to the forefront, he went on to make over forty successful albums and compilations, starting with 1973's Twice Removed From Yesterday. Recently, Robin released his long awaited first live DVD, recorded in Germany in March of 2005. Released (and sold separately) on CD as well, Living Out Of Time: Live is an appropriate title, as it's a brilliant display of just how timeless his music really is.

    Did the comparisons to Hendrix back in the early days ever get annoying?

    Robin Trower: No, I can't say they ever did because it's obviously a great compliment really. The only thing is, I often wondered if people were missing what I added to it of my own. That was the only other side of it. I definitely felt I had developed into something of my own from the influence. He was one influence, along with quite a few other guitar players. I felt that the main thing I had brought to it was my compositional ability.

    The first few Trower albums: 'Twice Removed From Yesterday', 'Bridge Of Sighs', 'For Earth Below', and 'Long Misty Days' possessed extremely creative cover art, and, in a subliminal way, were somewhat suggestive of a common theme of space and volume.

    RT: Yes. To be honest, Funky Paul was the artist. I met Paul Olsen when I was in Procol Harum. I used to give him the title of the album and he would go from that title. [See: Rock 'n' Roll Art: An Interview with Paul Olsen and Paul Olsen's Modern Guitars journal.]

    Even though songs such as 'Simple Sister', 'Whiskey Train', and 'Conquistador' contained excellent guitar playing, I had heard that you departed Procol Harum because the guitar parts in the music were somewhat limited.

    RT: The main reason I had to move on was that I was starting to write so much more material than they could accommodate. It meant the need to have my own band so I could do all the songs and musical ideas I was coming up with. That's all it was really. It wasn't that there wasn't enough guitar work in Procol, because there was. It was the writing side of things.

    Upon leaving Procol Harum to start your solo career, you immediately got into what generally became known as the signature Robin Trower sound. Did a lot of time, effort and research go into creating this?

    RT: Well, it all really started from that very distorted Hubert Sumlin sound, and a track by Muddy Waters called 'Still A Fool'. I was always trying to make it, right from the moment I'd heard it, you know, that Howlin' Wolf noise. That's what it developed into really. In the early 60s I put it through a preamp to get the overload sound. You couldn't buy an overdrive pedal. I used to put it through a little practice amp and then into a bigger amp to try and get that sound. Eventually I started getting fuzz boxes, when they started making stuff like that. During my early period I had custom-made overdrive stuff because I didn't like what they were making at the time.


    There's all sorts of stuff out there these days, isn't there?

    RT: Yeah. I use all the Mike Fuller Fulltone stuff. He just sent me an overdrive pedal called an OCD. I think it's the best I've ever had in that department. It's amazing.

    How do you go about recording guitar?

    RT: I usually like to have more than one amp, a couple usually, and set differently. Recently I've been doing some recording using two one-hundred-watt Marshalls, each into two 12s. I'll run one clean and one overdriven. That's been a very nice effect. And on that particular recording I was using [Shure] 58s up close, probably about a foot away, and an 87 about four feet away. Of course, a lot depends on the sound of the room, etc.

    No direct boxes for you.

    RT: No. I don't like those things.

    I didn't think you would.

    RT: There's no air moving.

    No, there isn't. [I'm laughing] The latest members of the band, is that the DVD lineup?

    RT: That's right.

    In your opinion, what's the state of guitar oriented rock music today?

    RT: I think there are some very good guitar players out there. There's nothing that really speaks to me because I tend to come from a more blues/soul taste. Jonny Greenwood [Radiohead] is particularly noticeable for being a very inventive player. It's not my kind of music really, but I can appreciate the gifts he's got.

    Excluding your own, what are your five favorite albums of all time?

    RT: I can tell you three straight off. 'Ray Charles In Person', 'B.B. King Live At The Regal', 'James Brown Live At The Opollo', and probably 'Band Of Gypsies'. A fifth would have to be my favorite Muddy Waters album, 'The Best of Muddy Waters'. It has all his best singles on it.

    What's your favorite Robin Trower record of all time?

    RT: I don't tend to have a favorite album; I tend to have favorite tracks. There are flaws in every album that spoil it for me.

    Your three favorite tracks?

    RT: I think 'Somebody Calling' would be one [from In City Dreams]. I really like 'Extermination Blues' from Another Days Blues. Another one from In City Dreams called 'Little Girl', I really love that. Jimmy's vocal is just stunning on it.

    Are there any you really don't like?

    RT: Oh, lots. [Laughs] Lots and lots. One I particularly don't like is In The Line Of Fire. I really hate the album. I don't like it at all. It was the '80s thing where everybody was trying to make rock sound like pop.

    How deep is your appreciation of the blues?

    RT: The first real thing I heard was in the very early Sixties. That would be 'Three O'Clock Blues' by B.B. King. I think it was on the Kent label. That's where it all began for me, to follow a certain style of guitar playing.
    Last edited by chefcraig; 02.21.07 at 10:28 AM.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Default Robin Trower Interview Part 2

    Who were your main influences over the years?

    RT: It starts at B.B. King I think. He was the first guy to put my foot on the path. Then people like Hubert Sumlin. Steve Cropper was a bit of an influence. Albert King was a very big influence. Obviously, Jimi Hendrix was. It's mainly all the great blues players, and also people like Curtis Mayfield, and anything big that came out of blues, soul, or rhythm and blues.

    In Procol Harum you played a Gibson SG basically?

    RT: I had an SG, and then a sunburst Les Paul. Towards the end of being in Procol I started playing a Strat.

    Why'd you change to Strats?

    RT: We were on tour with Jethro Tull, and their guitar player, Martin [Barre], had a Strat as a spare guitar because he also played Les Pauls. I just happened to pick it up one day. I plugged it into my amp during sound check and that was it. The next day I went out and bought one.

    There are so many guitars out there these days. Are Strats still the best for you?

    RT: Oh, yeah. Especially now as I've got the signature model. It's perfectly tailored to what I like.

    The particular signature model you use, is it modified at all?

    RT: No. Mine's exactly what you'd buy. It's all the bits and pieces I've wanted on my guitar since they've been building them for me, which is quite a few years now. Except I've decided to have three different periods of vintage pickups, one for the neck, one for the bridge, and one in the middle. They're all different types to get different qualities.

    Do you play or write in particular keys, more so than others?

    RT: I have favorite keys I tend to write in. I do tune down a whole step. That's so I can use a bit heavier string on the top two. My favorite keys are E, using the open E for lots of things obviously, and also B and C#. G is pretty good, too, because you have the open G you can play with as well.

    Do you get into alternate tunings?

    RT: No. I don't play around with tunings at all.

    Is there a different section of the globe where your music is more accepted these days?

    RT: Yes, the United States.

    The reason I ask is that so many classic rockers and blues players tell me Europe is the place to tour these days.

    RT: Yeah. But the States still has the best audiences by far for me.

    Will there be any more collaborating with Jack Bruce?

    RT: At the moment, I'm working on getting a remix of the best stuff I've already done with him. I'm trying to put that together. And I would like to add a couple of new tracks to that as well. But I'm not quite sure when I'll get around to it. I've spoken with Jack about it already.

    Anything on the horizon with Gary Brooker?

    RT: As a matter of fact, we're getting together this weekend to do a Paramounts reunion, which was the original band we were in together. This band hasn't played together for over forty years. It should be fun.

    Talk about 'Another Days Blues', your 2005 release.

    RT: Well, it came about when I came across an unreleased track, which was the original version of 'Go My Way'.

    It's actually a remake of 'Someday Blues' as well.

    RT: That's right. But this 'Go My Way', the original version, was part of the Someday Blues recording sessions. Because I'd just been working with Davey Pattison I thought it would be great to try his voice on it. And then we thought, well, wouldn't it be great to try it on some of the other tracks from Someday Blues. So, I reworked some more of those tracks and added some new stuff, and I had a singer named Hazel Fenandez, whom I had worked with on and off in other projects, with Livingstone Brown, etc.; she does one song in which she does a brilliant job. I do a couple of vocals myself, and it's all been remixed and brought up to scratch.

    'Too Much Joy', from Go My Way, is a different approach. In my opinion, the vocals and the guitar are very reminiscent of Rory Gallagher. Have you been told that before?

    RT: No. But I don't mind. I mean, he was good. I was trying to do a few different things on that album. I was being quite experimental.

    Would I be correct in assuming that James Dewar was your all-time greatest collaborator?

    RT: Definitely. Some of what we did together obviously is still some of my best stuff, without a doubt.

    His voice was fantastic.

    RT: Oh, yeah. He was one of the greatest ever in rock 'n' roll.

    When talking about classic rockers who still make records today, fans have a tendency to think that most can no longer make music that's comparable to what they made in their heyday. I look at 'Go My Way' and 'Living Out Of Time' (the studio record, not to be confused with the new 'Living Out Of Time: Live'), among others, as being just as good as most early Trower. What keeps it going?

    RT: Well thanks a lot; I appreciate that. I think it's down to two things. It depends on how good the compositions are and how deep the music is. I don't want to sound like I'm blowing my own trumpet, but if you've got that then you're going to continue to create good stuff. If all you've got is somebody else's stuff that you've lifted and nothing really deep then it is going to thin out. I feel I've been blessed with a gift of creativity and composition. That's why I've been able to keep going.

    'I Want To Take You With Me' from Living Out Of Time, in my opinion, is on a par with vintage Trower.

    RT: That's a favorite of mine as well. I'm glad someone else thinks so. [Laughs]

    Talk about the new DVD/CD release, 'Living Out Of Time: Live'.

    RT: It was done in Germany originally as a TV show, and then Ruf bought the rights to it and turned it into a DVD. We added an interview to it and some extra stuff. It turned out to be a very good night that got filmed, which was a bit of luck really. The show is about an hour or so. I'm pretty pleased with it, as these things don't always turn out as you like. It's my first one, and it's great to have something you can be proud of. The only thing is, it was a little nerve racking because it was only the third show after a three-and-a-half year lay off. So I wasn't sure if I was quite up to the mark for that.

    Is there any new music on the horizon?

    RT: I'm working on a new album at the moment. I feel it's got some very strong stuff on it, the material I've already put down.

    Tell me about your present gear.

    RT: At the moment I'm using my signature model [Fender Stratocaster], the prototype. I've got two they made exactly the same, though they do sound different. [Laughs] It's amazing. They've got all the same components, but it all comes down to the density of the wood. Every guitar's different.

    I'm using Marshall JCM 900s. For the studio I'm just using 2 2/12s, but I add a 4/12 for live. I also record with 2 Fender Blues Juniors sometimes.

    All of the pedals [see images above] I use are from Mike Fuller, Fulltone. The wah, Deja-Vibe, the OCD pedal. Those are the three main things I'm using at the moment; but I also mess around with a thing called a Fat Boost, which is really good. I don't tend to stand still for very long. I tend to try stuff all the time. I'm always trying different pedals and setups, you know.

    Do you experiment with the pedals when onstage?

    RT: I'll usually mess about in rehearsal for a tour. Once I've settled on something I'll stay with that at least throughout the whole tour. I use Ernie Ball strings, 12, 15, 17, 26, 36, and 48, tuned down a whole step.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

  11. #11
    Eruption
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    Trower RULES!

    I've only been able to see him once, but it was a great show. He's got a lot of stuff that never gets recognized.

    I even remember in the late 80s his album "Take what you need" with the song "Tear it up" on it. Pretty good stuff (and that album no one seems to know about).

    Thanks for the postings Chef.

  12. #12
    Romeo Delight Tranztek's Avatar
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    Robin Trower was certainly a major influence on me. I saw him in his heyday, in the UK on the For Earth Below tour at the Lyceum in London and the Reading festival and again 30 years later, in 2005, in Southampton - he was just as good!

  13. #13
    Baluchitherium hatchetforce's Avatar
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    nice thread chef

    . . . . .
    "The eagle lands at midnight: bacon burger ice cube over" ~ jetguy5150

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    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hatchetforce View Post
    nice thread chef
    Thank you, my dear friend. 'Twas your own masterfully done "Jeff Beck Thread" that I stole the idea...errr, I mean...was inspired by.
    Last edited by chefcraig; 02.21.07 at 11:26 AM.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

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    Baluchitherium hatchetforce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post
    Thank you, my dear friend. 'Twas your own masterfully done "Jeff Beck Thread" that I stole the idea...errr, I mean...was inspired by.

    . . . . .
    "The eagle lands at midnight: bacon burger ice cube over" ~ jetguy5150

 

 

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