There’s a name from the past. Robin Trower was a member of Procol Harum from 1967 to 1971, and then again in the early 1990’s. Mostly, he has been a solo artist, melting the airwaves with this guitar.
Trower is one of the last of his generation of truly influential guitarists.
His best known album is Bridge of Sighs and the song of the same name. Trower has a signature guitar sound that’s hard to miss. It’s like a thunderous fog that rolls in and surrounds you.
Trower sometimes recorded with former Cream bassist Jack Bruce. They released two albums as a band called BLT, and then Trower and Bruce released an album in 2007 called Seven Moons, and a live album from the resulting tour.
In an interview with guitar.com, Trower was asked what started his interest in the guitar. “Well, I wanted to play guitar because I was a big fan of Scotty Moore who played for Elvis, so he was the impetus. I think I was about 14 at the time, so that’s when it started.”
Asked for one of the most usual moments on stage, Trower said it was in a concert with Jack Bruce in Scotland when his amp caught fire. Someone grabbed a fire extinguisher and was going to put out the flame but Trower’s guitar tech stopped them and said, “No, no, we want that!’ Since Trower runs two amp heads, he was able to finish the concert and entertain with fire.
“Bridge of Sighs” remains his signature song. He must play it live, fans expect it.
I saw him again in concert this week, for the second time in a couple of years. I never saw him during his prime years, but he still plays with passion and tremendous technique. This time, he played at a smaller venue but still a sellout crowd. He played two songs from his newest CD, “Driving Bell” and “Lonesome Road.” Trower’s bassist sings most of the songs, as Trower has never been much of a vocalist, but he sings all of the songs on his new CD and also plays bass. In concert he sang lead on two songs.
His set list:
Too Rolling Stoned
The Fool and Me
Day of the Eagle
Bridge Of Sighs
Little Bit of Sympathy
Rise Up Like the Sun
For Earth Below
The show clocked in at about 85 minutes, not a long concert, but fans seemed to feel satisfied at seeing a guitar legend at work. Trower releases a new collection of work about every two years and seems to tour America annually, which he will probably do as long as his health is good.
Trower uses every bit of the fret-board. His fingers are nimble and move effortlessly across the frets, his face accentuating the licks as he bends the strings and coaxes the blues-inspired notes from his guitar. His hands have played the chords and solos so often the guitar is alike another appendage.
“Tide of Confusion” (2019) a new song.