British rock guitar god Robin Trower returns in Petaluma’s Mystic

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“This is what allows me to continue, to be creative. Work, the joy of creating new music and recording, it keeps me young! 72-year-old rock guitar legend Robin Trower said on a phone call from a Tucson hotel. “I always strive to move forward, always looking for something that’s right ahead.”

Is he ever satisfied?

“Never completely satisfied,” he adds in his soft British accent, in a scathing voice. “There is always something more that you think could have been there. But you are doing your best.

Known for his post-Hendrix blues sound, Trower’s fretwork shows a lot of lyricism – he can coax sincere expression from almost any curved note. His recently released 30th album, “Time and Emotion” (V12 Records), is a solid collection of original blues-rock numbers that evoke Trower’s signature economy solos and his warm, lush sound. The album features the scrappy “The Land of Plenty”, the soulful “If You Believe in Me” and several ballads that capture the beauty of her melodic playing at its best.

“Although I’m a rock ‘n’ roll player, I always try to make my music as emotional as possible,” says Trower. “There are songs on the new album that sum it up, I think. [That soulfulness] comes from within – that’s the gift I was born with, I guess, of being able to create music with a kind of depth. “

Trower’s music reflects the play of artists he admired early in his life, most notably rockabilly legend Gene Vincent, and in particular the great blues guitarist BB King.

“BB King’s music was a real turning point for me,” he says. “It’s pretty simple music, but it’s so deep. After hearing it, I began to yearn to make my guitar sound like a human voice. Another huge influence was James Brown’s “Live at the Apollo”. “

But it was Jimi Hendrix who had the most lasting impact.

In some ways, Trower is the missing link between Hendrix and a generation inspired by his rock virtuosity, including Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and other similar ax throwers. At a time when Vaughan was still playing R&B and blues covers in nightclubs with Texas bar group Triple Threat, Trower had already established himself as a tour de force influenced by Hendrix along with Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck. , Peter Green and others. British blues-rock sensations. Between 1973 and 1977, Trower released four gold albums, including the 1974 classic rock masterpiece “Bridge of Sighs”.

He had also enjoyed commercial success with the 1960s pop group Procol Harum (one of the ancestors of progressive rock). Already known at the time as a powerful guitarist, the native of London witnessed Hendrix’s playing in 1970 when Procol Harum shared the bill with the American rocker at two concerts in England and Germany.

“Hendrix got booed at one of those shows,” Trower recalls. “I guess the fans were disappointed he didn’t set his guitar on fire.”

After Hendrix’s death in 1970 from an apparent drug overdose, Trower and Procol Harum’s lyricist Keith Reid wrote the “Song for a Dreamer” tribute, which was included on the “Broken Barricades” album. ” of the group.

Trower left Procol Harum the following year to create his own power trio.

“Hendrix was a phenomenon and a huge influence on me,” he says. “I was drawn to the fluidity of his playing – no rock guitarist had ever shown this to such a degree before. And he was such a touching player. There was a touch of genius there. I don’t think so. not that anyone can deny it.

In addition to his numerous solo albums, Trower recorded three albums with former Cream bassist Jack Bruce, and earned producer credit for three albums with British pop star Bryan Ferry.

How does Trower describe his six-decade quest as a creative artist?

“Obsessed,” he laughs. “It’s about trying to do the best you can. It really was the driving force. I’m just trying to improve myself. I’m just trying to get there, which I guess I won’t.

“But it’s fun to try! “


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