Artist: Tad Robinson
Album: Day Into Night
Release Date: 04/21/2015
The simmering soul groove of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On has always, for me, represented the perfect late night listen. While I’m not putting this album in that same desert island classic category, Tad Robinson creates similar levels of musical late night romanticism on this disc. It’s been five years since we last heard a release from the seven-time Blues Music Award nominee, Robinson, who is simply one of today’s best soul singers. Soul music may seem relatively simple, but few seem to naturally “get it” as well as he does. Backed by the Severn house band, featuring guitarist Johnny Moeller (Fabulous Thunderbirds) as well as guest axe men Alex Schultz and Anson Funderburgh, and with a full complement of horns and singers, Robinson sublimely delivers his originals and a few covers.
The album is very carefully rendered, with the instrumental arrangements—some full and some more stripped down—suited to each tune. Robinson’s crooning, moaning, emotive vocals explore the nuances of relationships, from the stately opener, “Soul Lover,” to the Funderburgh-punctuated “Lonely Talking” to his riveting interpretation of Bobby Blue Bland’s “Lead Me On.” Robinson has played and co-written much of the material with these veteran musicians both here and on previous albums, but this special chemistry is most apparent on “Nightwatch,” where his longtime cohort, Alex Schultz, strums an infectious rhythm guitar. Welcome back, Tad Robinson. We’ve missed you.
– Jim Hynes