Review: The Robin Hoare Band – A Time And Place
Posted on: Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009
“A Time And Place”
Here’s an interesting release from Sheffield guitarist and writer, Robin Hoare – a heady mix of blues, soul, funk and jazz – but always just in the blues camp, dominated by his fiery, fluent guitar work, and ably assisted by a fine band, from the cream of the Steel City – and all self-written, bar one track by bass player, Danny Fox.
Robin Hoare started playing in band at the age of 16, learning his trade from some of his home city’s finest jazz and blues musicians, and by 18 was fronting band on the local live circuit, appearing at the Burnley Blues Festival in 1994, before going out under his own name in 2002.
Hoare deals in funky, horn-filled blues as heard on the first track “Living On The Easyplan” – his ode to the credit crunch, with some Albert Collins-inspired leads and brass to the fore; the following “Time Is The Healer” dips into rocky territory, before the slow jazzy blues of “A Tale To Tell”, with Dale Storr’s subtle keyboard work shining, with some lovely tinkling piano.
The mood switches on the laid-back funky “Tell Me”, with a nice band performance here and the string section of Jonathan Draper (cello) and Helena Reynolds (violin), with Hoare adding some acoustic guitar flourishes and solo. The instrumental “Lullaby” almost veers into Mark Knopfler territory – with just Danny Fox on solo bass guitar in a very quiet, laid-back jazzy mood – very nice indeed!
“Aleena” turns up the gas, with more fluid guitar leads – another song with a more rocky feel, before a return to pure blues on “Like A Game”, with Dale Storr’s organ work very impressive here. “Online Gambling Games” is a wry commentary on the modern day addiction of the title – more fluid guitar work and soloing; with the closing “Found Myself A Friend” moving into a BB King type groove – a swinging jazzy shuffle.
For anyone who likes their blues mixed up with some jazz, soul and funk grooves, this is well worth checking out and a fine effort from all concerned – Robin Hoare is a fine player, but must admit to not being knocked out by his voice – check him out at Colne in August.