Blues Underground Network
Son Roberts "Tell That Story"
If there was ever one who could really tell a story, it would have to be Son Roberts, after all, he has lived it all and along the way he survived it all, to become one of Canada's finest Singers, Songwriters, and Harmonica players.
Raised in Montreal, during the city's turbulent times, he pretty well did it all to survive, from dishwashing, to ditch digging, to dangerous railroad work, but through it all he never let it get him down and out, and slowly but surely, he arrived at his true calling, thanks to finding the Toronto Blues and Roots Scene and meeting his mentors, whom's music he listened to for so long.
When Son Roberts decided to play Blues, he also decided it was going to be his style of Blues. That decision paid off in aces, quickly showing him, he was on the right track, especially after the eventual release of his first album "Don't Know Yet", which help garner the then Son Roberts Band a Maple Blues Award Nomination for "Best new Artists In Canada". In addition, one of the songs off the album called "Lorraine", which by the way was the first song Son Roberts ever wrote, was a "Finalist in Billboard Magazine’s World Song Contest." Now with his 2nd release "Tell That Story", Son Roberts continues to show us that his first album was no flash in the pan and that his 2nd album was certainly not affected by the Sophomore Jinx.
"Tell That Story" consists of 10 heartfelt Tracks written by Son Roberts and his co-writer John Crosbie. Other co-writers included Duncan McBain (1 Track), Ed Roth (2 Tracks), Sergio Faluotico (2 Tracks), Hap Roderman (2 Tracks), Ralph MacDonald (1 Track) and Brett MacMillan (1 Track). All lyrics were written solely by Son Roberts. Except for Brett MacMillan, who recorded and mixed "Tell That Story" along with Norm Barker, all the other co-writers are also musicians on this album. Two renowned musicians who appear on "Tell That Story" are none other than Gary Kendall on Bass and Martin Alex Aucoin on Piano, Organ, and Wurlitzer. Background Vocalists for "Tell That Story" include Kate Roberts, Gail Roberts, and Chloe Watkinson. Both Kate and Gail are Son Roberts’ daughters. "Tell That Story" was produced by Son Roberts.
To get a good idea of the kind of music you will find on "Tell That Story", one only needs to read the headline on top of the album's Promo sheet which reads, "Modern, Groove Infused Blues from a Musical Innovator". That kind of Modern, Groove Infused Blues starts right of the bat with the opening Track "90 Years Old", in which he opens with the lyrics, "I want to live a long time, until I'm about 90 years old", a statement that bodes well for all his fans. 90 Years Old", also gives you a really good idea of what to expect with the rest of the album courtesy of Son Roberts great and unique Vocals, extraordinary Harp, and a second to none band behind him bringing it all together.
"Tell That Story" has a very nice blend of Blues on it, but it is not the type of Blues or Style that you can easily say sounds like one particular performer or the other, it is truly a unique sound and style that is pure Son Roberts.
Beyond Son Roberts Vocal prowess and amazing song writing skills, he is also a darn good Harp player and is certainly shows throughout "Tell That Story", especially on Track 4 "Come For A Ride", in which you get a good gravelly back roads feel, and Track 9 "Brakeman", in which the Harp instills a good old foot stompin' back porch feel. Those 2 Tracks are my favorite ones on this album.
Beyond Son Roberts performance, kudos must be given to the other members of this production whom consisted of "trusted friends, young upstarts and award-winning talents who all get it", and get it they certainly do, whether it's John Crosbie and Ralph MacDonald on Guitar and Slide Guitar, Gary Kendall on Bass, Martin Alex Aucoin on Piano, Organ, and Wurlitzer, or all the other great artists, offering their magic on "Tell That Story", it all seamlessly blended together to perfection.
"Tell That Story", as far as I am concerned, is his best album to date, and shows that he is not only on the right track as far as his music is concerned, but he is also headed down that track at break neck speed and certainly in the right direction.
"Tell That Story" is simply a Brilliant album from yet another Brilliant Canadian Artists.
5***** for this one... Highly Recommended and Thoroughly Enjoyed.
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
Listen To Samples Here...
Additional Artist Info... http://www.sonroberts.ca/