Robbie Robertson returns with a vengeance

Wildman Steve
The Corner News
Published: February 23, 2011 4:28:08 pm

Robbie Robertson, former lead guitarist of The Band, has a new album that fans of The Band will love.

Robbie Robertson is one of those musicians that has acheived legendary status. As the lead guitarist and primary songwriter of The Band, he served as Bob Dylan's first electric lead guitarist and bandleader, and made history with songs like 'The Weight' and 'Up On Cripple Creek.' He left The Band in 1976, staging one of the greatest concerts in rock history as their swan song. 'The Last Waltz,' as it was dubbed, was filmed by Martin Scorcese for posterity and remains one of the most beloved live events in rock history.

Robertson continued on as a solo artist, releasing four solo albums from '87-'98, and contributing music to many films such as 'The King of Comedy,' 'The Color of Money,' and, most recently, 'Shutter Island.'

Now, after a 13-year drought, Robertson has released a new solo album, titled 'How To Become Clairvoyant,' which may be his best solo work to date and rivals his work with The Band. The album features performances by Eric Clapton (who co-wrote three songs with Robertson), Steve Winwood, Robert Randolph, Trent Reznor and Tom Morello, with bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Ian Thomas serving as the rhythm section throughout.

Robertson returns with a vengeance to his rock roots, opening the album with a blistering rocker titled 'Straight Down The Line,' a sly nod to rock 'n' roll's early reputation as the Devil's music. The first single from the album, 'He Don't Live Here No More' details a close friend's battle with addiction, and features Clapton on harmony vocal and electric and slide guitars alongside Robertson's soulful gut string guitar solo.

Robertson also addresses the breakup of The Band for the first time in song, with 'This Is Where I Get Off.' Fans of The Band will certainly eat this album up, but that is not a requisite, as 'How To Become Clairvoyant' is, quite simply, a great rock record destined to become a classic.

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