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Ride the vibe: Guitar master blooms with latest release

By JOHNNY VINYL

Ride the vibe

Published on March 30, 2018 6:40PM

Johnny Vinyl

Johnny Vinyl

Guitar master Terry Robb will perform a free all-ages show April 5 at Great Pacific Wine & Coffee Co., Pendleton.

Photo courtesy of NiaSounds

Guitar master Terry Robb will perform a free all-ages show April 5 at Great Pacific Wine & Coffee Co., Pendleton.

Guitar master Terry Robb will perform a free all-ages show April 5 at Great Pacific Wine & Coffee Co., Pendleton.

Photo courtesy of NiaSounds

Guitar master Terry Robb will perform a free all-ages show April 5 at Great Pacific Wine & Coffee Co., Pendleton.

Terry Robb’s recent album, ‘Cool on the Bloom,’ was a 2017 nominee for Best Acoustic Album by Blues Blast Music Awards.

Courtesy of NiaSounds

Terry Robb’s recent album, ‘Cool on the Bloom,’ was a 2017 nominee for Best Acoustic Album by Blues Blast Music Awards.


Anyone remotely informed with contemporary blues guitar has to be familiar with the name and instrumental prowess of Terry Robb.

He, like Bill Frisell and few others, has that ability that allows the guitar to become an extension of themselves. Music pours from them effortlessly. And, also like Frisell, he can walk through a room full of music fans and go completely unnoticed.

Robb is currently touring his most recent release, “Cool on the Bloom,” on NiaSounds, an independent record label in Portland. It’s a diverse collection of acoustic-based blues tunes. Ten of the 12 songs are Robb originals. Half of the songs are just Robb and guitar. The rest have, in true Fahey form, minimalist accompaniment. There are even vocals on two tracks, keeping this from being a completely instrumental experience. And, what a rewarding musical experience it is.

Experience a little of that guitar mastery in person when Terry Robb performs Thursday, April 5 from 7-9 p.m. at Great Pacific Wine & Coffee Co., 403 S. Main St., Pendleton. There is no cover charge for the all-ages show.

To exemplify the above mentioned prowess, the 12 tracks on “Cool on the Bloom” are each uniquely diverse. Incendiary fret-work that would make Yngwie Malmsteen blush, soul/funk jams and bayou bottleneck slide are among the many styles that find their way into the mix.

The opening “Soc Hop” immediately followed by the title track quickly establish that while it is an acoustic affair, that doesn’t mean that thing are mellow or slow-paced. “Christmas in Istanbul” has a instantly infectious groove that first introduces accompaniment in second guitar, bass and percussion. “Late Night Kahl” is downright funky.

The centerpiece of the album is an epic bottleneck solo called “Holy Spirit, Father and Son.” It has three distinctly emotive sections and would be perfect as an Easter morning jam for your toast.

For most real blues performers, albums are simply an excuse to go out and play live to human beings. That is where they truly connect with their instrument and their audience.

Check out Terry Robb live and witness guitar mastery for yourself.

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A retired educator, Johnny Vinyl spends his days with Lucifer, an 8-year-old German shepherd, reading and riding the vibe. He writes entertainment columns for the East Oregonian. Contact him via tmalgesini@eastoregonian.com







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