Tad Robinson Band with Alex Schultz
"Live At The Triad
New York City
September 9, 2011
"Bob Putignano recently caught a Tad Robinson show in New York City. Robinson brought Alex Schultz along. You'll wish you had been there."
Don Wilcock Bluesax Editor
Anticipation for this show was high as it's been quite some time since Tad Robinson and/or Alex Schultz have played in the Big Apple. In fact Schulz told me that for him it had been something like thirty years when he was with Rod Piazza's band at Manny's Car Wash. Every one of the musicians that performed on this special night has accompanied Robinson on most of his Severn recordings and it was a delight to watch and hear them pounce on many of their tunes with such fervor
Like the proven veterans these artists are, first they grooved slowly, then later brought on the heat. Some of the standout performances included the opening "I'm In Good" from from Robinson's 2010 release Back In Style. "Welcome Home" from Do You Ever Wonder followed in similar fashion as the opener. The Blues Music Award-nominated "Rained All Night" was appropriate as there were heavy thunderstorms broiling outside. A song from Alex Schultz's 2005 Think About It gave Schultz his first lengthy (and very tasty) guitar solo. That set the stage for Schultz-time, as Robinson left the stage for a Freddie King instrumental, which had the crowd clamoring for more. At the end of this song Tad yelled from the back of the room for Alex to take another one, which delighted not only the crowd, but Schultz as he was happy to jump back in front instrumentally. Schultz chose to cover (rain was on their mind) Tony Joe White's "Rainy Night In Georgia," a tune that Schultz stated this band never performed before. It was very funky and soulful.
It was now time to turn the reins back over to the bandleader, who started to pick up the tempo with "You Name It I've Had It" and a dynamite rendition of the Steve Gomes/Darrell Nulisch tune "Turn To the Music," which was performed in the groove-like mode of Gene McDaniels classic "Compared to What?" It was on this song when the entire band was given ample time to stretch out a bit and show their wares, and they did so brilliantly. At this point I sensed that (unfortunately) this set was nearing its conclusion, as the band covered the Stax classic "Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One," plus "Sunday Morning Woman," and encored with "More Good Than Bad," the latter from A New Point of View.
It was a dynamite set that had the crowd buzzing. Someone in the crowd yelled out, "Come back again soon." Word has it that they will reunite in (Robinson's and Schultz's) NYC hometown again sometime next year, where rumor has it will be with a horn section, too. If there was one thing that stood out for me was how sharp this entire unit sounded together, far more creative than they sound on those studio recordings for Severn. In a radio interview Schultz warned me that he was bringing his "A" game, and he did, and also told me that the band had recently done performances where he felt this fine quintet had gelled. He was right again. High marks are in order for Kevin Anker's heady keyboard solos and how attentive he was to the entire band, and more so how he was (almost telepathically) in synch with Schultz. Robinson sounded great all night and showed what a terrific bandleader he is, and flashed some short harp solos as well.
The Triad is a classy room on the second floor on 72nd Street on the upper West Side. There's a cool balcony, too. And it was special to see it nearly packed to the brim. A lot of Tad's and Alex's old buddies were also in attendance rooting on their hometown boys; oth Schultz and Robinson gave several shout-outs to old friends and family members, and to fellow musicians Bobby Radcliff and Brad Vickers of the Vestapolitans, all adding to the cool vibe in the room. Kudos to the Blues Disciples' Jamie Anthony and fellow Blueswax writer Richard Ludmerer for assembling this outstanding band that also included Steve Gomes bass, and Robb Stupka drums. I could not have wanted for a better musical evening. Last but not least, check out the Disciples on-going blues series at at www.triadnyc.com
Bob Putignano a senior contributing editor at BluesWax. He is also the heart of Sounds of Blues at www.SoundsofBlue.com. Bob maybe contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Putignano: www.SoundsofBlue.com