Sunday, April 20, 2014

bridge of sighs

Robin Trower crossed the bridge into his signature sound with the hazy hypnotic honey of this soulful psychedelic blues.  Born in Catford, England; Trower had started R&B group the Paramounts before he was invited into Procol Harum with former bandmates  Gary Brooker and B.J. Wilson.  It was just after their big hit single  'A Whiter Shade of Pale' that joined the group to record five albums  ('Procol Harum', 'Shine on Brightly', 'A Salty Dog', 'Home'and 'Broken Barricades').  

He went solo in 1973 with 'Twice Removed From Yesterday'.   It was with his second album that Trower would come into his own.   As with the debut, 'Bridge of Sighs' was produced by Procol Harum organist Matthew Fisher.  Geoff Emerick was the engineer for the sessions at Olympic and AIR studios in London that featured the trio of Robin Trower on guitar;   James Dewar on bass and vocals;  and Reg Isidore on drums.    'Bridge of Sighs'  became Trower's biggest success, peaking at number seven in the US and going gold.

Trower reflects:    "Part of [that 'Bridge of Sighs' kind of airy sound] is the Deja Vibe... I think a lot of different inspirations went into that album. I think um...obviously you know...I was trying to write...what I was trying to write...what I call a rhythm and blues rock album. In other words...something that...combined what I liked about rhythm and know...James Brown, B.B King, and....Donny Hathaway, who I was really into at the time. And combine that with the rock of Hendrix and Cream, sort of like that, you know. That was really what the album was about ... I do still enjoy all of that stuff.  It is very potent music and it carries you. The songs, themselves, are so potent that I love playing them.  Particularly, I love playing “Bridge of Sighs.” ... you don’t come up with one of those [opening riffs] every day ...  I think a lot of it is on the volume control...of the guitar...and the strength of the know how hard you hit the strings. It's a combination know...volumes hard you hit in the end of the pre-amp of the amplifier... I use a thing for the chorus, kind of effect, a thing called a Deja Vibe, and a Vox wah wah ... Early James Brown was a very big influence for me; he’s still my favorite artist even now, especially his live albums like, ‘Live at The Apollo’ which is exceptional and so inspired me. He set a standard with his band and his music and took it to a whole new level, it became a benchmark. Not only that, obviously there was a lot of other music, like I said …Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Albert King being my favorite blues guitar player, Jimi Hendrix my favorite rock and roll guitar player … there’s a lot of people who are important to me. But I was definitely inspired by rhythm and blues and popular music from America...Obviously [Jimi Hendrix] was a big influence on me, especially early on when I first started my band. But I always felt the songwriting and music I wrote were definitely my own.”

'Bridge of Sighs'

full album:

All tracks composed by Robin Trower; except where indicated

"Day of the Eagle" – 4:59
"Bridge of Sighs" – 5:05
"In This Place" – 4:28
"The Fool and Me" (Trower, James Dewar) – 3:57
"Too Rolling Stoned" – 7:29
"About to Begin" – 3:43
"Lady Love" (Trower, James Dewar) – 3:21

"Little Bit of Sympathy" – 4:20

No comments:

Post a Comment