Tad Robinson returns with a new band, nine new originals, two classic soul gems and A New Point of View.
This collection of modern soul/blues has reverberations of past singers, yet is a forward leap for the music. Truly a hand-made project, A New Point of View was made the “old-school” way with tender loving care. Originals like “Long Way Home” give a nod to Issac Hayes, while Johnnie Taylor’s “Ain’t That Lovin’ You (For More Reasons Than One)” draws more inspiration from Dennis Brown’s version than the original. Each song creates a balance between classic and modern style.
Horn and string arrangements by arranger Willie Henderson (Tyrone Davis, Chi-Lites), burnish the tracks with harmonic sophistication, never sacrificing Robinson’s vocals in the process.
The band’s performance is a marvel of democracy; equal parts blues and soul coming together to create the canvas that Robinson is free to fill with color and personality.
“Robinson’s elegant 2007 album A New Point of View is full of perfectly tailored numbers, from Tad’s own Stax-inspired “Take the Long Way Home” to Johnnie Taylor’s “Ain’t That Lovin’ You” — all buoyed by one of the finest contemporary voices in blues and soul, and by all the classic trimmings: lush horns and strings, poignant guitar playing, and Robinson’s own poised, melodic harmonica.” — Ted Drozdowski
Music. Soul. Blues.
What great avenues of communication. Although my name is on the cover of this disc, the moods, ideas and moments inside result from a musical conversation with some of my favorite players. I don’t even know how to begin to thank my producer, David Earl, the President of Severn Records, for making this collaboration happen. I will be forever grateful to him for the opportunity to record with, what turned out to be a “dream band”, and with one of the all-time great arrangers of soul music, Willie Henderson.
When we arrived at Severn, Maryland in April of 2006 for the session, I brought sketches of songs, a pile of my own lyrics and some way-cool poems from my good friend and great lyricist, John Bean. But it was the band: Alex Schultz, Kevin Anker, Robb Stupka, and Steve Gomes, with the addition of David Earl, that brought the discussion to life. Through their own unique points of view, as well as their immense respect for American roots music, the songs came into focus. We came upon the hooks and the textures through the players’ musical wisdom and intuition. This give-and-take became the language of these grooves.
After the songs were played and began to ‘feel’ good to us, we brought Willie Henderson into the picture to extend the dialogue a step further. Willie heard something that spoke to him. After sequestering himself in a hotel room for a few days, to get some total peace and quiet even from his beloved grandchildren, he emerged with the horn and string arrangements which give the songs the urbane sophistication which is Willie’s stock in trade.
Now the shouts and whispers extend to you, the listener. Thanks for buying this disc. For those of you who are soul/blues aficionados, I hope you hear something new here. For those new to the genre, I hope you too will be moved by the songs. Spend a moment with this collection and complete the cycle of communication. Share with us a snapshot in time, captured, perhaps, from a new point of view. – T.R.
Thanks to: Amy Robinson, David Murray, Chris & Wendy Kerr, Matthew Sturgeon, Bill Mallers, Chris Lieber, David & Jude Finnell, Matthew Socey, Tyler Robinson, Avery Robinson, Craig Curry, Jerry Hecko, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and Dave Jones of Hook Amplifier Co.
Special thanks to: George Lou Pride for inspiration, ideas, encouragement, lyrics and optimism.
Tad Robinson: Vocals and Harmonica
Alex Schultz: Guitars
Kevin Anker: Keyboards
Steve Gomes: Bass
Robb Stupka: Drums
Victor Williams: Percussion
Horns and strings arranged and conducted by Willie Henderson, except tracks 3 and 11 scored, arranged and conducted by David Finnell
Scott Silbert and Ron Diehl: Baritone Saxophones
John Jensen: Trombones
Jeff Antoniuk: Tenor Saxophone
Tim Powell: Tenor Saxophone
Scott Young: Alto Saxophone and Flute
Kenny Rittenhouse: Trumpets and Flugel Horns
Tommy Williams: Trumpets and Flugel Horns
Scott Holbert: Trumpets and Flugel Horns
Brad Clements: Trumpets and Flugel Horns
Ronald A. Friedman: French Horn
Mateuz Wolski: Violins
Lysiane Gravel-Lacombe: Violins
Arvin Gopal: Viola
Alison Bazala: Cello
Paul Holdman: Rhythm Guitar (track 11)
Produced by David Earl, Steve Gomes, Willie Henderson and Tad Robinson
Recorded and mixed at Severn Sound Studio, Severn, MD
Engineered by David Earl
Paul Holdman’s guitar recorded by Chris Lieber at Ripple FX:, Indianapolis, IN
Mixed by David Earl, Jimmy Earl, Steve Gomes, Willie Henderson and Tad Robinson
Mastered by Charlie Pilzer, Airshow Mastering, Springfield, VA
Design by Al Brandtner, Brandtner Design, Chicago, IL
Photography by Amy Robinson
Back cover photo by Amber Bowers