Robin Trower - Joyful Sky
by Kevin Wierzbicki
This is a first for guitar god Trower: an album featuring a female lead vocalist. Trower is not a singer and he's worked with different vocalists over the years and shares the spotlight here with blues rocker Sari Schorr, a powerhouse singer that Trower was so taken with that he wrote the entirety of Joyful Sky
with her in mind. Working in Trower's favored power trio format, the lineup here is Schorr on vocals, Chris Taggert on drums and Robin playing both guitar and bass. Trower has always shined with slow and smoky arrangements and he and Schorr absolutely simmer on the bluesy opening cut "Burn;" fans of Sass Jordan, especially her recent blues releases, will hear similarities in Schorr's style on cuts like "I'll Be Moving On" and "The Distance" where Trower's guitar work is instantly recognizable as him. On "Peace of Mind" Robin's playing recalls the gentler side of Jimi Hendrix while "Change It" has blues rocking riffs that fans of Stevie Ray Vaughan will dig. "Joyful Sky" is another track where Trower fans will hear his almost patented sound while "Need for You" finds both Robin and Sari injecting a serious dose of funk into the cut. "The Circle is Complete" would have fit nicely on Trower's breakthrough album Bridge of Sighs
; closing cut "I Will Always Be Your Shelter" is slow and emotional, both in Trower's evocative playing and Schorr's heartfelt vocals. Joyful Sky
is a stellar addition to the Trower catalog and hopefully he'll work again with Schorr in the future.