Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Artistry of Robbie Robertson

Having notched up a total of an amazing 46 years in the business, former Band frontman and renowned Americana folk-rocker Robbie Robertson has well and truly established himself as one of the foremost exponents of heartland rock, a truly visionary singer-songwriter, and one hell of a guitarist to boot. Perhaps the most noteworthy praise of Robertson's skills as an axeman comes from crusty old Bob Dylan, who once cited Robertson as "the only mathematical guitar genius I’ve ever run into who doesn’t offend my intestinal nervousness with his rearguard sound".

Robertson's solo albums span a variety of moods, from spacey, folk-tinged art-rock (his eponymous debut, and still one of the best debut albums ever in late 20th-century rock), to measured New Orleans cadences (his second album, 1991's "Storyville"), to atmospheric Native American tonalities (1994's "Music for the Native Americans" and 1998's "Contact from the Underworld of Redboy").

However, one often overlooked aspect of Robertson's artistry is that he also does a fair amount of soundtrack work, having contributed tracks to and even occasionally scoring films like "King of Comedy", "Any Given Sunday" and "Gangs of New York".

A recent featured song can be found on the soundtrack to fire-fighting flick "Ladder 49", and the song in question is the stately, crafted ballad "Shine Your Light". While the song itself doesn't boast any of Robertson's trademark innovative production touches, it's still a strong, inspired composition that can stand proudly next to any of Robertson's past works. Check out the song and video here.


Post a Comment

<< Home