It appears blues guitarist Duke Robillard will be joining Bob Dylan’s touring band next year.
The following was posted yesterday to the Byron Bay Bluesfest forum (with typos fixed):
Duke Robillard was to be toured by an Australian Blues promoter who had sold a date on the tour to Bluesfest.
It has transpired that he was unable to get the number of shows needed to proceed with the tour, and then advised us, and Duke’s agent, he was canceling.
Bluesfest then attempted to resurrect the tour, but found it impossible when Duke Robillard subsequently advised he needed to cut the tour short due to his being appointed by Bob Dylan as his new guitar player – and needing to get back to the US by April 1 for rehearsals, and only being available for a much shorter run of dates, which did not make coming to Australia at this time viable…
Robillard, a co-founding member of Roomful Of Blues, was brought in by Dylan to play on his 1997 album “Time Out Of Mind.” According to Olof, Robillard appeared on the following songs from those sessions: “Million Miles,” “Tryin’ To Get To Heaven,” “Can’t Wait,” “Mississippi,” “Red River Shore,” and “Marchin’ To The City.”
Here is a quote from engineer Mark Howard about the sessions, courtesy Uncut magazine:
(Co-producer Daniel Lanois) had put together a band, and then Dylan had put out the call for these guys like Jim Dickinson, Augie Meyers, Duke Robillard, Cindy Cashdollar. Dylan brought in all these Nashvile people, and I think that made Dan a little mental having all these Nashville strummers strumming, it was a bit too much. As I’m sure Jim Dickinson has said, there were a lot of ingredients in there that you don’t actually hear on the record, because things were filtered down so we could take a cleaner path on some of them.
As of now, dates posted on the Duke Robillard Band’s tour page still list shows past April 1.
This development has not been confirmed by Dylan’s management. It is unclear who, if anyone, Robillard will be replacing in Dylan’s touring band.
Of course Robillard’s career expands much wider than his time short time with Dylan. After his stint with Roomful Of Blues, he played with the Fabulous Thunderbirds for a few years before forming his own band. He has played with everyone from Pinetop Perkins and Jimmy Witherspoon to Jay Geils and Tom Waits. He has been nominated for many awards, including Grammys for Best Contemporary Blues Album (2007) and Best Traditional Blues Album (2010).
Keep up with Bob Dylan Examiner news. Just click on Subscribe above, or follow @DylanExaminer on Twitter. Harold Lepidus also writes the Performing Arts column for rootshed.com. Thanks for your support.