When does an old song become irrelevant, if ever? Does a musical performance have a timeless quality? If something is good once, is it good forever? These questions may be raised when it comes to aging rock stars (though I hesitate to call him that) and guitar players like Robin Trower.
Trower came to prominence in 1967 with the group Procol Harum. Five years later he left and he went to the trio format a la Cream, and Jimi Hendrix. Like Hendrix, Trower wielded a Stratocaster, Univ-Vibe (a guitar effects device), and a wah-wah pedal. At first he was criticized as just another Hendrix clone but Robin outgrew that label with his own brand of psychedelic blues-rock. 1974′s Bridge of Sighs, with the hit “Too Rolling Stoned” became a classic album. If he never played another lick, it cemented Trower’s credentials as a guitar god. But Robin continues to this day to release tasteful material, like his last CD Living Out of Time.
Last year on Trower’s 60th birthday, his performance at Bonn, Germany’s Harmonie club was recorded and filmed. The DVD, released February 21st titled Living Out Of Time (Live) begins with the hit “Too Rolling Stoned” and continues through 12 others like “Day Of the Eagle,” “Bridge Of Sighs,” and “Little Bit Of Sympathy.” In an intimate setting like the Harmonie club, viewers will be treated to close-up shots of Trower’s hands on the fretboard, enabling guitarslingers everywhere to steal licks. By the way, viewers are able to discern Trower’s brand of wah-wah pedal. It’s a Fulltone “Clyde” model.
Included on the DVD is a revealing interview with Trower wherein he talks of his early history, amongst other things.
Music is an art form, like any other it has a timeless quality to it. What is art now is art later. Performers who have something to say musically do not become out-of date nor passé. A kiss is still a kiss.