b. September 23rd, 1935 in Greenwood (Mississippi)

d. November 25th, 1997 in Rockford (Missouri)

COMPLETE EARLY RECORDINGS

Blue Eye blog (mp3)

March 1957 - 1969

Il apprend la guitare grâce à l'enseignement d'un voisin nommé Sonny Hampton. Mais, plus tard, sa principale influence sera T-Bone Walker. Il forme son premier groupe avec son ami Charles Mac Gowan. Originaire du Mississippi, Fenton quitte à 18 ans le domicile familial pour rejoindre Memphis. Entre 1953 et 1961, Fenton habite à Little Rock, animant une émission radiophonique sur KXLR, enregistrant un simple chez Meteor (accompagné par son ami d'enfance Charles Mac Gowan) ou il n'est que chanteur. Mais, c'est son passage chez Duke en 1958-59 qui lui permet de graver un chapelet de titres remarquables : "Mississippi steamboat", l'instrumental "The freeze" ou "As the years go passing by" (écrit par Peppermint Harris, interprété la première fois par Fenton Robinson mais signé par Don Robey). Chez Duke, il accompagnera également Larry Davis sur le célèbre "Texas flood". Arrivé à Chicago en 1961, Fenton forme un nouveau groupe qui deviendra un pilier du club Theresa's pendant plusieurs années. En parrallèle, il grave les superbes "Say you're leaving" et "Directly from my heart" pour le label USA. Pour une autre petite structure - Giant - il montrera ses magnifiques talents de chanteur et de guitariste : "I put my baby in high society", "Farmer's son", "Keep on grooving me baby", "Fenton-a-soul". Mais, son chef-d'oeuvre sera enregistré pour Palos en 1967. Il s'agit du somptueux "Somebody loan me a dime", devenu aujourd'hui un standard du blues. A noter que ces morceaux furent enregistrés avec les musiciens de B.B. King (Bobby Forte, Kenneth Sands, Sonny Freeman).

He learned guitar through the teaching of a neighbor named Sonny Hampton. But later, his main influence will be T-Bone Walker. He formed his first band with his friend Charles Mac Gowan. A native of Mississippi, Fenton left the family home at 18 years old to join Memphis. Between 1953 and 1961, Fenton lives in Little Rock, hosting a radio program on KXLR, recording a single on Meteor (accompanied by his childhood friend Charles Mac Gowan) in which he is only singer. But, it is his stint at Duke in 1958-59 that allow him to cut a string of outstanding sides : "Mississippi steamboat", the instrumental "The freeze" or "As the years go passing by" (written by Peppermint Harris, played the first time by Fenton Robinson but signed by Don Robey). At Duke, he will also accompany Larry Davis on the famous "Texas flood". Arrived in Chicago in 1961, Fenton form a new band that will become a mainstay of Theresa's club for many years. In the same time, he writes beautiful "Say you're leaving" and "Directly from my heart" for USA label. For another small imprint - Giant - he shows his wonderful skills as a singer and as a guitarist : "I put my baby in high society", "Farmer's son", "Keep on grooving me baby", "Fenton-a-soul". But his masterpiece will be recorded for Palos in 1967. This is the sumptuous "Somebody loan me a dime", now a blues standard. Note that these tracks were recorded with B.B. King musicians (Bobby Forte, Kenneth Sands, Sonny Freeman).

MELLOW BLUES GENIUS

P-Vine

1966 - 1969 / 1974

Pendant longtemps, il n'y avait que ce rare album japonais pour écouter les premiers titres de Fenton Robinson, notamment sa production pour Giant. On y retrouve donc quelques uns de ses meilleurs morceaux : "I put my baby in high society", "7-11 blues", "Keep on groovin' me baby", "Somebody loan me a dime" (pour Palos). Autre rareté : on peut écouter une séance inédite de 1974 (avec des musiciens restés inconnus) composée de quatre morceaux qui avaient été initialement gravés pour le label PM mais jamais commercialisés. Parmi ceux-ci, on peut signaler le superbe "Nothing but a fool" (avec un extraordinaire solo de guitare) mais aussi "Blue monday blues" et la reprise de "One room country shack". Cette sélection constitue un excellent panorama du début de carrière de Fenton Robinson.

For a long time, there was only this rare japanese album to listen to Fenton Robinson's first titles, especially his production for Giant. We thus find here some of his best tracks : "I put my baby in high society", "7-11 blues", "Keep on groovin' me baby", "Somebody loan me a dime" (for Palos). Another rarity : you can listen an 1974 unissued session (with remained unknown musicians) composed of four sides that were originally cut for the PM label but never commercialized. Of these, we can point out the beautiful "Nothing but a fool" (with an amazing guitar solo) but also "Blue monday blues" and the cover of "One room country shack". This selection provides an excellent overview of Fenton Robinson early career.

MONDAY MORNING BOOGIE & BLUES

Seventy 7

MELLOW FELLOW

Charly

THE GETAWAY

Vivid Sound

1970 - 1971

Gravées à Nashville et à Muscle Shoals sous la houlette de John Richbourg et Tim Drummond, ces séances présentent Fenton dans un environnement totalement inepte, bien loin de son blues stylisé et élégant. Arrangements rock voire acid-rock surchargés (choristes, cuivres, cordes), guitares suramplifiées et distordues, rythmiques monolithiques, on n'entend pas (ou peu) la guitare de Fenton. Même sa belle voix a du mal à émerger. La plupart des morceaux ressortent donc complètement dénaturés ("Little red rooster", "Smokestack lightning", "Leave you in the arms of your another man", "Sideman"). Deux titres ont, tout de même, retenu mon attention, "Little turch" et "She's a wiggler". Quel dommage qu'un tel bluesman fut ainsi négligé ! Le CD Charly "Mellow fellow" regroupe la sélection complète de ces séances pour Seventy 7.

Cut in Nashville and Muscle Shoals under the leadership of John Richbourg and Tim Drummond, these sessions showcases Fenton in a totally inept environment, far from his stylish and elegant blues. Rock or acid-rock overloaded arrangements (backing singers, horns, strings), overamplified and distorted guitars, monolithic rhythm, we do not hear (or little) Fenton's guitar. Even his beautiful voice is struggling to emerge. Most of the tracks stand out completely denatured ("Little red rooster", "Smokestack lightning", "Leave you in the arms of your another man", "Sideman"). Two titles have, nonetheless, caught my attention, "Little turch" and "She's a wiggler". What a shame that such a bluesman was so neglected ! "Mellow Fellow" Charly CD includes the complete selection of those Seventy 7 sessions.

SOMEBODY LOAN ME A DIME

Alligator

August 1974

Entre 1971 et 1972, Fenton Robinson accompagne l'harmoniciste Charlie Musselwhite. Il a fallu attendre 1974 pour qu'enfin il puisse graver un album à la hauteur de son talent. Grâce à Bruce Iglauer, le patron d'Alligator, c'est enfin chose faite. Parfaitement produit par ce dernier et entouré d'un groupe extraordinaire mené par "Mighty" Joe Young, il livre ici un disque qui fait date. Sa voix profonde et émouvante et son jeu de guitare précis et délié sont à leurs meilleurs niveaux. Tous les morceaux présentés dans cet opus s'avèrent remarquables, sans exception : "Somebody loan me a dime", "The getaway", "Directly from my heart to you", "You don't know what love is", "Country girl", "Gotta wake up". Selon la Blues Discography, il y aurait plusieurs autres morceaux provenant de ces séances qui seraient restés inédits. Un album indispensable à toute discothèque de Chicago Blues. A noter aussi une très belle photographie de couverture sur le LP original.

Between 1971 and 1972, Fenton Robinson accompanies the harmonicist Charlie Musselwhite. It was not until 1974 that finally he can cut an album at the height of his skill. Thanks to Bruce Iglauer, head of Alligator, it's finally done. Perfectly produced by the latter and surrounded by an extraordinary backing band led by "Mighty" Joe Young, he delivers here an album that marks his time. His deep, soulful voice and his precise and nimble guitar playing are at their best levels. All the tracks presented in this opus are really remarkable, without exception : "Somebody loan me a dime", "The getaway", "Directly from my heart to you", "You don't know what love is", "Country girl", "Gotta wake up". According to the Blues Discography, there are several other songs from these sessions that remain unissued. An essential album for any blues collection. Note also a beautiful photograph cover on the original LP.

THE DEVIL'S MUSIC

Red Lightnin'

Indigo

January 1976

Recueil discographique édité par Red Lightnin' d'un documentaire sur le blues réalisé pour la télévision anglaise (BBC) ou figure Fenton Robinson. Il y interprète deux belles versions de "Somebody loan me a dime" et "You don't know what love is".

Discographical collection issued by Red Lightnin' from a documentary on the blues made for british television (BBC) which features Fenton Robinson. He interprets two beautiful versions of "Somebody loan me a dime" and "You don't know what love is".

I HEAR SOME BLUES DOWNSTAIRS

Alligator

July - August 1977

Après l'immense réussite artistique qu'était "Somebody loan me a dime", Fenton trouve l'opportunité de graver un second album pour Alligator. Encore une fois, le résultat est magnifique. Il a opté pour un son un peu plus funky que précédemment notamment sur "Just a little bit" et "I wish for you". Sa virtuosité au chant et à la guitare restent à leur zénith. L'inspiration aussi : ses compositions personnelles sont remarquables ("I hear some blues downstairs", "I'm so tired" et une superbe nouvelle version de "As the years go passing by"). A noter une jolie illustration de couverture signée Chuck Nitti.

After the huge artistic success that was "Somebody loan me a dime", Fenton finds the opportunity to record a second album for Alligator. Once again, the result is magnificent. He opted for a little funkier sound than before notably on "Just a little bit" and "I wish for you". His virtuosity on vocals and guitar remain at their zenith. Inspiration also : his own compositions are remarkable ("I hear some blues downstairs", "I'm so tired" and a stunning new version of "As the years go passing by"). Note a nice cover artwork signed Chuck Nitti.

BLUES IN PROGRESS

Black Magic

NIGHTFLIGHT

Alligator

February 1984

A la suite d'un accident de la route, Fenton Robinson est inculpé pour homicide involontaire et incarcéré à Joliet en février 1975. Après quelques mois de détention, il est libéré et reprend, tant bien que mal, sa carrière de musicien. Il retourne vivre à Little Rock. Sollicité par ses admirateurs européens et notamment hollandais, il peut graver cet album pour la marque Black Magic. Un peu moins inventives que les faces Alligator, celles-ci demeurent tout de même franchement réussies : "I found out yesterday", "Slow walkin'", "Nightflight", "Schoolboy", "Crazy crazy lovin'". D'après la Blues Discography, les cuivres et l'harmonica ont été enregistré en overdubs.

Following a car accident, Fenton Robinson is charged with manslaughter and jailed in Joliet in february 1975. After a few months of detention, he is released and resume his musical career. He returned to live in Little Rock. Solicited by his european and especially dutch fans, he can burn this album for Black Magic imprint. A little less inventive than the Alligator sides, they remain nonetheless frankly successful : "I found out yesterday", "Slow walkin'", "Nightflight", "Schoolboy", "Crazy crazy lovin'". According to the Blues Discography, horns and harmonica were overdubbed.

THE FIRST BURNLEY BLUES FESTIVAL

JSP

March 1989

THE PAUL JONES R&B SHOW vol.3

JSP

March 1989

Il s'agit d'un recueil d'une émission de radio pour la BBC animée par Paul Jones. Fenton Robinson interprète quatre morceaux accompagné de belle manière par le Norman Beaker Band.

This is a collection of a radio broadcast for the BBC hosted by Paul Jones. Fenton Robinson plays four songs nicely accompanied by Norman Beaker Band.

SPECIAL ROAD

Black Magic

Evidence

April 1989

Encore une fois : production impeccable, contenu artistique également. Fenton se montre particulièrement inspiré au chant et à la guitare. Plusieurs merveilleux moments : "Love is just a gamble", "Special road", "Cryin' the blues", "Slick and greasy", "Blue monday", "Money problem" et une version totalement renouvelée de "Baby please don't go". Son dernier album se range donc parmi ses meilleures réussites et fait regretter qu'il n'ait pas pu enregistrer plus souvent pendant sa carrière.

Once again : faultless production, artistic content as well. Fenton is particularly inspired on both vocals and guitar. Many wonderful moments : "Love is just a gamble", "Special road", "Cryin' the blues", "Slick and greasy", "Blue monday", "Money problem" and a completely renewed version of "Baby please don't go". His latest album is thus ranks among his best achievements and makes one regret that he did not record more often during his career.

>