For many listeners their familiarity with Robin Trower is primarily the trinity of FM radio "album oriented rock" staples "Day of the Eagle" , "Bridge of Sighs" and "Too Rolling Stoned". If that were all he'd ever done it would definitely be sufficient to place him in the constellation of the greats, but there is so much more treasure to be discovered in his recordings.
Sometimes referred to reverently or dismissively as a Hendrix clone, the idea is not valid. True, he used the Magickal alchemical formula of a Fender Stratocaster (with a large headstock) through a Univibe, Wah and Fuzz into a Marshall amp and drew upon many of the same influences, but the resultant sounds are all his own. Transcendent tone, lyrical solos, infectious rhythms , real musicians playing and recording together as a true band and the distinctive voice of James Dewar combine on the 1977 album "In City Dreams" for an ecstatic listening experience.
"In City Dreams" calls into being a palpable feeling of all that was great about 70's rock. As the sounds come from the speakers you can almost see and smell the haze of 10,000 joints rolled on the album covers filling a concert hall, the near psychic unity of performers and audience traveling without moving via sonic vibrations, conversion vans with shag carpet and lava lamps and analog everything . From succinct direct uptempo blues rock of "Farther On Up The Road", to the delicate beauty of "Bluebird" and the hypnotic groove adapted from Ravel's "Bolero" in the title track you're reminded of a time when bands were not afraid to stretch out and let the feel of a songs caress the listener .
If you have enjoyed any of Robin's big 3 radio tunes you will appreciate this wonderful collection of music that has escaped the radio-burn that so many other classics have been subjected to. It's like discovering a pristine ancient temple, a slice of what was .
Fortunately Robin Tower still lives, records and tours, if you have the chance, GO SEE HIM!
~James H., GuitarHD