Tad Robinson – Day Into Night (review)

Tad Robinson – Day Into Night (Severn Records) review

Singer makes soul music effortlessly

Indianapolis singer Tad Robinson has got a knack for creating great soul records.  We raved about his last release, Back in Style, in 2011.  It took him four years, but he’s back with Day Into Night, and it’s well worth the wait.

The record leads off with the breezy “Soul Lover.” Starting with Hammond organ and slinky guitar, the song builds with drums, rhythm guitar, then the horns – creating this simmering R&B groove.  Robinson finally comes in after almost a minute, his voice warm & resonating. It’s a great beginning to the record. There’s nothing contrived about this music; it’s not as if he’s trying to copy a particular sound.  This is simply great music filtered through a true devotee of soul.

“Lonely Talking” features some fantastic fretwork from guest Anson Funderburgh, as Robinson sings of friends taking things too far, while “Love is a Winner” is fueled by some nice jazz chords.

The one track not written by someone in the band is “Lead Me On,” a cover of a Bobby “Blue” Bland song.  The original featured lush strings and slow tempo.  Here, they speed it up, add some killer rhythm guitar and the result is one of the highlights of the record.

The song “Call Me” is included in two completely different versions – the first, in a mid-tempo R&B style, heavy on the organ, and Robinson’s gritty vocals; and the second, in a classic, slow-jam style, with Robinson cooing the lyrics.

Just like a restaurant that has perfected your favorite dish, Tad Robinson knows how to serve up a great soul record.  If you’re a fan of classic R&B, you’ll love this new CD.  —Tony Peters