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Complete Trix Recordings
Robert Lockwood Jr.
Complete Trix Recordings
Genres: Blues, Pop
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #2

Robert Lockwood Jr., a legendary bluesman in his own right, learned to play guitar from another legend: Robert Johnson. It's hard to go wrong with that kind of musical background, and indeed Lockwood has remained a vital f...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Robert Lockwood Jr.
Title: Complete Trix Recordings
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: 32. Jazz Records
Original Release Date: 2/23/1999
Release Date: 2/23/1999
Genres: Blues, Pop
Styles: Chicago Blues, Delta Blues, Traditional Blues, Electric Blues, Acoustic Blues
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 604123210928

Robert Lockwood Jr., a legendary bluesman in his own right, learned to play guitar from another legend: Robert Johnson. It's hard to go wrong with that kind of musical background, and indeed Lockwood has remained a vital force in the blues up through the 1990s. The Complete Trix Recordings features Lockwood's work for the Trix label in the 1970s, including Contrasts and ...Does 12, two excellent albums that didn't receive the acclaim they deserved at the time of their initial release. This double-CD set features many original Lockwood compositions, such as "Little Boy Blue," "Forever on My Mind," and "Down Home Cooking." There are also quite a few covers of the Master himself, including "Terraplane Blues," "Walkin' Blues," and "Dust My Broom." Overall it's a very solid effort from one of the most enduring and versatile bluesmen in the business. --Genevieve Williams

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CD Reviews

Keeping the blues alive
Tyler Smith | Denver, CO United States | 05/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Lockwood, a key figure in the development of the modern blues tradition in the Mississippi Delta, recorded the two CDs included in this set in the early and mid-'70s. He shows off his distinctive, gruff voice, his guitar versatility, and a surprising range of material. One strength of the blues is its timelessness: you listen to Lockwood sing "Walkin' Blues" and you hear the echoes of hundreds of artists who have taken their turn at working the song. Its endurance is comforting. Still, you need guys like Lockwood to keep the tradition alive and dynamic. "Walkin' Blues," Robert Johnson's "Terraplane Blues," "Dust My Broom," "Drivin' Wheel," and other classics are fresh and vital on these CDs, no mere rehashes of earlier versions. His guitar is muscular, enlivened by blues, soul and jazz riffs. His band, fortified by saxophone, cooks right along with him.Listen to the raw emotion of "This Is the Blues" on disc 2, and it's clear that Lockwood's voice is an authentic link to the long-vanished past. But listen to him blast through the jazzy "Majors, Minors, and Ninths" on disc 1 and you realize that this is a musician who never stopped listening to the sounds all around him. It's no wonder Lockwood resents questions about his link to Robert Johnson. Lockwood is a blues legend in his own right, a man who has built a memorable musical life in the nearly 60 years since Johnson's death. Highly recommended CD at a great price."
Stunning double dose of blues
Pitoucat | UK | 09/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This release collects together what are possibly Robert Lockwood Jr's best albums of all time: 'Contrasts', recorded in 1973 and '... Does 12' from two years later, both produced by Pete Lowry and originally issued on his Trix label.

Lockwood was born in 1915, and it's common knowledge that when he was around 15 years old his mother began living with Robert Johnson, the (slightly) older musician becoming a big musical influence and also travelling companion to the younger Robert. That influence is reflected here, by the coverage of some of Johnson's songs ('Dust My Broom', 'Walkin' Blues', 'Terraplane Blues', 'Little Queen Of Spades') as well as a few in a similar style ('Little Boy Blue', a reprise of his 1941 Bluebird recording, 'Driving Wheel', 'Mr. Down Child', and 'Empty Life'). I'm usually wary of other people's covers of the songs of Robert Johnson, but in this case I find that I have no objections whatsoever. These are the definitive updates, especially in the case of the powerful 'Terraplane Blues' which is even more awesome than Johnson's original, if that's possible.

Lockwood also gives a nod to the roots of the blues in 'Lonely Man', a version of Blind Lemon's 'Matchbox Blues', and 'King Biscuit Time' reflects the period in the 1940s when he was a regular on the Helena, Arkansas radio show of that name alongside Rice Miller (Sonny Boy Number 2). But it's the sheer versatility and range of styles that particularly impresses on these recordings. Lockwood virtually traces the complete development of the blues from its roots, up through boogie and jump blues, to modern sounds, with a salute to jazz along the way. The title 'Contrasts' is totally apt.

The guitar work is quite stunning, and shows much sophistication on numbers such as 'Annie's Boogie', 'Down Home Cooking' and the jazz-like 'Majors, Minors & Ninths', 'Red Top', and 'Half Steppin'', where comparison with some of the jazz guitar masters would not be amiss. On the second disc the title '... Does 12' refers to the fact that this was made just after Lockwood began playing an electric twelve-string guitar, and these sides demonstrate the unique sound he was able to extract from that instrument, even if a little of the 'bite' heard on the first disc is lacking. On many tracks Lockwood is accompanied on tenor sax by Maurice Reedus, who adds his own swinging solo and ensemble contributions to one of the tightest outfits around. This is a wonderful double CD of Robert Lockwood Jr at his very best, and a most welcome reissue. Don't miss it!
Robert always UNDER-rated
Bill | Cleveland Ohio | 02/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am a friend of Roberts, and I know much more than most people know about him. Through the years I notice many people underrating Robert. His ties to Johnson have very little bearing on how great the man plays guitar. Robert plays the music better than Johnson did himself. Robert can play the changes.Robert scared the sh*t out of Johnson when he was 15 years old. Johnson would pretend he was drunk at times just because Lockwood was playing better during a performance. Johnson being his stepfather just is part of the story. When Robert travels he gets standing ovations from hundreds of people playing BY HIMSELF!! It is sad to see people who believe it is due to Lockwood being Johnsons stepson. Lockwood has maintained his identity and developed the music Johnson taught him into a greater style. Lockwood is in the Blues Hall of fame, has a street named for him, has a special Robert Lockwood Jr. day in Cleveland,recieved a degree in music,recieved $10,000 dollars from Clinton in 1998, had two grammy Nominations, won several WC. Handy awards and the list goes on.. There is no way that he recieved all this because of his ties to Johnson.The Trix Recordings were recorded with excellence. Maurice Reedus and Gene Schwartz whom are on these cd's, are still performing with the man. Robert is 89 years old and still is a reelin and a Rockin""