Another treat at the Blues Fest should be the first Florida appearance of Chicago's Tad Robinson. His latest CD, Last Go Round (Delmark), displays Robinson's arresting yet mellifluous voice, as well as some mean harmonica blowing. It puts him at home in a wide variety of styles, from straight-ahead Little Walter-esque shuffles to stirring soul ballads a la Otis Clay. If that resultant sound makes this white singer sound almost, well, black, it's not a fact lost on Robinson.
"Muddy Waters said the voice is the one place where white musicians failed. Every day is a test," he says with a sigh. Regardless there's a universality to the blues that encourages him. "Blues artists have a way of drawing from their emotional lives and expressing their deepest feelings," Robinson offers. "They have a sensitivity to feelings of happiness and darkness and the ability to relate them to a common denominator we all share." As for those who would still question and denigrate the role of a white artist in all this, Robinson replies, "Strike me dead, then. I'm doing what I love."
Blues Fest '99 takes place from Friday, April 9 through Sunday, April 11 in front of the Mozart Stube Restaurant, 325 Alcazar Ave, Coral Gables. Admission is free. For more information call 305-446-1600. For a detailed list of artists and performance times, see "Concerts," page 105.