Robin Trower

Thirty-two years after winning GP’s “Guitarist of the Year Award” in 1974, Robin Trower remains one of the world’s most dramatic and cinematic players. In an exclusive interview for GP readers, Trower offered to critique his own work—which makes for a very special and intimate installment of Oeuvre Easy.


Bridge of Sighs, 1974

“We recorded Bridge of Sighs with three mics set at different distances from the amps by Geoff Emerick, who was the Beatles’ engineer,” remembers Trower. “I don’t believe that had been done before. Given the size of the room—which was large enough for an audience—and the fact I was playing very loud through two Marshall stacks, the guitar sound was big. Reg Isidore [drums], James Dewar [bass and vocals], and I had been playing together for a while, and we were well rehearsed.”

Robin Trower Live!, 1976

“We were playing for a radio broadcast, and we had no idea it was being recorded. We were loose and uninhibited, and we played one of our best shows. I’ll let you in on a secret about that version of ‘Rock Me, Baby.’ I took the guitar line from Earl Hooker’s slide playing on Muddy Waters’ ‘You Shook Me.’”

Another Day Blues, 2005

“This was the closest I have gotten to playing the blues the way I hear it and feel it. I think ‘Extermination Blues’ is the highlight for me, and I played some slide in standard tuning on it. If my playing has anything to offer, I hope it’s the deep feeling of the blues—which is the greatest and most primal music. I think that feeling is best exemplified by Albert King, who’s my Number One. Someone once told me Albert was the only guitar player who scared Jimi Hendrix [laughs].”


In City Dreams, 1977

“The song-oriented, R&B feel on this record was heavily influenced by James [Dewar] and his soulful vocals. I was also experimenting with new paths of expression. I used a Tychobrahe Para pedal wah that had a very wide sweep—it could get very deep—and an Electro-Harmonix Electric Mistress along with an octave divider. I was interested in combining my effects in ways I had not previously tried. It almost sounded like a synthesizer. I also found that the acoustic sound of an unplugged Strat can be very inspiring.”

B.L.T., 1981

Truce, 1982

“These were my two collaborations with Jack Bruce and drummer Bill Lordan [combined in 1989 as No Stopping Anytime], and they are much better than the ‘radio-friendly,’ solo work I was coerced into doing at the time. Jack’s playing was amazing.”

Living Out of Time Live, 2006

“This gave me a chance to breathe some new life into old songs such as ‘Too Rolling Stoned,’ ‘Daydream,’ ‘Day of the Eagle,’ and ‘Bridge of Sighs,’ as well as showcase some more recent material. I was nervous, because we had not played together for several years, and we just had a few weeks to prepare. Happily, musical ideas keep coming to me.”


Passion, 1987

Take What You Need, 1988

In the Line of Fire, 1990

“I started to lose my confidence around Long Misty Days (1976), and that was combined with the record company’s feeling I had to get songs on the radio to sell albums. I regret everything about these recordings—including the cover art. For about five years, I actually felt like stopping.”