Born: September 23, 1935 | Died: November 25, 1997 Primary Instrument: Guitar, electric
With his subtle, probing guitar and soaring voice, Fenton Robinson represented the smoother side of the Chicago blues sound. In fact, though he originally came from Mississippi, Fenton's style had more in common with the swinging Texas string-benders than his Delta contemporaries. His elaborate chordal progressions on guitar recall the jazz-flavored work of his hero, T-Bone Walker, as well as B.B. King. His soulful vocals and unique songwriting style led the way for such contemporary blues artists as Robert Cray.
Fenton was a singular songwriter. He composed a dozen blues classics, but none better known than Somebody Loan Me A Dime, originally recorded as a 45 in the late 1960s, and re-recorded as the title cut of his first Alligator release in 1974. His expressive and exquisitely crafted guitar style, compelling voice and songwriting skills put Fenton in a league of his own. Robinson went on to release two more albums on Alligator, 1978's “I Hear Some Blues Downstairs,” and 1984's “Nightflight,” both acclaimed by blues critics and fans around the world....