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Mellow Fellow

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Album Review

Clearly, the folks at Sound Stage 7 Records had no idea what Fenton Robinson was all about during his 1970-1971 stay there. Hell, they even took the guitar out of his hands altogether at one dreadful session reproduced on this 19-track retrospective in its entirety, entrusting the lead work instead to some pitiful rock players better left anonymous. The last few sides are much better — "Little Turch" actually sounds like Robinson, his elegant guitar work back up front where it belongs.


Born: 23 September 1935 in Greenwood, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

His Japanese fans reverently dubbed Fenton Robinson "the mellow blues genius" because of his ultra-smooth vocals and jazz-inflected guitar work. But beneath the obvious subtlety resides a spark of constant regeneration -- Robinson tirelessly strives to invent something fresh and vital whenever he's near a bandstand. The soft-spoken Mississippi native got his career going in Memphis, where he'd moved at age 16. First, Rosco Gordon used him on a 1956 session for Duke that produced "Keep on Doggin'."...
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Mellow Fellow, Fenton Robinson
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