Robin Trower – “Bridge of Sighs”
Let us suppose for a moment, that the timeless legend regarding Robert Johnson was true; that a young musician had made a pact with the devil at the crossroads so that he might gain a masterful level of guitar prowess that only our dear Lucifer could possibly bestow. Let us also suppose that this curious act of bargaining with one’s soul could be engaged in successfully by any who dared have communion with the insidious. Now, imagine yourself as one who venture to undertake such a task.
You’ve said your words, spilled some blood, and are in the right place at the right time for the devil to appear; and he does, guitar in hand.
Contemplate now, what the devil would perform for you to reassure you that you’ve made the right choice. That song, at least in my humble opinion, would be the title track to the Robin Trower album, “Bridge of Sighs”. Released on April 20th, 1974, “Bridge of Sighs” was the second solo album by ex-Procol Harum guitarist Robin Trower, an exceptionally gifted blues rock guitarist, who had never received the recognition he is much deserving of.
With the addition of James Dewar on bass/vocals and Reg Isidore on drums, this magnificent power trio created some of the most noteworthy hard rocking blues of the early 1970’s. Although sadly, hardly anyone has heard of the man, the band, or the “Bridge of Sighs” album. Despite the fact that it actually made the Billboard charts at the time and it still a widely available release, today it remains relatively obscure to many younger listeners.
The title track “Bridge of Sighs” is what initially drew me to this album; a very emotional and atmospheric song, loaded to the gills with some of the most impeccable blues rock guitar riffing ever. Any fan of rock, blues, stoner, doom, fuzz etcetera, would be well advised to let this sonic masterpiece wash over them. The soulful vocals of James Dewar give this track an other worldly atmosphere, while still maintaining a sorrowful swagger throughout. Simply incredible. The overall production of the album is typical of early 70’s rock. All elements of the band shine with crystal clarity.
Don’t get me wrong; the rest of the album isn’t shit, by any means. They are all equally enjoyable 70’s blues rock songs, which serve merely to act as the crown that houses the jewel of the title track. Upon first obtaining a copy of the album many years ago, I admittedly sent most of my time on the song “Bridge of Sighs”. At that time, the rest of the album was inconsequential for me. Over the years, however, I have found every remaining track on the album to have grown on me just as much. The album as a whole is truly a timeless classic of 70’s fuzz rock, that will very much appeal to the listeners of Fuzz FM.
Seriously, as soon as you are finished reading this, do yourself a favor and listen to the song “Bridge of Sighs”. I cannot stress enough how bad ass this god damn song is. While you’re listening, think back to the Robert Johnson scenario we visited early, and I think you will agree wholeheartedly that the devil has always had the best tunes.
Hailing from Franklin, Ohio, Grim has been writing reviews for Fuzz FM since April 12, 2017