2015 saw Pete Robson release his debut album, The Red Album. It featured a familiar style of blues with his own twist. It embodied what blues is all about with its grounded storytelling and mesmerising guitar style. Tracks such as “Working Man” highlighted his way with words, while “Leaving the City” showcased his musical talents as his fingers danced around his guitar to create a sublime soundtrack. The combinator of his growl-like vocals, resonator and stompbox creates music worthy of our listening time.
Robson is ready to deliver another collection of songs with his style of stripped-back blues. In the day, they recorded music of this genre in one take. To help capture the feel of a live performance, Robson decided to use this technique for his new album Nobody Wins. It helped to record stories about “love, loss and hard times, and as the title suggests, there are no winners in these songs”. He recorded the album at home but mastered by Tom Jobling at Mill Farm Studio.
Like his debut album, Nobody Wins knows what it wants to be. Here is another collection of songs filled with grounded storytelling and a soundtrack soaked in the blues. Its opening track, “I Don’t Know (what the hell is going on)”, perfectly balances these traits. It opens with a captivating blues riff on his resonator guitar that chugs along. As for his words, he talks about how crazy the world has become. A feeling stated in his opening lines, “Well I work a 9 to 5 / Don’t pay much, but I survive / And I don’t know what the hell is going on”. His lyrics reflect how we all feel in these crazy times.
Pete Robson knows how he want to sound and the stories he wants to share. His album ‘Nobody Wins’ is all about the blues, enough said.
As his opening track reflected, blues is all about feelings, and they don’t always tell a happy tale. Robson keeps to the roots of this genre as he shares each of his songs. Some may be a little cliche, but never in a negative way. With moments like “Passionate Fool” talking about how his woman has left him and he’s lost without her. He sums it up in its chorus by singing, “And I swear that I miss you / Cause I’m a passionate fool / That’s why I do the stupid things that I do / I got this broken heart from you”. You can hear the regret in his gruff tone, showcasing his captivating storytelling qualities.
While others like “Bastards Still Want More” express frustration with the world. The title says it all, but so does the chorus, “And when they’ve taken all I can give / The bastards still want more”. He shares his words with his growly voice, adding authenticity to his work. It’s not all doom and gloom. Some moments will make you smile, like “The Mushroom Song”. He sets the stage with, “I got mushrooms in my garden / Gonna make a little mushroom tea / Invite my family for dinner / Gonna put a little mushroom in”.
To accompany his stories is his guitar. It is like a second voice that creates a variety of moods to help enrich each track. “Always Find a Drink” sees his six-string in a playful manner with a cool groove. While “Jeans” ups the tempo and gets your feet tapping as it moves to its own beat. He can slow things down to deliver some moody blues, as highlighted by “Nightcap”. No matter the song, he never fails to impress as his fingers dance around his guitar. It steals the spotlight at times with some sublime solo moments.
Nobody Wins is filled with great songs, but one continues to stand out above the rest with every listen. The reason for this, it perfectly blends his captivating blues sound and storytelling. The track in question is “Frank”, which talks about the man in the title. It opens up with an upbeat vibe on Robson’s guitar, and then the story begins, “Frank’s a lucky son of a bitch / Has been all his life / All ways landed on his feet / Probably got nine lives”. The lyrics feature no hook or usual songwriting structure. It is a simple and mesmerising tale from beginning to end with twists and turns. You’ll have to listen to it to discover how it progresses.
As it moves along, Robson’s guitar matches the mood to perfection. The combination of his words and his guitar makes this song something special. It is a captivating foundation that supports Nobody Wins. Pete Robson has created another album that grabs your attention and does not let go until its finale. Give this one a listen today and enjoy the stories he has to share.