Finland’s veteran Wentus Blues Band has another album on the way, this time featuring legendary guitarist-singer Duke Robillard. The new full-length album will be recorded at Lakewest Recording studios in Robillard's hometown in Rhode Island during February for release this fall.
Robillard and the band had been kicking around the idea of making an album together for years, and when Robillard and WBB bassist Robban Hagnäs ran into each other in Copenhagen a couple of years ago by surprise, they discussed the idea again. Soon thereafter, Duke decided that the time was right to do the project, Hagnäs says. The album will include songs written by both Robillard and WBB, and may include a few cover songs, Hagnäs suggests.
The collaboration between Wentus Blues Band and Duke Robillard began more than 30 years ago in 1987 in Kokkola, Finland, when the young band got a sudden chance to open for the global star. They developed a warm friendship that has lasted many years. Robillard was a guest at WBB's 30th anniversary celebration, and also did a joint tour with the band in Sweden.
According to Hagnäs, the coming album marks a kind of closure for the Wentus Blues Band. “Of course, our friendship will last and we will hopefully continue to cooperate in the future,” he said.
Duke Robillard is primarily known as a blues and rock musician, but he has also performed and recorded jazz and swing. He was a founding member of Roomful of Blues more than 50 years ago and was a member of The Fabulous Thunderbirds.
Wentus Blues Band is Finland's most international blues band. The band's previous album, Throwback, released in 2018, received excellent reviews from press around the world, especially in the U.S. and Australia. The album charted on the Living Blues, Roots Music Report and Australian international blues charts.