Duke Robillard has cancelled an appearance at Bluesfest in 2013, with festival organisers saying that the tour ultimately fell over when Robillard had to cut his Australian visit short after being appointed as guitarist in Bob Dylan’s touring band.
In a complicated series of events that was briefly relayed by Bluesfest director Peter Noble in a message board post, the Australian tour initially fell over when promoters unaffiliated with Bluesfest were unable to secure enough shows to make the tour viable. Bluesfest then stepped in to try and salvage the tour but were ultimately unsuccessful.
“Bluesfest then attempted to resurrect the tour,” posted Noble. “But found it impossible when Duke Robillard subsequently advised he needed to cut the tour short due to his being appointed by Bob Dylan as his new guitar player – and needing to get back to the US by April 1 for rehearsals, and only being available for a much shorter run of dates, which did not make coming to Australia at this time viable.”
Robillard joining Bob Dylan on the road marks the first change to the veteran performer’s touring band since lead guitarist Denny Freeman was replaced by Charlie Sexton in 2009. The current lineup includes Stu Kimball and Charlie Sexton on guitar, Donny Herron on steel guitar, George Receli on drums and Tony Garnier on Bass Guitar.
There is currently no word on the finalised band lineup of Bob Dylan’s Neverending Tour for 2013, which is yet to announce any dates.
Robillard has previously appeared on Dylan’s hallmark 1997 album Time Out Of Mind, where he contributed to the smokey, muddy sound of ‘Million Miles’, ‘Tryin’ To Get To Heaven’ and ‘Can’t Wait’.
How Robillard’s distinctive sound and commanding presence will steer Dylan’s sound this time around is anyone’s guess.