Robin Trower Brings ‘Change’ To U.S.

Ahead of his June/July tour in support of his latest album, guitar whiz Robin Trower chatted with Pollstar via email about his memories playing San Francisco’s Fillmore, writing material for his own vocals, and his secret fondness for a pair of 1930s matinee idols.

Fans will feel right at home with Trower’s latest disc.  Released in March on his 70th birthday, Something’s About To Change may be the axeman’s umpteenth solo album since leaving Procol Harum in the early ’70s, but the record’s DNA can be traced right back to hits like “Bridge Of Sighs” and “Too Rolling Stoned.” 

But Trower is still taking chances.  Although Trower’s first solo albums featured bassist James Dewar on vocals, Trower has been singing lead for years.  However, he hinted that something was about to change when he spoke with Pollstar in late 2014 about 2013’s Roots & Branches, which featured his interpretations of classic R&B songs like “The Thrill Is Gone” and “Little Red Rooster.”  Referring to Something’s About To Change as “the new album,” Trower said he worked extremely hard on the vocals because he knew he “could do better.”

Checking in with Trower nine months after that interview finds the guitarist offering more insight into his vocal work on the new album.

“On the new album Something’s About to Change, all the songs were – for the first time – written for me to sing,” Trower told Pollstar.  “This allowed me to make sure that all the vocal lines were in my comfort zone. I am happier with the vocals on this album, but still expecting to improve my vocals more in the future.”

Being a true road warrior who has racked up countless touring miles, Trower has played just about every venue available, from large arenas to tiny nightclubs.  However, despite rocking 12,000-plus capacity arenas in the ’70s, Trower longed for something a bit more intimate, telling Pollstar that the sound in those large buildings was “so awful.”

“You’d be playing on a scaffolding with boards for a stage,” Trower said in 2014.  “You couldn’t get any resonance, any sort of musicality in the sound at all.”

Trower’s upcoming U.S. tour includes stops at clubs and theatres, including San  Francisco’s legendary Fillmore – a venue that is quite familiar to the guitarist.

“I always feel that there’s a great vibe at the Fillmore – it’s definitely a classic venue and a wonderful place to play,” Trower said. “The first times I played there were with Procol Harum –  the first on a bill with Pink Floyd and the second with The Doors, so that tells you something about my feelings for the history of the Fillmore!”

Now, about those matinee idols mentioned at the beginning of this post.  Because Trower has been playing music professionally since the mid 1960s, the guitarist has fielded more than his share of interviews.  But after almost a half-decade of talking to reporters, can he still surprise even the most devoted fan?  We asked him if there was anything that his fans have yet to discover about him.  And we gotta admit we weren’t expecting his answer.

“I bet they don’t know that I’m a big fan of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald,” Trower said.  But since the interview was via email, we’re not quite sure if he was delivering that response with a wink and a smile.

Here’s the tour:

June 2 – Tulsa, Okla., Cain’s Ballroom
June 3 – Dallas, Texas, House Of Blues
June 4 – Houston, Texas, House Of Blues
June 6 – San Antonio, Texas, The Aztec Theater
June 7 – Austin, Texas, One World Theatre
June 10 – Tucson, Ariz., Rialto Theatre
June 11 – Scottsdale, Ariz., Talking Stick Resort Showroom
June 12 – Las Vegas, Nev., Railhead Lounge
June 13 – Beverly Hills, Calif., Saban Theatre
June 14 – San Diego, Calif., House Of Blues
June 17 – Anaheim, Calif., City National Grove Of Anaheim
June 18 – Agoura Hills, Calif., The Canyon
June 19 – Merced, Calif., Art Kamangar Center At The Merced Theatre
June 20 – Santa Cruz, Calif., The Catalyst
June 21 – San Francisco, Calif., The Fillmore
June 24 – Tracy, Calif., Grand Theatre
June 25 – Petaluma, Calif., McNears Mystic Theatre
June 26 – Sacramento, Calif., Ace Of Spades
June 27 – Stateline, Nev., Harrah’s Lake Tahoe 
June 29 – Grants Pass, Ore., Rogue Theatre
July 1 – Portland, Ore., Aladdin Theater
July 3 – Seattle, Wash., The Neptune

Many shows are already on sale.  Visit for more information.