Son Roberts is the grandson of a motherless violin player who worked the posh parlors of Depression Era Montreal to put food on the table. He is the product a turbulent upbringing in that same defiant river city. His journey has included dishwashing in kitchens, home front soldiering and funeral duty, ditch digging and life-threatening work on the railroad … all the way to fast cars and fine living.
He has made music every step of the way. First listening and singing along. Then watching his heroes, Muddy, Buddy, Burnside and Mays showed him how the music feels when it’s alive. Eventually, he met his mentors in the vibrant and diverse Toronto Blues and roots scene. There was no going back from there - he had to sing the Blues.
But it had to be his Blues. That took a lot more work and a lot more time. The first record took six years to get made after a life-changing trip to pre-911 Memphis, Clarksdale, Helena and Nashville. Years of collaboration and conflict led to the Son Roberts Band’s 2007 debut CD You Don’t Know Yet. The record touched and enlisted respected tastemakers all over the world. It earned the band a Maple Blues Award nomination for Best New Artists in Canada; and one of its songs, Lorraine, was a Finalist in Billboard Magazine’s World Song Contest. It was the first song Son Roberts ever wrote.
Now, his second album, Tell That Story brings Son Roberts to the fore as a singer-songwriter, Enlisting a top flight musical crew that includes Juno award winners and nominees, world famous players, supremely gifted new artists, and long time partners who really get it, Tell That Story is the next step in the evolution of a emerging and influential voice on the Canadian Blues and Roots scene.
The diversity and force of Son’s personality and storytelling gifts - from introspective to irreverent, from deep to disarming - come through song after song. These are stories woven in Son’s authentic, personal style. They paint vivid pictures. They cause smiles and laughter. And sometimes, they are dark and terrible. In every case, the energy of the music, the power of the groove brings Son’s stories to life.
Son Roberts has toured festivals across Ontario. He’s wandered the live music wilderness to find jam nights just so he could play. On the street, in the rain, or on stage with the lights up high and the groove down low, that’s where Son’s stories get told. Listen and maybe you’ll hear a bit of your own life riding along on the groove.