It’s quite impossible not to link Robson Fernandes to the contemporary Brazilian blues. Owner of undisputable tone, energy and technique, he scales up the style to the top-notch of what is performed abroad. It is not surprising that most of the living blues harmonica legends have bowed themselves in compliments to Robson’s work. Still young, when he was sixteen, he started studying the diatonic as his passion instrument, allied to his own researches on the American black music: the blues. He took harmony and improvisation lessons with Aldo Landi, absorbed additional knowledge taking lessons with Boccato and deepened his studies with Lupa Santiago.
He started his career with Samsara Blues Band, followed by an invitation to join Danny Vincent band. Backing up the guitarist for five years he gained experience and road time in the most prestigious and well known stages in Brazil. In 2002, he released his first album, named Sampa Blues, accompanied by some of the finest names in Brazilian Blues scene: André Christovam, Danny Vincent, Marcos Ottaviano, Lupa Santiago, Ari Borger, Silvio Alemao, Andrei Yvanovic, the brothers Igor and Yuri Prado and Blue Jeans Band. This album has put Robson in evidence in the national scene and has attracted comments from specialized writers both in Brazil and abroad, culminating with his participation, together with John Hammond and other names in the 2003 edition of Natu Blues Festival.
Starting up a new working cycle, he releases his newest album, Gumbo Blues. In this album, playing accompanied by Prado Blues Band and Blue Jeans, Robson aims to show the maturity of his work, allied with the feeling that has put him under the spotlights. His roots flourish in the technique he uses to play the 12 bar blues and with his voice, that is now recorded. Robson Fernandes’ harmonica brings a whole new approach to Brazilian blues and increases the presence of the genre in tropical lands.
“Robson Fernandes is a virtuoso. A great musician, before a great harmonica player. His technique is impressive. His melodic sense is fantastic and his appetite for new harmonic alternatives is huge. He is even able to overcome the limits of the instrument he plays. Master, in all aspects, of a perfect technique, he has the feeling of letting his emotion guide the music.
The quickness with which he moved from the first chords to what he does today is unbelievable. He catches everything very quickly and intuitively. Even when he quotes his masters in particular songs of his set, Robson never looses his touch, his own signature. On top of that, his authorial material is of excellent quality, really good. And Robson is still very young, with a long road ahead. He will become an even bigger reference for those who love the blues and for everyone that has chosen harmonica as his instrument.”