This Stone Has Gotta Keep Rollin’ – Chicago Blues Singer/Harmonica Master Rob Stone Delivers High-Energy Mojo on His New CD for VizzTone Label Group, Due September 9
Special Guests on Stone’s First Album for VizzTone Include Blues Hall of Famer Eddie Shaw, John Primer, David Maxwell and Henry Gray
NEWTON, MA – The VizzTone Label Group announces a September 9 release date for Gotta Keep Rollin’, the new CD from Chicago blues singer/harmonica master Rob Stone, distributed nationally by Redeye Distribution. Joining Rob Stone and his battle-hardened group of band mates Chris James (guitar), Patrick Rynn (bass) and Willie “The Touch” Hayes (drums), are several special guests, including newly-inducted Blues Hall of Famer Eddie Shaw (sax), guitarist John Primer, Blues Music Award-winning piano player David Maxwell and Henry Gray, former piano man for the legendary Howlin’ Wolf.
From the first notes of the lead-off track, a rousing take on Johnny Jones’ “Wait Baby,” through the album’s closer, “Not No Mo,” (a swingin’ entreaty to a lady friend), it’s obvious that Rob Stone’s music, while steeped in the finest traditions of Chicago blues, is not here gathering dust. It’s exciting, vibrant music for the 21st century with more grooves and high-energy than the law should allow.
Over the course of an dozen high-energy tracks that feature six originals, plus blistering covers of the aforementioned Johnny Jones, John Lee Williamson, (“Wonderful Time”), Jazz Gillum (“She Belongs to Me”), Billy “The Kid” Emerson (“Move Baby Move”), Willie McTell (“Cold Winter Day”) and Cornelius Green (“It’s Easy When You Know How”), Rob Stone and Co. take the listener on a tour of the sounds heard in Chicago-land’s finest blues clubs.
Gotta Keep Rollin’ is Stone’s fourth album as bandleader and first for VizzTone. His previous CD, Back Around Here (Earwig – 2010) scored big on the blues radio charts and was also named by Living Blues magazine as one of that year’s top release. Prior releases also include No Worries (1998) and Just My Luck (2003), which was nominated for a Chicago Music Award in the “Best Blues Album” category. Rob was also prominently featured in the Martin Scorsese-produced “Godfathers and Sons” episode of the critically-acclaimed blues series that aired on PBS stations nationally in 2003.
Now based in Los Angeles, Rob Stone cut his musical teeth in the gritty clubs of Chicago’s north, south and west sides, learning from the masters. He got his start at age 18, when he slipped into a blues joint in his native Boston to check out harp great Charlie Musselwhite and was instantly transfixed. He bought his first harp the next day and began listening to recordings of Little Walter, Big Walter Horton, Junior Wells, James Cotton and the two Sonny Boys. Before long, Rob was learning the finer points of the instrument from ex-Muddy Waters mouth organ maestro Jerry Portnoy and playing regularly with Rockabilly legend Sleepy LaBeef. Relocating to Colorado in 1990, he got his feet wet playing with biker bands on the smoky bandstands around Colorado Springs. Then in ‘93, legendary drummer Sam Lay invited the young harpist to sit in with his combo, leading to a job offer and a move to Chicago the next year. Touring internationally with Sam Lay for four years introduced Stone to blues fans worldwide. Despite leaving Sam’s band in 1998 to form the first incarnation of his current band, the C-Notes (with Chris James and Patrick Rynn), Rob and Sam continued to perform together over the years, and Sam has appeared on several of Rob’s albums. “I have worked with many harmonica players, and he turned out to be the best,” says Sam (quite an endorsement, considering Lay was a member of Paul Butterfield’s vaunted mid-‘60s band and also kept impeccable time for Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter). “That cat is a monster harmonica player and musician!”
Besides headlining his own club tours, Stone has opened major shows for a wide-range of stars, including B.B. King, Sheryl Crow, Robert Cray, Los Lobos, James Cotton and Etta James. He’s also gaining a wide reputation as an emerging talent throughout Europe with consistent overseas touring, as well as in Japan, where he’s built an impressive following of fans.
Rob Stone’s hard-hitting, honest and highly-danceable blues never fails to delight crowds at his shows. Firmly committed to spreading the blues gospel, Stone is nevertheless his own man, carving out a niche for himself with exceptional singing and harp work, plus a knack for writing terrific original blues songs.
Rob Stone and his band will support the release of Gotta Keep Rollin’ with non-stop touring both in the U.S. and abroad.