CD submissions accepted! Guest writers always welcome!!

I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


Please email me at Info@Bmansbluesreport.com
Showing posts with label Rhode Island. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rhode Island. Show all posts

Thursday, May 9, 2013

PHIL DIIORIO

Phil grew up in Rhode Island listening to guitar players like :Duke Robilard and Ronnie Earl of Roomfull of Blues fame.Phil moved to Virgina in 1986 where he along with his bandmates was selected to the International Blues Competition in Memphis Tn. After that he started a 20yr run with his band Beale Street. also performing on stage with The Nighthawks,Bob Margolin,Papa Chubby,Dibbie Davies,and many others. Phil relocated to San Diego in 2006. Where he is working on his solo project a blend of Funky Blues Rock.  









If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cry To Me - Freddie Scott

Freddie Scott (April 24, 1933 – June 4, 2007) was an American soul singer and songwriter. His biggest hits were "Hey, Girl", a top ten US pop hit in 1963, and "Are You Lonely For Me", a no.1 hit on the R&B chart in early 1967. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and sang in his grandmother's gospel group, Sally Jones & the Gospel Keyes, touring England with them at the age of 12. He studied medicine at the University of Rhode Island and then at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia, but began singing again with the Swanee Quintet Juniors, and gave up his medical career. In 1956 he recorded as a secular singer with the J&S label in New York City, releasing his first solo single "Running Home". He also wrote the top 10 R&B hit "I'll Be Spinning" for the label's duo, Johnnie & Joe, and his song "Baby I'm Sorry" was recorded by Ricky Nelson for his 1957 debut album Ricky. He was then called up to serve in Korea, but continued to record for small labels with little success. After leaving the military, he turned to songwriting, joining the Aldon Music publishing company set up by Al Nevins and Don Kirshner in the Brill Building, where he recorded many of his own demos and also worked as a producer with Erma Franklin. He also continued to release his own records, including "Baby, You're a Long Time Dead" for Joy Records in 1961. In 1962, he worked with fellow songwriters Gerry Goffin and Carole King on their song "Hey, Girl", recording a demo for singer Chuck Jackson. When Jackson failed to turn up to a recording session, Scott recorded the song himself, and, when eventually released by the Colpix label some months later, it rose to no. 10 on both the pop and R&B charts. He followed it up with a slow version of Ray Charles' "I Got a Woman", which again made the charts. When Colpix collapsed, he moved to Columbia, which tried to market him, with little success, as a middle-of-the-road crooner. He left Columbia Records in 1965, and moved to the Shout label, a subsidiary of Bert Berns' Bang Records. There, he recorded Berns' song "Are You Lonely for Me", reputedly requiring over 100 takes before it was finished. The record stayed at the top of the R&B charts for four weeks, and reached no. 39 on the pop charts. He followed up with a version of "Cry To Me", another Berns song that had previously been a hit for Solomon Burke. Although he continued to have success with R&B chart hits including "(You) Got What I Need", written and produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, and a version of Van Morrison's "He Ain't Give You None", his career was affected by Berns' sudden death at the end of 1967. Scott continued to perform, but spent much of the next two years without a record deal.[2] He eventually signed with the small Elephant V label, before moving on to Probe Records, where he had his last R&B hit in 1970 with a version of Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released." He continued to work with his songwriting partner Helen Miller, wrote advertising jingles, and took minor roles as an actor in films, including Stiletto. He also recorded in the early 1970s for the Vanguard, Pickwick International and Mainstream labels, and continued to perform concerts. Scott later worked on the oldies circuit, and released a new album, Brand New Man, in 2001. He also performed "Brown Eyed Girl" on the Van Morrison tribute album Vanthology, released in 2003. He died in New York City in 2007 at the age of 74. His 1968 song "You Got What I Need" was sampled for the 1989 Biz Markie hit, "Just a Friend". It was also sampled for Ghostface Killah's "Save Me Dear" in 2004. The song was also parodied by New York DJ Rob Gee in his song "Ecstacy You Got What I Need"

 If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sweetspot Records artist: Al Basile - At Home Next Door - New Release Review

I have just received and had the opportunity to check out the new recording, At Home Next Door, by Al Basile. This record is produced by none other than Duke Robillard and is set for release on October 16, 2012. This is a two cd set packed full of great tunes. The first disk, At Home, is comprised of 14 solid blues and swing blues tracks and alone would qualify as a great blues release. The recording opens with Go Back Home To The Blues, a new Orleans style swing blues and featured Robillard with some great hot riffs. I Got to Be Loved and Be Loved takes the lead from Muddy with a Chicago style blues. Jerry Portnoy joins on harp for another great track. On Termites In My Basement, Ray Noica joins the group for a stripped down blues track with Bruce Katz on keys. Basile demonstrates why Robillard wanted to team with him so many years ago with a great vocal style. Daddy Got A Problem features a bit of coronet by Basile and and again sweet riffs from Robillard with just a touch of horns to warm up the bottom. I Really Miss You slows things down a bit and again Basile shows his vocal capabilities echoed by Robillard on guitar. This is a hot track with some particularly tight rhythms and really hot riffs by Robillard. Rich Latille opens this track with some really nice alto sax work and Doug James comes in behind him on Bari sax to heat up the bottom. Basile plays a really nice coronet solo on this track backed by Bruce Katz. Robillard plays very fluid guitar runs and this track seems to end it's 7 minute trek extremely quickly. 80 Bells wraps up the first disk with an acoustic number with a delta flare. Disk two, Next Door, has a totally different feel with a lot more horns and a strong funk and R&B feel.  The band lineup here is more condensed with Mark Teixrira on drums, Robillard on guitars, Scott Hamilton, Doug James, Rich Latille and Carl Querfutti on horns, Bruce Bears on keys, Jack Gauthier on keys and Brad Hallen on bass. This 13 track cd would be the more airplay driven disk featuring more pop oriented tracks, Basile on vocal and coronet. A standout blues track on this disk, A Mystery To Me slows the pace down a bit with cool solos by Robillard and Basile. It Is What It Is is another strong airplay contender with interesting thematic writing and a smooth sax solo. My Phone's Got A Mind Of It's Own is a clever track and falls more into the RFB swing blues track. Robliiard plays a particularly sweet guitar solo on this track and Latille plays a really nice sax solo. This 2 cd package is jammed full of blues, R&B and pop rhythm tracks. I found it really enjoyable and think that most blues, soul and R&B lovers will really like this new set. Great job!
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Phil Diiorio Band


Phil grew up in Rhode Island listening to guitar players like :Duke Robilard and Ronnie Earl of Roomfull of Blues fame.Phil moved to Virgina in 1986 where he along with his bandmates was selected to the International Blues Competition in Memphis Tn. After that he started a 20yr run with his band Beale Street. also performing on stage with The Nighthawks,Bob Margolin,Papa Chubby,Dibbie Davies,and many others. Phil relocated to San Diego in 2006. Where he is working on his solo project a blend of Funky Blues Rock.
If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! - ”LIKE”

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Old Judge Jones - Les Dudek


Les Dudek was born in a Naval air station hospital on the coast of Quonset Point, just north of Wickford, Rhode Island. His father Harold, from Campbell, Nebraska, was a radioman in the Navy who served on the U.S.S. Wright and the U.S.S. UTAH before it was laid to rest at the bottom of Pearl Harbor. Harold also flew missions in PBY5A's Navy seaplanes while stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Iceland and Port Lyautey, French Morocco, North Africa during World War II. Les' mother Alma, from Brooklyn, New York, was a PBX operator and also danced for the world famous "Rockettes" at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, New York. Les has one older sister, Sandi, who was also born in Brooklyn, New York.

When Les' dad retired from the Navy in 1959, he moved the family to Florida to start a new life. Les became interested in music by listening to his sister's new records through their adjacent bedroom wall. She played stuff like; Elvis, Ricky Nelson, Fabian, Connie Francis and The Beach Boys, to name a few. That was cool for a while, but then one night..that all changed. In a word, they were called...The Beatles. And Sandi played them all night long. By the end of the night - Les was "hooked". After constant pleas, Alma and Harold gave in and ordered Les' first guitar, an acoustic silver-tone from Sears and Roebuck. They gave it to Les for Christmas in 1964.

Sister Sandi didn't realize it at the time, but she had created a "guitar bandito". For the next few years all she could hear through the adjacent wall was Les practicing his guitar. It nearly drove her crazy. Les had caught the guitar bug and was determined to master it. By the age of "14" Les was already playing in bands all over Florida. Bands like; The Steppin' Stones, The United Sounds, Blue Truth and Power. With the latter two, he went to Nashville, Tennessee and Richmond, Virginia to record demos with hopes of a record deal. Then, on October 29th, 1971, the unthinkable occurred - a fellow Florida musician, Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident. At the time, Les was playing with bandmate Peter Schless, a keyboard player from Venice, Florida in their band Power. Peter knew Dickey Betts and had heard he was looking for players. So Les and Peter drove to Macon, Georgia to jam with Dickey. A few weeks after returning to Florida, Les was called back to Georgia. As a result, Les was invited to record with The Allman Brothers Band. That's Les you hear playing guitar harmonies with Dickey Betts on "Ramblin' Man" and the intro acoustic guitar on "Jessica", their two biggest hits from the Brothers and Sisters album (Capricorn Records).

The news spread quickly about this young guitar talent. Dudek was offered a guitar spot with Boz Scaggs. He accepted. Les commuted back and forth from Macon, Georgia to San Francisco, California, touring with Boz and later appeared on the Silk Degrees album (Columbia Records). Les also appeared in Boz's "Low Down" and "Lido Shuffle" videos made for television. In 1974, Boz, with Les, special guested the Joker Tour with The Steve Miller Band. Also on the bill was James Cotton. At the end of Miller's set, Steve would invite Boz, James Cotton and Les out on stage to finish the show. At the end of this tour, Miller invited Les up to Seattle, Washington to record some tunes that turned into classic hits on Steve Miller's Fly Like An Eagle and Book Of Dreams (Capital Records), from which Les co-wrote "Sacrifice". Living In The 20th Century (Capital Records), Les appears on the record and in the movie of the same title and Wide River (PolyGram Label Group), Les co-wrote "Blue Eyes". Another memorable show Les did with Miller was the second Knebworth Park outside of London, England with Pink Floyd, Captain Beefheart and members from Monty Python.

Miller invited Les to join his band, so Les moved to California. After which, Les formed a band in the San Francisco area from members of Scaggs and Miller. They called it Polar Bear. The members were; Les, Gerald Johnson, Joachiem Young and Billy Meeker. Polar Bear recorded demos for Warner Brothers, who declined. Then Les was asked to record a demo for Columbia Records. At the same time, a manager called Les and asked him to come to a rehearsal hall in San Francisco to hear this new band he was nurturing. He wanted "the two guitar heroes" of the Bay area to be in the same band, "..and we're going to call it Journey". The same day Les was invited to the first Journey rehearsal, he was offered a solo recording deal from Columbia records. Les decided to be a solo artist for Columbia Records.

During the next six years Les released four critically acclaimed solo albums, (Les Dudek debut, Say No More, Ghost Town Parade and Gypsy Ride) scoring two FM radio hits - "City Magic" and "Old Judge Jones". He then collaborated with two other Columbia artists, Mike Finnigan, who played organ on "Rainy Day", a song from Jimi Hendrix's Electric LadyLand album (Reprise Records) and Jim Krueger, who wrote "We Just Disagree" for Dave Mason. DFK (Dudek, Finnigan & Krueger) released one album on Columbia Records and toured most of 1978 with Kansas.

After a hiatus from DFK, Cher asked Dudek to participate on a recording project, which became the Black Rose album (Casablanca Records). After a few appearances, such as a concert with Hall & Oates in New York's Central Park, "The Merv Griffin Show" and "The Midnight Special" hosted by Wolfman Jack, the Rose wilted.

In 1984, Dudek made an appearance and authored a few songs in Peter Bogdanovich's Universal Studios movie "Mask" which starred Cher, Sam Elliott, Eric Stoltz and Laura Dern. Les also appeared in Christopher Crowe's "Streets of Justice", a Movie Of The Week from Universal Studios in 1985.

Dudek teamed up with Stevie Nicks and co-wrote two songs; "Sister Honey", a collaboration which appears on her Rock A Little album (Modern/Atlantic Records) and "Freestyle", the title track to Les' "Freestyle" cd (E Flat Productions). Les also toured with Stevie on her 1991 Whole Lotta Trouble tour.

Throughout the '90's Dudek toured the U.S. and Europe. Les also released a rock 'n blues album titled Deeper Shades Of Blues and Freestyle 2002 (E Flat Productions). Additionally, Les wrote and performed instrumental library music for television. This music can be heard on NBC, ABC, ESPN, FOX SPORTS and E channel. These instrumentals are featured on such programs as "Friends", "Extra", "Wild On", "Search Party", and "Access Hollywood".
If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Blues for T-Bone - Duke Robillard


Guitarist. Bandleader. Songwriter. Singer. Producer. Session musician. And a one-man cheering section for the blues, in all its forms and permutations. And every one of those names has shared recording studio space or stage time with a man who is a legend in the blues community.

The Blues Music Awards (formerly W.C.Handy Awards) have named Duke Robillard "Best Blues Guitarist" four years out of five (2000,2001,2003,2004) making him the second most honored guitarist for that award! He was also nominated in that category in 2005, 2007 and again this year of 2008.

In 2007 Duke received a Grammy nomination for his "Guitar Groove-a-rama" CD and was also honored with the prestigious Rhode Island Pell Award for "excellence in the arts" along with actress Olympia Dukakis, actor Bob Colonna, and R.I. Choreographer/Festival Ballet director Mihailo "Misha" Djuric.The Pell award is named for Senator Claiborne Pell who help establish the the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities in 1965.

Other awards over the last decade include three Canadian Maple Blues Awards in 2001, 2002, and 2003 for "Best International Blues Artist," The Blues Foundation's "Producer of the Year" award in 2004, The French Blues Association "Album of the Year" award in 2002 (Living with the Blues) and "Guitarist of the Year" awards in 1999 and 2002.

BB King himself has called Duke "One of the great players," The Houston Post called him "one of God's guitarists. And the New York Times says "Robillard is a soloist of stunning force and originality.

None of that goes to Robillard’s head. He’s still on the road, still playing as many as 250 dates a year. And still proving, night after night, that his true talent is bringing people out to hear the music, appreciate the show, and dance to the blues.

Duke had his first band in high school — he was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island — and he was fascinated from the beginning by the ways in which jazz, swing, and the blues were linked. In 1967, he formed Roomful of Blues, and the band was tight enough and tough enough to accompany two of its heroes, Big Joe Turner and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson on record and in live appearances.

Always ahead of his time, Duke’s first band pre-dated the renewed interest in jump blues by more than a decade — and almost 20 years later, in 1986, when he recorded with jazz sax master Scott Hamilton, he recorded a collection of classic big band tunes from the ’30s and ’40s, thus skillfully pre-dating the neo-Swing craze of the mid ’90s.

Roomful of Blues — which still continues, forty years later — gave Duke his first exposure to a wide public, and when he left after a dozen years, he played briefly with rockabilly king Robert Gordon, then cut two albums with the Legendary Blues Band (a sterling collection of former members of Muddy Waters’ band). He led his own band until 1990, and then replaced Jimmy Vaughan in the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

In 1993, as he was about to sign a world-wide recording deal with Virgin/Pointblank, he met Holger Petersen, head of the Canadian independent label Stony Plain, at a folk festival in Winnipeg. In conversation, he mentioned he wanted to record a complete album of blues, without the r & b and jazz influences of his work to date.

Petersen was interested; Virgin gave the go-ahead, and the resulting album, Duke’s Blues, earned rave reviews. It was so successful, in fact, that Virgin soon licensed the record from Stony Plain and released it around the world (except in Canada, where it continues in the Canadian company’s catalogue.

In the years since his relationship with the Canadian label has been astonishingly fruitful. As a soloist , he has released eleven CDs, plus one with label mate Ronnie Earl and one with The New Guitar Summit. Duke's next release will be in May/June of 2008

Just as remarkable have been the projects he has produced (and played on) for Stony Plain, including two albums with the late Jimmy Witherspoon, two with Kansas City piano king Jay McShann, comeback CDs for Billy Boy Arnold and Rosco Gordon, a swinging confection with the Canadian band The Rockin’ Highliners, and a superb album of guitar duets with the jazz legend Herb Ellis.

As if this growing catalogue was not enough, he has found time to share studio gigs with Bob Dylan (the Daniel Lanois-produced Time Out of Mind sessions), Ruth Brown, the late Johnny Adams, John Hammond, Pinetop Perkins, and Ronnie Earl, among many others. He now has his own 24-track studio in his home, and he has become deeply involved in graphic design and photography as well as record production.

Duke Robillard is a man in command of a full range of creative talents — unique in the blues, and rare in the music industry as a whole. He is, in fact, a complete artist at the height of his power.
If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! - ”LIKE”

Monday, March 19, 2012

Quick Fix - Travis Colby Band


Started playing while in the womb, first concerto at two weeks old, signed by 2nd birthday, rehab by kindergarten. Had to relearn everything starting at age 17, played with a couple local blues bands until I landed a gig with Luther Guitar Junior Johnson. Fortunate to tour and record with him, couple years later lucky enough to tour and record with Roomful of Blues, my current band. The rest is VujaDe! (That uncanny feeling that none of this has ever happened before.)(Thank you George Carlin.)
Like my Facebook Page, Post your video on my Wall or post your Photos of great blues events! Share your favorite posting and get more exposure for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor - Ursula George / Sugar Ray Norcia


Ursula is a blues singer from Providence, RI presenting very cool, sexy and contemporary interpretation of Vaudeville-era blues tunes, mostly penned by the female writers of the day.
Check out Marty Ballou's bass solo out of "Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor" (J.Hurt /J. Yancey arrg.) with Ursula George at Chan's, Woonsocket RI on November 12, 2011. Special guest Sugar Ray Norcia with Lori Urso, Marty Richards, Eric Barron, Anthony Geraci

People who remember Sugar Ray fronting Roomful of Blues can attest to the fact that he is as much at home with a swinging horn band as he is with his four piece Chicago style blues outfit. Besides his recordings with Roomful, some examples of Ray's big band music can be heard on Porky Cohen's CD RHYTHM & BONES "Sent For You Yesterday"
and a CD by Doug James entitled BLOW MR. LOW
"Dirty People" and "I Want A Little Girl."
Write on our Facebook Wall or post your Photos of great blues events! ”LIKE”

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Charlie Hunter Tour Info - FREE DOWNLOAD!




UPCOMING TOUR DATES
It's that time of year again and Charlie is BACK in the Bay Area! Accompanied by Scott Amendola on drums, the duo will be hitting spots all over the Bay Area, including a very special seated show at The Independent. Don't miss opener Bhi Bhiman who will kick off the night in Petaluma, Sac, SF, SLO, and Santa Barbara! For more details and to purchase tickets, please see below.
CHARLIE HUNTER SOLO 'PUBLIC DOMAIN'
Not since Solo Eight-String Guitar a decade ago has Charlie made a recording of just him and his guitar. This time, he's down to 7-strings and is performing songs that are all public domain. The songs were all hand-picked by Charlie's grandfather! "I was into doing a solo record for some time and just hit on the public domain idea. I figured I'd ask someone who actually remembered the tunes from his youth: My grandfather, Sidney Greenman. He was born in 1911 (yep, he's 99). He helped pick the tunes for me. I recorded this in a day at The Bunker Studio in Brooklyn. Everything is live, there is no editing. Hope you like."
The album is aptly titled Public Domain. Pick up an exclusive CD copy only available here! It is also available for download at iTunes and all major digital distribution retailers. Also pick up both a t-shirt and 'Public Domain' CD for a discounted price in Charlie's Store.
DOWNLOAD FREE MP3
from 'PUBLIC DOMAIN'
"Limehouse Blues"
CHARLIE HUNTER TOUR DATES 2011
DEC 8, 2011 DANA STREET ROASING COMPANY
w/ Scott Amendola (drums)
MT. VIEW, CA INFO SOLD OUT
DEC 9, 2011 MYSTIC THEATER
w/ Scott Amendola (drums)
PETALUMA, CA INFO TICKETS
DEC 10, 2011 HARLOW'S
w/ Scott Amendola (drums)
SACRAMENTO, CA INFO TICKETS
DEC 11, 2011 THE INDEPENDENT
w/ Scott Amendola (drums)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA INFO TICKETS
DEC 12, 2011 KUUMBWA JAZZ CENTER
w/ Scott Amendola (drums)
SANTA CRUZ, CA INFO TICKETS
DEC 13, 2011 SLO BREWING CO.
w/ Scott Amendola (drums)
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA INFO TICKETS
DEC 14, 2011 SOHO
w/ Scott Amendola (drums)
SANTA BARBARA, CA INFO TICKETS
DEC 16, 2011 THE MINT
w/ Scott Amendola (drums)
LOS ANGELES, CA INFO TICKETS
DEC 17, 2011 THE MINT
w/ Scott Amendola (drums)
LOS ANGELES, CA INFO TICKETS

Friday, September 2, 2011

INTERNATIONAL RELEASE SET FOR “GRITTY” NEW DUKE ROBILLARD BAND CD ON SEPTEMBER 20

INTERNATIONAL RELEASE SET FOR “GRITTY” NEW DUKE ROBILLARD BAND CD ON SEPTEMBER 20
Low Down and Tore Up is a collection of
hard-rockin’ early R&B tunes from the 40s and
50s on Canada’s international Stony Plain Records label
EDMONTON, AB - One of the most versatile and accomplished guitarists playing today, Duke Robillard has always been fascinated by the roots of American popular music — and he’s tackled everything from blues to the classic American songbook to jazz guitar duets, rock-influenced trios, small and big band swing recordings.
On September 20, Robillard will release his 18th album on Stony Plain Records, the Edmonton-based roots music label. Low Down and Tore Up is described as an affirmation of his grittier blues roots and early influences.
Low Down and Tore Up is, once again, a tour de force — this time Robillard is taking hard-rockin’ songs from the forties and fifties, and refitting them with screaming tenor sax solos, gut-bucket vocals and guitar solos that shake the walls.
Duke sums it up: “Basically, I just wanted to go in the studio and record live and capture the real feeling of the lowdown blues in an off-the-cuff sort of way; the way singles used to be made in the blues world for small labels.”
He and his band immerse themselves into the songs of artists like Guitar Slim, Pee Wee Crayton, Sugar Boy Crawford, Bobby Blues Merrill, Tampa Red, Elmore James and John Lee Hooker — some of them artists who are, alas, almost forgotten today. But Robillard brings their tunes and their ragged-but-right approach straight to the table and steaming hot.
A powerful video for one of the songs, “What’s Wrong,” is now available on YouTube and is being distributed to television stations with arts or video programming:


Low Down & Tore Up will be released simultaneously in Canada and the United States, the UK, throughout Europe and in Australia and New Zealand on September 20
A serious road warrior who usually performs as many as 200 shows a year, Robillard has festival and showcase venue dates booked throughout the U.S., as well as Canadian appearances at the Calgary Blues Festival, the Edmonton Folk Festival and the Nanaimo Blues Festival, with September appearances at similar events in Norway and Northern Ireland.
Along the way, he’s earned no less than four Guitarist of the Year awards from the Blues Foundation, was chosen Traditional Males Blue Artist earlier this year, and has been nominated for two Grammy Awards, for his 2006 release, Guitar Groove-a-Rama, and for Stomp! The Blues Tonight (2009)

Get Facebook support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

Saturday, June 18, 2011

YOU DON'T LOVE ME, AND I DON'T EVEN CARE - Duke Robillard


The Duke plays a little T-Bone!!

Michael John "Duke" Robillard (born October 4, 1948, Woonsocket, Rhode Island) is an American blues musician.

After playing in various bands and working for the Guild Guitar Company, he co-founded the band Roomful of Blues with pianist Al Copley in 1967. He has also been a member of The Fabulous Thunderbirds which included Kim Wilson, replacing Jimmie Vaughan on guitar. Also experienced in jazz, swing, and rock and roll, aside from his preferred blues music, Robillard has been generally regarded as a guitar player keeping the blues style of T-Bone Walker.

He has recorded with artists such as Jimmy Witherspoon, Snooky Prior, Jay McShann, Hal Singer, Pinetop Perkins, Joe Louis Walker, Todd Sharpville, and Bob Dylan. In the summer of 2006, Robillard accompanied Tom Waits on a tour of the Southern United States.
Get Facebook support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Slam Jam - Chris Vachon - Room ful of Blues


Even though Roomful of Blues’ lineup has changed over the years, the band has always been one of the tightest, most joyful blues ensembles in the world. Currently an eight-piece unit led by guitarist Chris Vachon, the band has never sounded fresher or stronger. In 2010, singer Phil Pemberton took over the vocal duties, bringing his sweet and soulful vocals and adding another bright new dimension to the jazzy, jump-blues musical roots. Their winning combination of jump, swing, blues, R&B and soul remains their calling card, as does their ability to fill the dance floor. Along with new members, bassist John Turner, trumpeter Doug Woolverton and , longer standing members keyboardist Travis Colby, drummer Ephraim Lowell, baritone and tenor saxophonist Mark Earley, tenor and alto saxophonist Rich Lataille , Roomful keeps on rockin’ in 2010.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

If 6 Was 9 - Charlie Hunter


Think you've seen it all...note that there isn't a bass player...this guy is doing it all.

First coming to prominence in the early 1990s, Hunter has recorded 17 albums. Hunter plays custom-made seven and eight-string guitars, on which he simultaneously plays basslines, rhythm guitar, and solos. Critic Sean Westergaard describes Hunter's guitar technique as "mind-boggling ... he's an agile improviser with an ear for great tone, and always has excellent players alongside him in order to make great music, not to show off."

Shown here is a custom "Charlie Hunter" model by Novax Guitars.
Get Facebook support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE




Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Let Me Put My Sugar Ray On You


Perhaps best remembered for his 24-year stint with Rhode Island's internationally renowned jump blues band Roomful of Blues, Greg Piccolo has followed his muse since his teenage years.

He joined his first band, The Rejects, at age 13, singing and playing a little alto sax. It was while with this band, playing a date at the Westerly, Rhode Island YMCA, that he met Duke Robillard. It was one of the defining moments in his life. He joined Duke in The Variations, and Duke introduced him to the work of such musicians as Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. Greg was already familiar with their songs from the covers recorded by the likes of the Beatles, Rolling Stones and the Animals, but until Duke played Greg the originals, he was unaware of the wellspring of the blues. Greg started to drink from the source.

When Duke broke up The Variations, Greg hooked up with Al Copley and together they formed Groupe, an outfit that became popularly known as Greg and the Groupe. In keeping with the redefining sixties, neither an article nor an adjective preceded Groupe. During this period Duke Robillard very briefly led a band called The. Just for the record, this was before Monty Python.

Around the age of fifteen, Greg turned from alto to tenor, a move that was the result of his being transfixed by the tenor solo on Dion's "The Wanderer." Another defining moment.

After working with Duke in an early edition of Roomful of Blues, (a Roomful without horns – Greg played harp), he returned the following year with his tenor sax. He was nineteen, the year was 1970, and that was the time Greg notes, "I really started in on tenor sax. Duke made it happen; he was a strong musical leader."

Duke had heard Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson that summer at the Ann Arbor Blues festival, and had decided a horn band was the way to go. Rich Lataille (alto and tenor) joined Roomful the same time as Greg, and baritone player Doug James came on board the following year. The now legendary Roomful of Blues horn section was born.

From this point until his departure from Roomful in 1994, it is impossible to speak of Greg without mentioning Roomful and vice versa. During the seventies he took care of the band's booking and management, and when Duke left in 1979, he became bandleader, and for much of the time, the band's singer too.

It is from this period that one can say that Roomful's career really took off in an international sense, and Greg's singing – soulful, declamatory and passionate – coupled with a jaunty and energetic stage demeanor, won him fans all over the world. And of course, there was that battered old Selmer Mark VI, hanging from his neck, a tornado in the offing, an ever-present threat of mad abandon. His hard and driving take-no-prisoners sound on up tempo numbers caused pandemonium on the dance floor, while he could make the bouncers weep on a slow blues. Producer, critic and DJ ("Portraits in Blue") Bob Porter, who produced two of Roomful's Grammy nominated albums, noted "Pic has started a new tradition on tenor sax."

It was during the early 1980's that Greg started writing songs, and Roomful's 1984 release. "Dressed Up To Get Messed Up" broke new ground for the band in that most of the tunes came from his pen, and endowed the band with an artistic integrity that none could dispute. Greg had given Roomful of Blues, a band that could trace its musical influences back to the nineteen thirties, a contemporary edge that put it in the vanguard of roots based bands.

In 1990 Greg cut his first solo album "Heavy Juice" for Black Top Records. A collection of mainly instrumental cuts, it featured his tenor and garnered unanimous critical acclaim. Around this time he took up guitar, which he had dabbled with when a teenager, and fairly quickly developed a sound that could fairly be described as archetypical Piccolo. Just like his sound on sax, his sound on guitar emphasized tone and simplicity to tell a story.

Greg left Roomful in 1994 to follow his own particular musical vision. Greg Piccolo and Heavy Juice toured incessantly for the next five or six years, and cut two albums for Fantasy Records, "Acid Blue" (1995) and "Red Lights" (1997). The sound was more contemporary than his previous work and showed his willingness to experiment and to blaze new trails. Nevertheless, it was still music with a feeling. Both albums contained those Greg Piccolo staples that one had come to expect over the years. Finely crafted songs, tasty guitar, some raucous tenor, even a bit of alto, all heavily spiced throughout with soul and passion.

The continuing decline of venues across the nation ultimately took its toll, both on the size of the group, which started out as a quintet and ended up as a trio, and eventually on its economic viability too. By the time Greg released "Homage", his tribute to his tenor sax heroes, issued on his management company's Emit Doog label, he had hung up his touring shoes. He now cherry picks those dates he wants to play. He is in demand as a session player by the cognoscenti, although sadly in these days of downloads and general digital gloominess, the cognoscenti is undeniably diminishing. He recently finished a couple of sessions with Canadian superstar Colin James ("Little Big Band 3" and a Christmas album), and gets the occasional call from the likes of Jimmie Vaughan. For instance, he played on Jimmie's Grammy nominated "Ironic Twist."

Currently he is working on some big band arrangements of his tunes, and hopes to book some dates around that project in the summer of 2008. He plays New England dates with old band mates from Roomful occasionally, folks such as Carl Querfurth, Sugar Ray Norcia, Rich Lataille and Doug James.

His tone, sound, and outlook are unchanged, although these days he finds himself playing more ballads than before. It is still the sound and the feeling that drive him. And when he says, "Swing is closest to my heart" one has to stand back and look at what this man has done over the last forty years. In company with his Roomful compatriots, Greg Piccolo is one of the guys that reintroduced swing to America in a popular sense. The swing revival of the nineties would never have happened without Roomful of Blues pointing the way during the seventies and eighties.

Over his long career, Greg has played with scores of the legendary heroes of American music, and although he will emphatically deny it, he now has his own place in that pantheon.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Gonna Get You Told


Michael John "Duke" Robillard (born October 4, 1948, Woonsocket, Rhode Island) is an American blues musician.

After playing in various bands and working for the Guild Guitar Company, he co-founded the band Roomful of Blues with pianist Al Copley in 1967. He has also been a member of The Fabulous Thunderbirds which included Kim Wilson, replacing Jimmie Vaughan on guitar. Also experienced in jazz, swing, and rock and roll, aside from his preferred blues music, Robillard has been generally regarded as a guitar player keeping the blues style of T-Bone Walker.

He has recorded with artists such as Jimmy Witherspoon, Snooky Prior, Jay McShann, Hal Singer, Pinetop Perkins, Joe Louis Walker, Todd Sharpville, and Bob Dylan. In the summer of 2006, Robillard accompanied Tom Waits on a tour of the Southern United States.
Get Facebook support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE