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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!


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Showing posts with label Roomful of Blues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Roomful of Blues. Show all posts

Friday, December 19, 2014

Robin Banks - Modern Classic - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Modern Classic, from Robin Banks and it has an appeal all it's own. I've listened to this a number of times now and it has a clearness and clarity that is rarely heard in today's music. Opening with A Man Is Just A Man, Banks demonstrates the clarity of her voice and also her intentions of making a album of music that came out of a '57 Chevy. It has that kind of simple human quality. Superhero is a easy bop with really nice guitar work from Duke Robillard. Again the sound is early sixties pop. I Really Dig You goes back even a bit further to possibly Dinah Washington and that early pop jazz sound. Bruce Bears on keys and Robillard spice up the track with clarity and swing and Mark Early lays out a real nice sax solo as well. Crazy has some really cool guitar effects and Doug James really lays in some nice Bari sax. Mark Teixeira keeps the rhythm tight giving it a nice sparkle and again Early steps up and kicks it! My Baby Loves Me has a real nice easy swing and Doug Woolverton hits the muted trumpet. The bluesiest track on the release is also my favorite and possibly the best demonstration of Banks vocal style. Robillard lays down some really nicely articulated guitar solos and Doug James bottom supplied sax is tops. A Little Bit Of Heaven has a Latin feel with Teixeira coaxing pure rhythm out of the track. Bruce Bears riffs sound like they were born in Cuba and Banks is spot on vocally. Robillard lays in a light fingered Latin guitar solo and Brad Hallen takes on the lead instrumentally with Bears as the track steps up to full swing. I'll Meet You There has an Al Green R&B feel but with more southern soul vocals. Early again steps up with a hot sax solo and Banks vocal duet and Woolverton on trumpet gives it that Memphis sound. Bears opens Tonight with spy piano riffs and Banks gets into that pop jazz swing. Bears and Robillard trade instrumental lead on this track and even Hallen and Teixeira get into the action. Cool! Bite Your Tongue has that good southern funky soul with horn punctuation. Bears takes a hot organ solo and Robillard throws down as well. A sassier vocal style on this track really lends itself nicely to the styling. On boogie track, You Boogie Too Fast For Me, Bears and Hallen give the boogie a ride. A slick piano interlude by Bears adds significantly to the overall feel. Ballad, A Place In The City, finds Bears delivering a gospel or Robbins if you will, piano style giving the track a country sound. Robillard lays down some double stop guitar work that even more enforces the overall country sound. Wrapping the release is Some Day Soon, another pop jazz track with Banks swinging out. Bears is light and bright on the keys and Teixeira on brushes allows the warmth of Hallen to come through having the feel of a true jazz trio (quartet with vocal). This is a different kind oof blues for a lighter listen but I believe that there is a strong audience out there for exactly this.

  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”

 

Monday, June 17, 2013

ROOMFUL OF BLUES CELEBRATES 45 YEARS WITH RELEASE OF NEW CD, 45 LIVE, ON JULY 30, 2013



http://mailman.305spin.com/users/alligator/images/4955_175px.jpg
In celebration of their 45th anniversary, Roomful of Blues, the jumping, swinging, rocking, award-winning band, will release their new live CD, 45 LIVE, on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. For the recording, the band hosted a three-day party in March of 2013 at one of their favorite haunts, The Ocean Mist, in Matunuck, Rhode Island. They packed the club to capacity, playing to roaring ovations each night. The resulting album, 45 LIVE, is among Roomful of Blues' crowning achievements. The album is a lightning-in-a-bottle blowout, showcasing the larger-than-life vocal and instrumental power of the band.

45 LIVE, produced by bandleader/guitarist Chris Vachon, features 14 songs (over an hour of music) spanning the entirety of the band's history. The tracks were carefully chosen by Vachon, who included some of the group's best known originals like Dressed Up To Get Messed Up, Turn It On, Turn It Up, and That's Right!, as well as tunes the band had previously recorded or performed with blues giants Joe Turner (Crawdad Hole), Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson (Somebody's Got To Go) and Earl King (It All Went Down The Drain).

For nearly half a century, Roomful of Blues has been delivering its signature blend of swing, rock ‘n' roll, jump, blues and R&B to euphoric audiences all over the world. Blues Revue says, "Roomful of Blues is a sheer joy...contagious, finger-popping, head-bopping grooves...the horns blast loud and proud...explosive and electrifying." The band has earned five Grammy Award nominations and a slew of other accolades, including seven Blues Music Awards. Twice, the prestigious DownBeat International Critics Poll selected them as Best Blues Band. With their masterful combination of jumping, horn-heavy blues and R&B, it's no wonder why the great Count Basie called them "the hottest blues band I've ever heard." Billboard simply says, "Roomful is so tight and so right."

DownBeat magazine declares Roomful of Blues "are in a class by themselves." The band has been led since 1998 by Vachon, who according to Guitar Player, "burns with explosive solos and a delightfully greasy sense of rhythm." Roomful of Blues has always maintained its signature sound through great musicianship and a stellar horn section -- featuring Rich Lataille, who first joined the band in 1970 on tenor and alto saxophone (and clarinetist on 45 LIVE's Jambalaya)  Lataille's masterful playing can evoke either the fat-toned honking sax of the glory days of early rock or the cool elegance of big band swing jazz.

While Roomful of Blues has always been one of the tightest, most joyful blues ensembles in the world, they have never sounded fresher or stronger than with the current line-up. Along with Vachon and Lataille, the band includes vocalist Phil Pemberton, long-time tenor and baritone saxophonist Mark Earley, trumpeter Doug Woolverton, bassist John Turner, drummer Chris Rivelli and keyboardist Rusty Scott.

Roomful of Blues came together in Westerly, Rhode Island in the late 1960s when guitarist Duke Robillard and keyboardist Al Copley began exploring the swinging, jumping blues, R&B and jazz of the 1940s and 1950s. They added a horn section (including Rich Lataille) in 1970. The band's ability to ignite a sedate crowd into a dancing frenzy solidified their reputation as the best "little big band" in New England and expanded their following into New York and Washington, D.C. In 1974, they performed with Count Basie, and a few years later legendary songwriter Doc Pomus helped them land their first record deal. In 1977, Roomful of Blues' self-titled debut album on Island Records (reissued on Hyena Records) brought them to the attention of fans and critics from coast to coast.

Over the years there have been more than 50 Roomful of Blues members, each bringing his or her own unique talent and vision to the mix. Famed alumni include guitarist Ronnie Earl, vocalist Lou Ann Barton, vocalist/harpist Curtis Salgado, saxist/vocalist Greg Piccolo and harpist/vocalist Sugar Ray Norcia. Recording for Rounder Records' Bullseye Blues and Varrick labels between 1980 and 2001, the band cut nine albums that won them international fame and major rock radio airplay. They've gigged with stars ranging from bluesmen B.B. King, Otis Rush and Stevie Ray Vaughan to rockers Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana. The band has performed in cities from coast to coast, and traveled abroad to 22 countries including Lebanon, Poland,Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey and Russia.

Since Roomful joined the Alligator Records family in 2003, their popularity has continued to increase. Their first Alligator CD was the Grammy-nominated That's Right! in 2003, followed by Standing Room Only in 2005, Raisin' A Ruckus in 2008 and Hook, Line & Sinker in 2010. All four albums received massive amounts of critical and popular praise and kept old and new fans flocking to see them live. Blurt magazine raves, "No group has kept the spirit of early rock and roll alive better than Roomful of Blues. The heat burns red hot...they are pure fun to listen to. They are one of America's musical treasures."

With 45 LIVE, Roomful of Blues has fully captured the frenetic energy and musical power of their live show. The band will hit the road hard once again, so people can see and hear for themselves why The Chicago Sun-Times said, "This is a band on top of its game, sliding easily from big-band jazz-blues to guitar-drenched urban blues...let the party begin."

Monday, May 13, 2013

Shining Stone Records Signs Guitarist Paul Gabriel & Will Release His Label Debut CD, "What's the Chance," on June 18

Shining Stone Records Signs Guitarist Paul Gabriel and Will Release His Label Debut CD, What’s the Chance, on June 18

Album Produced by Duke Robillard and Also Features Special Guests Mark Naftalin and Roomful of Blues Horns






MIAMI, FL – Shining Stone Records announces the signing of Connecticut-based guitarist Paul Gabriel, and will release his label debut CD, What’s the Chance, on June 18. Produced by Duke Robillard, What’s the Chance features Paul Gabriel backed by a core band of Billy Bileca on bass, Nick Longo on drums and Larry “Buzzy” Fallstrom on keyboards. Special guests on the new album include Duke Robillard on guitars and background vocals; former Butterfield Blues Band alumnus Mark Naftalin on piano; Bruce Bears on keyboards; Steve Pastir on guitar; and the Roomful of Blues Horns consisting of Rich Lataille on alto/tenor sax, Mark Earley on tenor/baritone sax, and Doug Woolverton on trumpet.
For decades, Paul Gabriel has been a regional treasure in New England, and his previous forays into recording have brought him accolades from fans, critics and fellow musicians alike. In a career that spans over 40 years, Gabriel appeared on three albums by legendary singer/songwriter Harry Chapin, played slide guitar on Rory Block’s Grammy-nominated album, Mama’s Blues, toured with Michael Bolton and recorded and toured with his several of his own bands.
Now, with the release of What’s the Chance, Paul Gabriel truly steps into the spotlight on an album of 13 tracks that not only showcases him as a distinctive, bluesy guitarist, but also a talented songwriter and a master of diverse musical styles. Throughout the new disc, he takes the listener on a trip of blues, R&B and even excursions into jazz, as evidenced by the two instrumentals on the CD, “328 Chauncy Street” and “C.M.C.” On the lone cover, Chris Kenner’s “Something You Got,” Gabriel does the Crescent City proud with a lowdown and swingy take on the New Orleans gem.
Gabriel and Robillard have known each other for many years and the two had a great simpatico in the studio, trading guitar solos on several cuts, including the jumpin’ opener, “Old Time Ball,” “Ride, Ride, Ride” and the aforementioned”328 Chauncy Street.” Original Paul Butterfield Blues Band member Mark Naftalin joins in the fun on two tracks, playing piano on “Devil’s Daughter” and the duet spot with Gabriel on “Fine At’tire,” a hipster/rhythm and blues tune that recalls the best of the early ‘50s sound.         
“I first saw Duke Robillard perform around 1968 with a new band called Roomful of Blues.” recalls Gabriel. “Our paths crossed many times over the next few years leading to the eighties, and at some point I realized that I needed to absorb what Duke was doing. Eventually we got together (1983), sat down and just played at Duke's house. He encouraged me about the things I did well and helped me correct the things that I was doing wrong, all the time treating me as a peer and always giving me little clues that would help develop my style further. During the ten years with my band, Blue in the Face (1987-1997), I did numerous shows opening for Duke, continuing to learn from him. In 2011, I did a show with him, playing solo and performing some new songs I had written in anticipation of a new release. One of the songs I played was called 'Roomful of Blues.' Duke asked me if I had recorded that yet, and I said I was saving it for the new release. Later that year, I headed to Rhode Island to start recording the new album with Duke producing. Right from the beginning, the magic was happening. The band, engineer Jack Gauthier and Duke all became one, as the chemistry created something very special, and in my opinion, the best album I have ever done.”
  
What’s the Chance was recorded and mixed at Lakewest Recording. “Some very special equipment was used during this recording,” said Gabriel about the sessions, “including a Sony 24-channel tape recorder, real tape delays and a lot of really great guitars and amps. I used a 1954 Gibson ES-5, a 1963 Fender Stratocaster, a 1966 Fender Jazzmaster, a 1965 Fender Super Reverb and a 1965 Fender Twin Reverb. Duke played a variety of Fender guitars, Teles and Strats, Epiphone Casino, a Gibson Midtown, and a 1947 Gibson L-7 archtop.  Billy Bileca used a 1966 Fender Precision bass and a 1947 Kay upright bass.  Mark Naftalin played a real piano and Larry Fallstrom a 1961 Hammond B-3 and Leslie tone cabinet. Nick Longo used a lot of old drums and Bruce Bears played a variety of keyboards by Nord. The horn section used a variety of 50s and 60s era instruments that produce a sound that only they can.”

Monday, October 29, 2012

Roomful of Blues - Rich Lataille

Roomful of Blues during the Jazztime 2012 Festival in Hildesheim, Germany Chris Vachon - Guitar Rich Lataille - sax Mark Earley - sax Travis Colby - keys Ephraim Lowell - drums Doug Woolverton - trumpet John Turner - bass Phil Pemberton - Vocals Rich joined Roomful in 1970 and was there at the beginning of what has become the most legendary horn section in contemporary blues. It was Rich’s interest in the swinging bands of the ’30s and ’40s that led Roomful to forge the distinctive sound that has become the band’s trademark. A man who can play both sides of the fence, lyrically tender or blisteringly hot, Rich has a big, warm tone that is always jam-packed with feeling. His melodic inventiveness reflects the depth and breadth of his wide-ranging influences. Rich worked with various local and high-school bands before beginning his long-term relationship with Roomful. 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”

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.