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Courtesy of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roomful_of_Blues

History

Roomful Of Blues is a horn-heavy American blues and swing revival big band based in Rhode Island. With a recording career that spans over 40 years, they have toured worldwide and recorded many albums. Roomful of Blues, according to The Chicago Sun-Times, “Swagger, sway and swing with energy and precision. Since 1967, the group’s blend of swing, rock and roll, jump blues, boogie-woogie and soul has earned it five Grammy Award nominations and many other accolades, including seven Blues Music Awards (with a victory as Blues Band Of The Year in 2005). Billboard called the band “a tour de force of horn-fried blues…Roomful is so tight and so right.”. The Down Beat International Critics Poll has twice selected Roomful of Blues as Best Blues Band.

Roomful of Blues is currently an eight-piece unit led by guitarist Chris Vachon and featuring long-time tenor and alto sax player Rich Lataille. In 2010, singer Phil Pemberton took over the vocal duties, replacing Dave Howard. Recently members are bassist John Turner and drummer Ephraim Lowell, joining long-time members keyboardist Travis Colby, and baritone and tenor saxophonist Mark Earley. Over the years there have been at least 48 Roomful of Blues members

Career

Roomful of Blues was born in Westerly, Rhode Island in 1967 when guitarist Duke Robillard and pianist Al Copley started a band that played tough, no-holds-barred Chicago blues. They soon began exploring the swinging, jumping blues, R&B and jazz of the 1940s and 1950s, and added a horn section (including Rich Lataille) in 1970. They established a devoted fan base in New England. In 1974, they performed with Count Basie, and a few years later songwriter Doc Pomus helped them land their first record deal, and produced their debut with co-producer Joel Dorn. In 1977, Roomful of Blues’ self-titled debut album on Island Records (reissued on Hyena Records as The First Album) brought them to national attention.


Founding member Duke Robillard left the band in 1980, and guitarist Ronnie Earl replaced him. Singer Lou Ann Barton joined the band at this time, sharing vocals with sax man Greg Piccolo. By now the band was touring nationally, attracting bigger and bigger crowds. Roomful recorded the Hot Little Mama for their own Blue Flame label and two successful albums for the Varrick label during the 1980s. In 1994, they released Dance All Night, their first featuring guitarist Chris Vachon (who joined the band in 1990) and harpist/vocalist Sugar Ray Norcia. Their 1995 album, the Grammy-nominated Turn It On! Turn It Up!, a mix of big band swing and rock 'n' roll, brought the band its greatest radio and sales success to date. Roomful of Blues joined Chicago-based Alligator Records with the Grammy-nominated That’s Right! in 2003, followed by Standing Room Only in 2005 and Raisin’ A Ruckus in 2008. Down Beat described Standing Room Only as “bold, brassy and highly danceable jump blues with contemporary energy and sophistication...swings with a vengeance.”


In addition to their band recordings, Roomful of Blues often backed musicians like Jimmy Witherspoon, Jimmy McCracklin, Roy Brown, Joe Turner, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson and Earl King—stars of the 1940s and 1950s jump blues scene. Roomful recorded albums with Turner, Vinson and King during the 1980s, and all three recordings received Grammy nominations. They played with rocker Pat Benatar on her 1991 album True Love. The Roomful Horns backed many other artists as well, including Canadian star Colin James on his double platinum album (in Canada), Colin James and the Little Big Band, and Stevie Ray Vaughan on his 1984 Live At Carnegie Hall album on Epic.


Over the years Roomful of Blues has played countless gigs and many major festivals, including The San Francisco Blues Festival, The King Biscuit Blues Festival, The Beale Street Music Festival, Blues On The Fox, Illinois Blues Festival, Kansas City Blues Festival, Monterey Blues Festival, Santa Cruz Blues Festival, and overseas at The North Sea Jazz Festival, The Stockholm Jazz Festival, The Montreux Jazz Festival, Notodden Festival and the Belgian Rhythm & Blues Festival. They’ve gigged with blues stars ranging from B.B. King, Otis Rush and Stevie Ray Vaughan to rockers Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana. The band has toured virtually non-stop, hitting cities from coast to coast, and traveling abroad to Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey and Russia.

Members

Throughout four decades of continuous touring and recording, the band's line-up has experienced many changes. It is said that more than 50 musicians have been playing in the band. Some of them have achieved a successful solo career. Of note, Porky Cohen, whose career began in the 1940s and included playing in the bands of Charlie Barnet, Artie Shaw, Lucky Millinder, Tommy Dorsey and others, was in the band. Rich Lataille, alto and tenor saxophone, is the only remaining member from the original line-up.

 

CONCERT WE PRESENTLY KNOW ABOUT

 

DATE VENUE MAIN BAND SUPPORT SUPPORT AD TICKET PICTURES TAPE
February 23, 1973 University of Rhode Island, Keaney Gym Lou Reed Roomful Of Blues          
September 28, 1973 Brown University, Alumnae Hall  Roomful Of Blues     YES      
January 26, 1974 Palace Concert Theater, Providence Bonnie Raitt Roomful Of Blues         Recorded
August 18, 1974 Roger William Park, Providence Bonnie Raitt Roomful Of Blues          
April   , 1976 Brown University. Meehan Auditorium J. D. Souther Roomful of Blues          
May 1, 1976 Brown University. Meehan Auditorium Roy Buchanan Buddy Guy & Junior Wells Roomful Of Blues        
August 14, 1976 Providence Civic Center BB King Muddy Waters, Roy Buchanan, Freddie King, Buddy Guy, Jr. Wells, Koko Taylor, Willie Dixon, Roomful Of Blues   YES YES   Recorded
March 30, 1977 Brown University. Meehan Auditorium Pousette-Dart Band Leo Kottke Roomful of Blues        
July 1, 1978 Newport Jazz 78, Fort Adams Park Herbie Mann  Dave Brubeck Roomful Of Blues        
December 10, 1980 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence Roomful Of Blues Li'l Queenie & The Percolators   YES      
November 29, 1986 Performing Arts Center, Providence  Stevie Ray Vaughan Roomful Of Blues          
November 29, 1986 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence Stevie Ray Vaughan Roomful Of Blues          
March 13, 1987 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence Roomful Of Blues            
March 21, 1987 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence Roomful Of Blues            
May 9, 1987 Living Room, Providence Roomful Of Blues Robin Trower          
December 12, 1987 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence Roomful Of Blues Chili Bros          
April 29, 1988 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence Roomful Of Blues Little Frankie and the Premiers          
April 30, 1988 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence Roomful Of Blues Ken Lyon & Tombstone          
July 8, 1988 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence Roomful Of Blues            
July 9, 1988 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence Roomful Of Blues            
July 22, 1988 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence Roomful Of Blues The Raindogs Ken Lyon & Tombstone        
September 4, 1988 Quonset Point Naval Base, Providence Beach Boys Beaver Brown Roomful Of Blues        
December 3, 1988 Living Room, Providence Roomful Of Blues            
April 7, 1989 Living Room, Providence Roomful Of Blues     YES      
April 29, 1989 Living Room, Providence Roomful Of Blues Phish   YES      
May 20, 1989 Living Room, Providence Roomful Of Blues The Raindogs   YES      
May 25, 1989 Living Room, Providence Roomful Of Blues     YES      
June 10, 1989 Living Room, Providence Roomful Of Blues Phish          
June 24, 1989 Windjammer Concert Club, Westerly Roomful Of Blues            
June 30, 1989 Living Room, Providence Roomful Of Blues            
July 8, 1989 Living Room, Providence Roomful Of Blues            
July 29, 1989 Living Room, Providence Roomful Of Blues            
February 22, 1991 Performing Arts Center, Providence  B.B. King Roomful Of Blues          
July 23, 1991 Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick Pat Benatar Roomful Of Blues   YES      
August 14, 1991 Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick Fabulous Thunderbirds Roomful Of Blues          
July 9, 1993 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence Young Adults NRBQ Roomfull Of Blues        
July 10, 1993 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence Young Adults NRBQ Roomfull Of Blues        
February 5, 1994 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence Roomful Of Blues Leslie West          
October 15, 1994 Rocky Point Palladium, Warwick Roomful of Blues 25th Anniversary Show             
June 26, 2007 Lupo's at the Strand, Providence Jimmie Vaughan Roomful Of Blues          
September 7, 2008 Hot Club, Providence Roomful Of Blues Roomful Of Blues          
June 15, 2009 Roger Williams Park Zoo, Providence Roomful Of Blues            
June 15, 2009 The Met, Pawtucket John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band Roomful Of Blues          

 

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