Roomful of Blues

Friday
07
Jun

The Best Big Blues Band in the Land

Swing, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Jump, Blues and R&B

 

Why you should see this show…

For the last 50 Years Roomful of Blues has become legendary in the Blues World. Roomful has toured the world and recorded over 25 albums. With five Grammy nominations and a slew of music awards and accolades, Roomful has become a recognized leader in their genre.
 

Roomful of Blues Bio
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 has 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.”

Roomful of Blues, according to DownBeat magazine, “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 tenor and alto saxophonist (and clarinetist on 45 Live’s Jambalaya) Rich Lataille, who first joined the band in 1970. 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, tenor and baritone saxophonist Alek Razdan, trumpeter Carl “Geerz” Gerhard, bassist John Turner, drummer Chris Anzalone 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 fifty 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.

In addition to their band recordings, Roomful of Blues were handpicked by legendary musicians like Jimmy Witherspoon, Jimmy McCracklin, Roy Brown, Joe Turner, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson and Earl King to back them on stage and on record. These stars of the 1940s and 1950s blues and R&B scene were the very people who created and inspired the music that Roomful still keeps vital and alive. Roomful recorded albums with Turner, Vinson and King during the 1980s, and all three recordings received Grammy nominations. The Roomful Horns backed many other artists as well, including rocker Pat Benatar on her 1991 album True Love, Canadian star Colin James on his album Colin James and the Little Big Band and Stevie Ray Vaughan on his 1984 Live At Carnegie Hall album.

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.”

“[They are] the baddest big blues band in the land.” —Boston Herald

 

Dining Option

Purchase of a ticket to a show in the Supper Club ensures you will have a seat for the concert. However, if you intend to dine before or during the performance, you also need to make a dining reservation. To make a dining reservation, click here or call our Box Office at (216) 242-1250. Click here to see Rusty Anchor menu.

If you are attending a concert in the Supper Club with a party of two or more, please have one person make a reservation for the whole group to ensure you are seated together. If you are attending with a party of eight or more, you must call the Box Office to make your reservation at (216) 242-1250.

To better serve all our customers, we require that you arrive on time for your dining reservation. Arriving more than 15 minutes after your reserved time will result in the cancellation of your reservation. You will be seated for the concert, but you may be put on a waiting list for dining.

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