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by Chris M. Slawecki
A few numbers: 40 band alumnae, 35 years, 16 albums, 4 Grammy Award nominations, and 2 W.C. Handy Awards since the group was founded by keyboardist Al Copley and guitarist Duke Robillard. Roomful of Blues’ resume includes Joe Turner, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson and was once called “the hottest blues band I’ve ever heard” after a gig supporting no less an authority than Count Basie.
That’s Right! debuts a new Roomful band on a new ...read more
by Ed Kopp
In commemorating its 30th anniversary as a label, Rounder Records is releasing 30 retrospective albums containing exceptional songs culled from its 3,000-plus albums. One full CD is appropriately devoted to Roomful of Blues, the great Providence-based jump band that's toured the world an average of 200 days per year for 32 years now.Roomful is an institution in the jump-blues tradition established by such mid-century artists as Big Joe Turner and Wynonie Harris. The nine-piece ensemble is also one ...read more
by Ed Kopp
Few bands could survive the loss of three key members, but Roomful of Blues has endured numerous personnel shakeups in its 31-year existence. There Goes The Neighborhood marks a change in both personnel and attitude for the legendary ensemble. Now that trombonist Carl Querfurth is gone, guitarist Chris Vachon appears to wield more influence. The emphasis is more on straight-ahead blues with fewer swing tunes, though there's enough swing here to keep long-time fans happy. New singer Mac Odom has ...read more