Does it get any hotter than the average temperature in Phoenix (Arizona) in mid-August? Well, yes, if you enter the four walls of the Rhythm Room. Blue Witch Record has released House Rockin' and Blues Shoutin'a fourteen-song compilation of live cuts from the last fifteen years produced by the club's owner and harmonica player, Bob Corritone.
I wish I could tell you more about the club or the nights of each performance, but the packaging of this collection fails to provide such information, which one would think of as paramount to a release celebrating fifteen years in business, quite an accomplishment in today's music industry. With that aside, the music on the collection provides an hour of fun and inspiration. As for many, blues is most enjoyed in its live and immediate state of the concert setting.
The album kicks off with the Fabulous Thunderbirds "Goin Away Baby, an appropriate and rocking performance. The Thunderbirds contribute a total of three recordings from two separate nights including "Rich Woman and "Horsin' Around. They are equally satisfying and exactly what you would expect from this veteran outfit.
The top highlights and what makes this disc worth the price of admission, are the tracks by Finis Tasby and Sonny Rhodes. While Rhodes' "My Bleeding Heart is a slower burn than what one might expect from a live multi-artist collection, it provides insight into an artist at his peak on a great night of performing, something you cannot beat. Tasby on the other hand, leads a group called the Manish Boys and his vocal performance on "Lonesome Bedroom just soars over the bands solid playing, a true gem.
All in all, House Rockin contains an hour of blues in its finest form with some of the top purveyors of the art form. However, good music aside, the packaging lacks the information, photos and flow that would be appropriate for such a milestone collection.
Track Listing: Goin' Away Baby; Lonesome Bedroom; Long John's Country Blues; Please Don't Go;
That's All Right; Henry's Houserocker; Rich Woman; My Bleeding Heart; That's It;
Monkey Meat; C.C. Rider; Horsingí Around; Time Will Tell; Two Drinks of Wine.
Personnel: Fabulous Thunderbirds (1, 7, 12); Mannish Boys, Finis Tasby (2); Long John Hunter (3); Floyd Dixon (4); Big Pete Pearson & Rhythm Room All-Stars (5);
Henry Gray, Kid Ramos (6); Sonny Rhodes (8); Paul Oscher (9);
Chief Schabuttie Gilliame, Johnny Dyer (10); Lockwood, Robert Jr. (11);
Louisiana Red (13); Arnold, Billy Boy (14).
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.