137

Roomful of Blues: That

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Roomful of Blues: That 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 label, modern blues bastion Alligator Records. The group has reincarnated as an octet led by guitarist Chris Vachon with a new lead singer, bassist, drummer, keyboard player, and saxophonist joining holdovers Vachon, trumpeter Bob Enos and saxophonist Rich Lataille, That’s Right! revisits Roomful’s legacy as an institution of American roots music, specifically the joint-rockin’ sound of jump blues.

Just like the group personnel, this new album blends new and old material together into a mixed bag of straight blues, jump blues, hard swing, and rock & roll. ROB bounces through lots of up-tempo material from T-Bone Walker (“I Know Your Wig Is Gone”), Little Milton (“I’m Tryin’”), and Elmore James (“Stranger Blues”), plus songs popularized by Turner (“Lipstick, Powder and Paint”) and Big Maybelle (“Ocean of Tears”).

Close your eyes and crank it up, and you’ll swear you’re crammed in a hot and steamy club. “Wig” shakes, rattles and rolls true to the earthy yet gentlemanly spirit of Walker, one of the true founding forefathers of blues. They downshift into slow-rolling blues just twice and each time Vachon’s guitar ignites blazes, almost overpowering the entire ensemble, burning like Albert King on “How Long Will It Last?” and like Albert Collins on “I Just Got To Know.”


See From The Inside Out for related reviews.


Track Listing: 1. That's Right! 2. We Can't Make It 3. Shame, Shame, Shame 4. How Long Will It Last? 5. You're Driving Me Crazy 6. Ocean Of Tears

Personnel: Bob Enos

Title: That | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Alligator Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Good Merlin CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Morphogenesis" CD/LP/Track Review Morphogenesis
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "A Multitude of Angels" CD/LP/Track Review A Multitude of Angels
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Our Second Set" CD/LP/Track Review Our Second Set
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2016
Read "All These Hands" CD/LP/Track Review All These Hands
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Reflection" CD/LP/Track Review Reflection
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "Because I Love You" CD/LP/Track Review Because I Love You
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 12, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.