HIGHWAY 99 BLUES CLUB -SEATTLE, WA
FRIDAY and SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20 & 21, 2006
Mitch Woods will celebrate the release of his new CD/DVD combo Big Easy Boogie at the Highway 99 Blues Club (1414 Alaskan Way Seattle, WA, telephone: (206) 382-2171 url: www.highwayninetynine.com) on Friday, October 20, and Saturday October 21, 2006. The show starts at 8:30 pm, 21+ please, $12 at the door.
Pianist/Vocalist Mitch Woods brings together for a special performance an unsung inner circle of New Orleans rock 'n' roll royalty including Reggie Houston (original member of the Fats Domino Band, Charmaine Neville, Terrance Simien, and others).
Born in Brooklyn in 1951, Mitch Woods began playing classical piano at eleven, but his real initiation into blues and boogie piano had already been assured at age eight. My mom would hire this superintendent of the building, a black man, Mr. Brown, to take me to school, and we stopped off at his cousin's house, where somebody was playing boogie-woogie piano. It really hit me."
Woods was putting together bands in Greenwich Village by his mid-teens. By the time he entered the University of Buffalo, Woods was sitting in at local clubs and discovering records by boogie woogie pioneers Meade Lux Lewis, Albert Ammons, and Pete Johnson. It was during a class on Afro-American music taught by noted jazz sax player Archie Shepp in 1970 that Woods finally realized he was bound to be a pianoman.
Mitch then spent the next 10 years gaining songwriting and performing experience, until in 1980 he assembled the highly successful and popular boogie-woogie band Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88s. International success and acclaim came relatively quickly. After only four years Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88s were releasing the first of five albums on the Blind Pig Record label, and soon after embarked on the first of many European tours. Then as now Mitch has always enjoyed working along side talented musicians--Keeper of the Flame, his highly-acclaimed 1996 CD, featured duets with blues greats John Lee Hooker, James Cotton, Johnnie Johnson, Earl King and Lee Allen.
Mitch and his Rocket 88s toured constantly for 20 years. During this time, he developed his passion for bandleading and discovered the power of being a strong singer. Another interest was taking hold, too - the funky piano-driven music of New Orleans. Mitch has long been infatuated with the music of the Big Easy. I'm a boogie-woogie and blues piano player for the most part, but I also incorporate other styles within that, like the New Orleans influence; New Orleans R&B piano playing, like Dr. John, of course Professor Longhair."
Taking a break from the Rocket 88s, Mitch developed Big Easy Boogie as a side project. He went to New Orleans, wrote 13 songs, invited into the studio members of Fats Domino's band, and co-produced a album with the legendary Dave Bartholomew (producer for Fats Domino). The resulting CD/DVD combo, Big Easy Boogie, was released in June 2006. The critics love it!
Vintage rock 'n' roll inspired by New Orleans piano great Fats Domino and Professor Longhair"--San Francisco Chronicle
A two-fisted love letter to Fats Domino and Professor Longhair"--Blues Revue
The Big Easy version of the Buena Vista Social Club"--The Times Picayune
Seattle is in for a special treat. On October 20 and 21st, for two special nights at the Highway 99 Blues Club, Mitch will reunite with several of the Big Easy Boogie session band members. Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to relive the high-life, boogie-woogie Fats Domino era. It promises to be a high energy night of New Orleans rhythm & blues. Come down to dance and celebrate, and don't forget your Mardi Gras beads! The Highway 99 Blues Club is an exciting venue for the blues culture and music of America. Housed in a 1909 brick building on the Seattle waterfront, the Highway 99 Blues Club is inspired by the juke joints of The South and neighborhood blues clubs of Chicago.