Alligator Recording Artists Roomful of Blues to Perform Live in Arden


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“A sheer joy...contagious, finger-popping, head-bopping grooves...the horns blast loud & proud...explosive & electrifying."
- Blues Revue

The horn-fueled, jumping, swinging, award-winning band, Roomful of Blues, will celebrate the release of its new Alligator CD, Standing Room Only, with a live performance in Arden. The great Count Basie called them, “the hottest blues band I've ever heard." DownBeat said the band is “in a class by itself." Without a doubt, Roomful of Blues is all this and more. Roomful of Blues won the 2005 Blues Music Award for Blues Instrumentalist: Horns, and in 2004 they picked up both the coveted 2004 Blues Music Award for Band of the Year and the Blues Instrumentalist: Horns award. Concert information is as follows:

Friday, November 11th: Arden Gild Hall
2126 The HWY Arden, DE
8:00 p.m. $25 members/$30 general

With an almost non-stop performance schedule for the last 36 years, Roomful of Blues has earned critical, popular and radio success and a legion of fans around the globe. Twice, the prestigious DownBeat International Critics Poll selected Roomful of Blues as Best Blues Band. They joined the Alligator Records family with That's Right! in 2003. The CD received massive amounts of praise and received yet another Grammy nomination. Now they're back with Standing Room Only, an utterly hip-shaking set of songs highlighting the vocal and instrumental power of the band.

Remaining together for so long is not simply a matter of survival, but rather a testament to Roomful of Blues' commitment to its originality and its ability to evolve. An eight-piece unit led by guitarist Chris Vachon, the band has never sounded fresher or stronger. With vocalist / harpist Mark DuFresne, bassist Brad Hallen, drummer Jason Corbiere, keyboardist (and newest member of the group) Travis Colby, baritone and tenor saxophonist Mark Earley along with long-time members tenor and alto saxophonist Rich Lataille (the longest-standing member of the group) and trumpeter Bob Enos, Standing Room Only swings with ferocity and rocks with urgency and purpose. Moving effortlessly from eight originals to six carefully chosen covers, the expertly executed songs sizzle from start to finish.

It all began in Westerly, Rhode Island in 1967 when guitarist Duke Robillard and keyboardist Al Copley started a band that played tough, no-holds-barred Chicago blues. They soon began exploring the swinging, jumping blues, R&B and jazz of the 1940s and 1950s, and added a horn section in 1970. 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 (recently reissued on Hyena Records) brought them to the attention of fans and critics from coast to coast.

Roomful recorded the critically acclaimed Hot Little Mama for their own Blue Flame label and two successful albums for the Varrick label during the 1980s. In 1994 they released Dance All Night, their first featuring guitarist Chris Vachon (who joined the band in 1990) and harpist / vocalist Sugar Ray Norcia. Radio play was increasing, as was the band's stature. Their 1995 album, the Grammy-nominated Turn It On! Turn It Up!, was a remarkable mix of big band swing and rock 'n' roll, bringing the band its greatest radio and sales success to date, and giving them credibility with the rock radio audience.

In addition to their band recordings, Roomful of Blues have often backed legendary musicians like Jimmy Witherspoon, Jimmy McCracklin, Roy Brown, Joe Turner, Eddie “Cleanhead" Vinson and Earl King~stars of the 1940s and 1950s blues scene, and the very people who created 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 Canadian star Colin James on his double platinum album (in Canada), Colin James and the Little Big Band, and Stevie Ray Vaughan on his 1984 Live At Carnegie Hall album on Epic.

In 2002, singer/harpist Mark DuFresne took over the vocal duties, and the band began a return to their jazzy, jump-blues musical roots. Their winning combination of jump, swing, blues, R&B and soul remains their calling card, as does their ability to fill the dance floor. Since the release of That's Right!, the band has toured - as they always have - virtually non-stop, hitting cities from coast to coast, and traveling abroad to Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey and Russia.

In 2005, Roomful of Blues will once again hit the road hard, bringing their horn and guitar-fueled music to fans around the world. With their non-stop touring schedule, long-time fans and new converts alike can see for themselves why The San Francisco Examiner called them, “the hottest, most solid and wonderfully entertaining band around." With Standing Room Only, they have all the proof they'll ever need.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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