Roomful of Blues: Classic Blues Band at B.B. King's
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“Excellent, marvelous wall-to-wall grooves … between the wicked guitar work and the brassy horn section, things never stop swinging.” —USA Today
“Few bands swing the blues more exuberantly than Roomful of Blues … boisterous and relentlessly upbeat.” —Entertainment Weekly
Roomful of Blues, according to _DownBeat _magazine, “are in a class by themselves.” With the band’s masterful combination of jumping, horn-heavy, hard-edged blues and R&B, it’s no wonder why the great Count Basie called Roomful “the hottest blues band I’ve ever heard.” Since 1967, the group’s deeply-rooted blend of swing, rock `n’ roll, jump, blues, and soul has earned it five Grammy Award nominations and a slew of other accolades, including seven Blues Music Awards (one for Blues Band of The Year in 2005), two selections as Best Blues Band in the DownBeat International Critics Poll, and a Boston Music Award for Best Blues Act of 2011.
Over the years Roomful of Blues has played countless clubs, concerts, and many major festivals, including the Monterey Blues Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, and the Montreux Jazz Festival. The band has gigged with stars ranging from bluesmen B.B. King, Otis Rush, and Stevie Ray Vaughan to rockers Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana, and it has backed legendary musicians like Jimmy Witherspoon, Jimmy McCracklin, Roy Brown, Joe Turner, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, and Earl King – stars of the blues and R&B scenes of the ’40s and ’50s. In addition, Roomful has toured – as it always has – virtually non-stop, hitting cities from coast to coast and traveling abroad to Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey, and Russia.
Over the years there have been more than 50 Roomful of Blues members, each bringing his or her own unique talent and vision to the mix. Famed alumni include guitarist Ronnie Earl, vocalist Lou Ann Barton, saxophonist and vocalist Greg Piccolo, and harpist and vocalist Sugar Ray Norcia. In addition, the band has been led since 1996 by guitarist Chris Vachon and features saxophonist Rich Lataille, who first joined the band in 1970. Recording for Rounder Records’ Bullseye Blues and Varrick labels between 1980 and 2001, the band cut nine albums that won it international fame and major rock radio airplay. When Vachon joined in 1990, he guided the band to a Grammy nomination for 1995’s Turn It On! Turn It Up! Now, with its latest release Hook, Line & Sinker (2011), Roomful of Blues continues to bring its horn and guitar-fueled music to fans around the world.