USA Today called Roomful of Blues “Swingin’ jump blues and R&B…high-voltage yet classy” and this jumping, swinging, rocking, award-winning band, will perform at Tibbits Opera House in Coldwater Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 7:30 pm.
Roomful of Blues has earned five Grammy Award nominations and a slew of other accolades, including seven Blues Music Awards. Twice, the prestigious DownBeat International Critics Poll selected them as Best Blues Band. With their masterful combination of jumping, horn-heavy blues and R&B, it’s no wonder why the great Count Basie called them “the hottest blues band I’ve ever heard.”
The band has been led since 1998 by bandleader/guitarist Chris Vachon, who according to Guitar Player, “burns with explosive solos and a delightfully greasy sense of rhythm.” Roomful of Blues has always maintained its signature sound through great musicianship and a stellar horn section featuring Rich Lataille, who first joined the band in 1970 on tenor and alto saxophone. Lataille’s masterful playing can evoke either the fat-toned honking sax of the glory days of early rock or the cool elegance of big band swing jazz.
While Roomful of Blues has always been one of the tightest, most joyful blues ensembles in the world, and its current line-up maintains a fresh or strong sound. Along with Vachon and Lataille, the band includes vocalist Phil Pemberton, tenor and baritone saxophonist Alek Razdan, trumpeter Carl “Geerz” Gerhard, bassist John Turner, drummer Chris Anzalone and keyboardist Rusty Scott.
Roomful of Blues came together in Westerly, Rhode Island in the late 1960s when guitarist Duke Robillard and keyboardist Al Copley began exploring the swinging, jumping blues, R&B and jazz of the 1940s and 1950s. They added a horn section (including Rich Lataille) in 1970. The band’s ability to ignite a sedate crowd into a dancing frenzy solidified their reputation as the best “little big band” in New England and expanded their following into New York and Washington, D.C. 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 (reissued on Hyena Records) brought them to the attention of fans and critics from coast to coast. Between 1980 and 2001, the band cut nine albums winning them international fame and major rock radio airplay. The band has performed in cities from coast to coast, and traveled abroad to 22 countries including Lebanon, Poland, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey and Russia.
Audiences can see and hear for themselves why The Chicago Sun-Times said, “This is a band on top of its game, sliding easily from big-band jazz-blues to guitar-drenched urban blues…let the party begin.” Catch Roomful of Blues at Tibbits Opera House, 14 S. Hanchett St. in Coldwater, MI Saturday, June 8, at 7:30pm. Tickets range from $15-22 including fees, with a discount for Tibbits members. Tickets are available at Tibbits.org, at the theatre box office open Monday through Friday 9-5 or by calling 517.278.6029. This event also features a cash bar.