(Aug. 11, 2006) The Madison Ribberfest committee
boasts one of the strongest lineups of blues bands in the festivals
five-year existence, and this year tops off the Friday night performances
with Roomful of Blues.
of Blues takes the
stage at 10 p.m. Friday.
This Rhode Island-based group has earned five Grammy Award nominations
and will take the stage at 10 p.m. Friday. Called the partys
party band by Blues Beat Magazine, the nationally prominent
band has been around since 1967.
The band began in Westerly, R.I., when legendary guitarist Duke Robillard
and keyboardist Al Copley started a band that played tough, no-holds-barred
Chicago blues. They soon began experimenting with the swinging, jumping
blues, R&B and jazz of the 1940s and 1950s and added a horn section
Over the years, there have been at least 44 Roomful of Blues members,
each bringing a unique element to the musical mix. While the lineup
has changed, the music has remained a deeply-rooted, horn-driven blend
of swing, rock and roll, blues and soul. The band has always featured
a stellar horn section.
Currently, the lineup includes guitarist Chris Vachon, vocalist-harpist
Mark DuFresne, bassist Brad Hallen, drummer Jason Corbiere, keyboardist
Travis Colby, baritone and tenor saxophonist Mark Earley, longtime
member tenor and alto saxophonist Rich Lataille, and trumpeter Bob
Enos, also a longtime member.
For the past 36 years of almost non-stop performances, Roomful of
Blues has produced numerous albums and toured the world many times
over. The band has played countless gigs and many major festivals,
including the San Francisco Blues Festival, the King Biscuit Blues
Festival, the Beale Street Music Festival, Blues On The Fox, Illinois
Blues Festival, Monterey Blues Festival and the Santa Cruz Blues Festival.
Overseas, the band has played at the North Sea Jazz Festival, the
Stockholm Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival and the Belgian Peer
Festival. Theyve played with stars ranging from B.B. King, Otis
Rush and Stevie Ray Vaughan to rockers Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana.
USA Today said: With their masterful combination of jumping,
hard-edged blues and R&B, its no wonder why the great Count
Basie called them the hottest blues band he had ever heard.
DownBeat magazine claims the band is in a class all by itself.
Apparently, others agree because in addition to the Grammy nominations,
the band has received numerous accolades and won several other awards,
including four Blues Music Awards. In 2004, they won two Blues Music
Awards, Instrumentalist of the Year-Horns, and the coveted
Blues Band of the Year.
The bands latest work, Standing Room Only, has garnered
praise throughout the industry. Freetime Magazine said the album earns
its title because it is too arousing for listeners to sit back to.
It also said, Roomful of Blues has become a venerable musical
institution since forming 36 years ago, and the swagger that comes
with that is clearly evident on their latest release.
Madison fans, both longtime and new converts, can see for themselves
at this years Ribberfest why the San Francisco Examiner called
it the hottest, most solid and wonderfully entertaining band
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