Thursday, August 23, 2007

Congrats to 15 years of The Rhythm Room

Phoenix’s The Rhythm Room as developed a reputation as a blues room in part due to the efforts of Bob Corritore. Blue Witch Records has issued a lively celebration of its 15 years, House Rockin’ and Blues Shoutin’!, with 14 strong live performances for the Rhythm Room’s stage. This is scheduled to be released in September, 2007. Its a nice range of performances that give an indication of the breadth and eclecticism of real deal blues that play there including performances by the Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Manish Boys, Long John Hunter, Floyd Dixon, Big Pete Pearson, Henry Gray, Sonny Rhodes, Paul Oscher, Chief Shabuttie Gilliame w Johnny Dyer and Henry Gray, Robert Lockwood, Jr, Louisiana Red and Billy Boy Arnold. There are any number of highlights here and no poor tracks. The three Thunderbirds tracks are each with different personnel supporting Kim Wilson including Troy Gonyea’s guitar backing him on Jimmy Rogers’ Goin’ Away Baby, and the Little Walter styled harp romp, Horsin’ Around, while Kid Ramos, Kirk Fletcher and horns provide support for the New Orleans groove of Rich Woman. Finis Tasby gravelly vocals graces The Manish Boys fine Lonesome Bedroom, while Long John Hunter is heard solo on Long John’s Country Blues. Piano blues will enjoy Floyd Dixon’s jumping Please Don’t Go while Henry Gray’s Henry’s Houserocker is a solid shuffle with Kid Ramos’ guitar helping propel the boogie woogie feature. Sonny Rhodes playing lap steel guitar interprets one of the lesser known Elmore James numbers, My Bleeding Heart, while Paul Oscher is marvelous on guitar, harp and vocals on That’s It. The delightful performances come to a close with Billy Boy Arnold’s take on an old Sonny Boy Williamson recording (which actually dates back to pianist Charlie Spand) which is retitled and credited to Arnold, Two Drinks of Wine. It is the same song junior Wells did as Early in the Morning. One can’t think of a better salute to this blues room than the compilation of fine recordings here and Blue Witch is to be thanked for this collection. May the Rhythm Room celebrate another 15 years.

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