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Raisin' A Ruckus

8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Roomful of Blues, according to Down Beat magazine, is in a class by themselves. With their masterful combination of jumping, horn-heavy, hard-edged blues and R&B, it s no wonder why the great Count Basie called them 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 (with the nod for Blues Band Of The Year in 2005). The band, with a membership that has continued to change and evolve over the years, has always boasted great musicianship featuring a stellar horn section.

With a non-stop performance schedule for almost 40 years, Roomful of Blues has earned critical, popular and radio success and a legion of fans around the globe. Twice, the prestigious Down Beat International Critics Poll selected Roomful of Blues as Best Blues Band. Roomful of Blues joined the Alligator Records family with the Grammy-nominated THAT S RIGHT! in 2003, followed by STANDING ROOM ONLY in 2005. Both CDs received massive amounts of critical and popular praise and earned them hordes of new fans around the world. Down Beat described STANDING ROOM ONLY as bold, brassy and highly danceable jump blues with contemporary energy and sophistication...swings with a vengeance. Now they re back with RAISIN A RUCKUS, a foot-stomping CD highlighting the intense vocal and instrumental power of the world s smallest big band.

Even though Roomful of Blues lineup has changed over the years, the band has always been one of the tightest, most joyful blues ensembles in the world. Currently an eight-piece unit led by guitarist Chris Vachon, the band has never sounded fresher or stronger. In 2007, singer Dave Howard took over the vocal duties, bringing his gritty and soulful vocals and adding another bright new dimension to their jazzy, jump-blues musical roots. With new members bassist Dima Gorodetsky and drummer Ephraim Lowell and long-time members keyboardist Travis Colby, baritone and tenor saxophonist Mark Earley, tenor and alto saxophonist Rich Lataille (the longest-standing member of the group) and trumpeter Bob Enos, RAISIN A RUCKUS swings with ferocity and rocks with urgency and purpose. Moving effortlessly from originals to carefully chosen covers, the expertly executed songs sizzle from start to finish. Roomful of Blues winning combination of jump, swing, blues, R&B and soul remains their calling card, as does their ability to fill the dance floor.


A tour de force of horn-fired blues. So tight and so right. --Billboard

Roll up the carpets and invite a fun-loving crowd over for a dance party they ll never forget. Roomful of Blues will please them every time. --Living Blues

Excellent...marvelous wall-to-wall grooves…between the wicked guitar work and the brassy horn section, things never stop swinging. --USA Today

1. Every Dog Has It's Day
2. Lower On Your List of Priorities
3. Talkin' To You Eye To Eye
4. Big Mamou
5. Round It Down
6. I Would Be A Sinner
7. Black Night
8. Boogie Woogie Country Girl
9. Solid Jam
10. Sweet Petite
11. While I Can
12. Raisin' A Ruckus
13. New Orleans
14. Life Has Been Good

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 15, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alligator Records
  • ASIN: B000Y9FM5K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,796 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michael B on January 27, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Just received my copy and was just elated by the new vocals of Dave Howard.

For those of you Roomful of Blues fans that liked the 'sound' of the Sugar Ray Vocals..........Dave has his own blazing gritty sound, but it reminds me of the Sugar Ray days.

This CD will be a welcome bluesy, swinging addition to your 'jump blues' collection.

Check out tracks Sweet Petite, Life Has Been Good and Lower On Your List of Priorities.

Sadly, master trumpeter and long time musician for Roomful Of Blues, Mr. Bob Enos has passed away on January 11th, 2008 on his way to a blues-cruise getaway.

The last song on this, Bob's last CD with Roomful of Blues, is aptly entitled..........Life Has Been Good.

So were you Bob, and thanks for the many memories of swing, jump blues that we have listened to over the years with you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By r.j. zurek on April 2, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In 2000, former Roomful of Blues manager Bob Bell wrote that the band "is, and always has been a living, breathing creative unit". How right he was. "Raisin' a Ruckus" is their 19th album, and with three new members, the current incarnation is as strong as any before it.
New vocalist Dave Howard has the phrasing of Sugar Ray Norcia, but possesses the soulful grit of Kim Wilson.One of the highlights of the disc is "Lower on your list of priorities", an original he first recorded with his band the High Rollers (check out that band's "Sure Bet" to hear how hot this Rhode Islander is on harp).
"Ruckus" has some well chosen covers including "Big Mamou" by the late Cajun saxophonist Link Davis. Jesse Mae Robinson's "Black Night" features a beautiful guitar solo by band leader Chris Vachon, who knows how to fit guitar into horn charts better than anyone performing today.
"New Orleans" is given new life with a great horn arrangement featuring saxophonists Rich Lataille and Mark Early, with trumpeter Bob Enos, who sadly passed away on Jan 11, just four days before this recording was released. "While I can" is an original penned by Vachon's wife Bethie and features her and Howard in a duet remarkably similar to Lou Ann Barton and Kim Wilson. The title cut is a swinging Lataille original worthy of earlier instrumentals in the Roomful canon like "Red, Hot and Blue "and "Back on Front Street". Russian born bassist Dimitry Gorodetsky brings the vintage jump blues style to this band, while new drummer Ephraim Lowell drives the group, especially on "New Orleans"
Personnel changes-about fifty to date-usually weaken a band of this stature.Not so with Roomful of Blues. A five star effort is just about what we can expect from a living, breathing creative unit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim Holek on June 1, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Anyone who has listened to a Roomful of Blues CD knows that their music is hard to classify. That doesn't matter to the band's members. All they are concerned with is whether it sounds good, whether you can dance to it, and whether you can feel it. With suave horns that swing off the big band dancehall floors of the '30s and '40s, Raisin' A Ruckus is one of Roomful's most swinging CDs. Since 1967, the multiple award-winning group's combination of swing, rock `n' roll, jump, blues, and soul has earned it just praise. Forty-six band members have come and gone since then without a negative impact on the band's exciting music.

This disc features a new bass player and a new drummer on this disc, but the most obvious newcomer is singer Dave Howard who replaces Mark DuFresne. Howard hails from Rhode Island, the band's home state, and his expressive voice contains a hint of Louis Armstrong. Listen as Howard reveals a state of feeling disturbed on Black Night then uses his voice as the band's fourth horn on Talkin' To You Eye To Eye.

The chosen covers are vintage blues and R&B tunes. You'll swear someone has just put on one of your parents records from the 1950s when you hear their nostalgic version of Big Mamou, the R&B hit by New Orleans artist Smiley Lewis. The Crescent City connection continues on the often covered New Orleans and Eddie Bo's Every Dog Has Its Day, which contains as much fun as a summer beach party. Boogie Woogie Country Girl is loaded with exhausting boogie woogie piano. The song's legendary writer, Doc Pomus, helped land the band their first record deal in the '70s.

Five band members prove they are capable of writing enticing songs that mesh perfectly with the band's extensive repertoire.
Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter A. Murano on January 15, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I work in a record store and the store manager has been a fan of Roomful of Blues for a while now. When he put the record on over the sound system in the store, I started dancing in the aisles! Great energy, excellent vocals, tight playing and clever lyrics abound all over this record. This has to be the best band playing besides Bob Dylan's backing group and the E Street Band. Highly recommended.
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