2007-01-18 / Upcoming Events

Rock legends coming to South County

Roomful of Blues has returned to its Rhode Island roots by bringing in local front man Dave Howard, and the Grammy-nominated nine-piece makes their first South County appearance with the new singer at Courthouse Center for the Arts, on Route 138, in W. Kingston, Friday, Feb. 2, at 8 p.m.

Over the course of their decades long existence, Roomful of Blues effectively became a franchise unto itself, with accomplished musicians joining and emerging from the band's ranks: guitarists Duke Robillard and Ronnie Earl, organist Ron Levy, pianist Al Copley, singer Lou Ann Barton, vocalist/harmonica player Sugar Ray Norcia, and drummer Fran Christina (later of the Fabulous Thunderbirds), to name the most notable.

Currently, the lineup includes guitarist Chris Vachon, singer Dave Howard, Dima Gorodetsky on upright and electric bass, Ephraim Lowell on drums, Travis Colby on piano, and the Handy Award-winning horn section of Rich Lataille, Bob Enos, and Mark Earley.

In 1974, Roomful gigged with Count Basie, a professed admirer, and after a few more years of live work, songwriter Doc Pomus fi- nally helped the band get a record deal with Island. Their self-titled debut was released in 1977, and they followed it up with 1979s "Let's Have a Party for Antilles." Robillard subsequently left the group to pursue other projects, eventually finding considerable success as a solo artist.

Tickets to the Feb. 2, show cost $20. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Purchasing advanced tickets is suggested as this intimate BYOB venue will likely sellout. For more information, call 401- 782-1018.

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