Roomful of Blues: Hook, Line & Sinker

Album review
Roomful of Blues: Hook, Line & Sinker

Roomful of Blues

Hook, Line & Sinker

Label: Alligator
Media: CD
Genre: Rock/pop

For 35 years, this Rhode Island-based band has delivered a tasty gumbo of high-octane jump blues, moving through a series of personnel changes while spawning red-hot blues guitarists (Duke Robillard and Ronnie Earl) and staying alive by tapping into the swing-kid revival scene. This latest iteration of Roomful— fronted by blue-eyed soul singer Phil Pemberton and boasting guitarist Chris Vachon (who’s got those icy Albert Collins licks down cold)—is eight players crafting the same sort of sexy R&B shuffles and blues stomps that first put the band in the spotlight. Indeed, a few of these tracks are good candidates for a greatest “hits” compilation. The title track, a Dave Bartholomew/Pearl King song that was a mid-50s hit for Crescent City legend Smiley Lewis, sets the tone for this jumpin’ set of blues and R&B songs popularized by Gatemouth Brown, Big Maybelle, Don & Dewey, and Floyd Dixon, among others. Throughout the disc, the band dishes up a virtual master class on regional styles, most notably New Orleans R&B, West Coast jump blues, and Texas blues. And while Pemberton and Vachon dominate, pianoman Travis Colby shines on Dixon’s “Time Brings About a Change” with support from Roomful’s stellar horn section. 

More Info

  • primary artist, Roomful of Blues
  • CD

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