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Concert Review: Roomful of Blues

Roomful of Blues Turns the Infinity Hall in Norfolk, Connecticut Into A Cathedral of Sound
June 30, 2018
It was a hot summer night in Norfolk, CT on the last day of June but it was about to reach a boil at the Infinity Hall with the arrival of Roomful of Blues.

I knew of this band and the name certainly was familiar however I never took a deep dive into their music. Just knowing they had been around since 1977 and had a horn section told me something. Any blues band with a horn section can play quite a variety of blues and jazz. At least in my experience, it always turned out that way. You may think I was taking a chance of not being familiar with their music however with the knowledge I did have I went forward feeling this would be a stellar performance.

As it turned out, everything about the evening was great. The drive in on the back roads of New England is always such a pleasure. As I drove by all the houses and admired the old stone walls, I felt at home. And once we went into the Infinity Hall Bistro, I felt very welcomed. The service and folks working there are incredibly helpful and courteous. The menu at the Bistro is quite diverse as well.  This is what I call the ”complete” concert experience.

Prior to the show, I decided to get the T-Shirt commemorating their 50-year anniversary and a release from 2011 titled Hook Line & Sinker on the Alligator Records label. I was attracted to the cover art, which reminded me of the World War II Rosie the Riveter image. I am sure besides the artwork, it will be a terrific listen.

50 years is a mighty long time keep it together. There have been lineup changes over the years, which is expected for such a long stretch of time, however, their main groove and mojo is still intact and ready to roll while on tour.

What also impressed me is a staff member minds the swag booth for the band.  I was also informed that they have a green room for visiting artists. The room is totally furnished and they make sure nobody goes on the stage with an empty stomach. 

So, after being so impressed and quite comfortable I made my way upstairs to the concert hall. I call it “The Cathedral of Sound.” Sounds kind of catchy doesn’t it?

There was no opening act so I had nothing but a Roomful of Blues to enjoy. Little did I know that was in a literal sense.


This band is a well-oiled machine that presents a wide variety of blues and jazz within each number. I really appreciated the interludes of jamming in between vocals. The musicianship is outstanding and the combination of horns, standup bass, keyboards, percussion and amazing vocals make it all one remarkable show. You are going to hear flat out rockin’ blues peppered with jazz, some honkytonk piano tucked in between it all and more. Every member of the band gets their time in the spotlight on their stage. Everyone also got acknowledged separately and as a whole by the admiring audience.

This is not just the “blues” people, this is progressive blues and all the trimmings. This amazing band proved that fact all night long. Seeing a band play live and stretch out and flex their musical muscles is the best way to know who they really are. I found out who Roomful of Blues is, one serious group of musicians that are full of the soul of the blues, the tastefulness of jazz and the oomph to rock. That is one deadly combination.

Catch them live as soon as you can! If you are looking to visit a quaint New England town and enjoy a great meal and an evening of fantastic entertainment, stop by the Infinity Hall in Norfolk CT and catch a show.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

July 2, 2018




Set List:

01. Introduction

02. It All Went Down The Drain

03. Alright, Okay, You Win

04. I Would Be a Sinner

05. I'd Rather Be Blind, Crippled and Crazy

06. Easy Baby

07. Boogie Woogie Country Girl

08. Two For The Price Of Ten

09. Too Much Boogie

10. Your Love Was Never There

11. Baby I'm Gone

12. Just Keep On Rockin'

13. My Baby Quit Me

14. Showcase

15. Body and Fender Man

Encore:

   16. New Orleans

   17. One More Mile 

 

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