Introducing the brand new CD by the R&B Bombers, entitled “Bad Behavior”
13 original tunes of no holds barred blues from every different musical angle: Jump Blues, Tough Shuffles, Swing, Latin, Rock & Roll, Boogaloo, Memphis Soul, and Slow Blues...
Introducing the brand new CD by the R&B Bombers, entitled “Bad Behavior”
13 original tunes of no holds barred blues from every different musical angle: Jump Blues, Tough Shuffles, Swing, Latin, Rock & Roll, Boogaloo, Memphis Soul, and Slow Blues with the biting humor and sarcasm that you’d expect from the R&B Bombers.
Featuring lead vocals and lyrics by Joe Wilson with some help from Craig Thomas, a Dave Tolegian instrumental and arrangements by Ken Stange, Don Roberts, Jim Hoke and Craig Thomas, featuring the four piece horn section.
The R&B Bombers(self titled CD) by Juke Joint Soul Review from Juke Joint SoulFrom Ben “the Harpman” Cox 1/14/09The R&B Bombers are the all too typical American regional band story. Once a celebrated regional band in Ventura CA area in the 80s,...
The R&B Bombers(self-titled 1st CD) by Blues Blast New Review in the Bloomington Alternative(also in Illinois Blues)Category: MusicReview from George Fish in the Bloomington Alternative The R&B Bombers self titled CD, The R&B Bombers are a...
The R&B Bombers(self titled CD) by Juke Joint Soul Review from Juke Joint Soul
From Ben “the Harpman” Cox 1/14/09
The R&B Bombers are the all too typical American regional band story. Once a celebrated regional band in Ventura CA area in the 80s, the R&B Bombers went through the ins and outs and ups and downs of personel problems and changes. However, at the center of it all is the music. Mixing horn-drenched R&B and Big Band Blues, the R&B Bombers seem to be the West Coast answer to Roomful of Blues in a lot of ways.
The album kicks off with a searing tribute to the late Nappy Brown on "Don't Be Angry." Consistent with the original, concise, and to the point; lead vocalist Joe Wilson and the horns hit the nail on the head with this fine tribute to the classic R&B master. Horn section sax man Jim Hochanadel takes the writing credits for the song "Karla" on the next track. Having the pop sensibility of early Huey Lewis & the News and sounding like it to with vocals being handled here by Craig Thomas. Joe Wilson takes control on the mic on the next few tracks and it shows. The material is deeply more bluesy and gutsy, with his Kim Wilson-esque vocals at the center of "Gotta Get Next To You" and "Can't Help Myself." "Gotta Get Next to You" is punctuated by a fine organ solo in the middle by Ken Strange. "Can't Help Myself" has a Fabulous T-Birds meets Roomful of Blues feeling to it. Gutsy Texas Shuffle at the heart of the song punctuated with horn pops here and there, this song is one of my favorites. The aforementioned Hochanadel takes a fine solo break in the middle of this one, too. Next, is the upbeat swinging instrumental that lets the horns of Hochanadel (who takes vocal duties), Craig Thomas, and Dave Tolegian take full flight. Hochanadel's solo is as ruckus as his singing on this rock solid swinger. "Someday" and "Hurray On Back" is a return to some of the mellow sounds reminiscent of again, Huey Lewis & the News. This is a little too poppy for my taste but is still very well arranged and quite unexpected for a band that is still climbing the ladder as far as national recognition goes. Arrangements like these show that they have a veteran sensibility to writing and arranging that only comes with experience. Joe Wilson takes some nice harp breaks on the original "Since I Found You." Next, they re-arrange the New Orleans classic with a little bit too much polish on "Blow Wind Blow." This one is a fun song and is handle well but I wanted a little bit more "grease" on this one. The R&B Bombers also infuse a little more of the big band sound to two B.B. King tunes, which originally was King's signature sound. Early catalog classics "Get Out of Here" and "You Upsets Me" are handled masterfully with horns and guitar complimenting each other, similar to King's recordings. Larry Nass, who plays tasteful and full throughout the disc, shines extremely bright on these two songs. Mitch Kashmar joins the Bombers on the upbeat shuffle of "Ken's Boogie." Strange, whom the track is named after, highlights his ruckus swinging piano style. The old big band swinger "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" is revived in full force here, too. The disc is capped with "Any Other Way," an upbeat soul-blues stomper. Nass takes off some fine placed chops in the opening of this track. However, the vocals falter a little bit here on Wilson's part but by and large, its still a nice end to the disc.
Big band blues and early R&B is this band's signature sound. You don't hear it anymore from anywhere, and its nice to see that horns and blues still can mix well. The R&B Bombers have some phenomenal veteran players in their midst. They know how to stick to these sounds' roots while still delivering original solo breaks and mixed arrangements. When the band veers off the path into a more pop-sounding repertoire; they are removed from some of the emotional depth and primed sound that seems to be at this band's heart and soul. Wilson is a fine band leader on both the pen and the mic. Hochanadel's horn arrangements are swinging with a flare for the old but original. This band has an old fashioned mind with young fashioned ways. Let the R&B Bombers blast you with their Big Band Blues horn showcase!
The R&B Bombers(self-titled 1st CD) by Blues Blast
New Review in the Bloomington Alternative(also in Illinois Blues)
Review from George Fish in the Bloomington Alternative
The R&B Bombers self titled CD,
The R&B Bombers are a Southern California group that originally formed in the 1980s, then broke up, and is now reconstituted with some of the original players. This self-titled CD is a compilation of previously released and unreleased tracks from the band's original incarnation.
That nine-member group then consisted of the late Larry Nass, guitar; Steve Nelson, bass; Tom Lackner, drums and percussion; Ken Strange, piano and organ; Joe Wilson, vocals and harp; and the horn section of Craig Woods, trombone; Craig Thomas, alto and tenor saxes, and vocals; Dave Tolegian, baritone, alto and tenor saxes; and Jim Hochanadel, tenor sax and vocals on "Everytime I Hear That Mellow Saxophone." All three saxmen do solos.
The R&B Bombers is an exuberant, well-produced recording of horn and keyboard-driven blues, jump and R&B with vocals that also incorporates guitar and harmonica. It is a nice melding of genres and styles that incorporates 1940s big-band swing, modern blues, piano boogie, and '40s, '50s and '60s R&B.
The four-man horn section of three saxes and a trombone is especially vibrant on this CD, and regales the listener with solid R&B riffing, re-creation of the full-throated big-band swing sound, and strong sax solos that are solidly in a blues/R&B groove with just a tinge of modern jazz. The R&B Bombers has 14 tracks, six of them originals, and one track, "Blow Wind Blow," given as a traditional number. Noteworthy here are the horn arrangements that nicely combine 1940s swing with 1950s R&B.
Running thematically through The R&B Bombers is the big-band sound that, as noted above, is a melding of 1940s swing with 1950s R&B. This big-band sound courses through 12 of the 14 tracks.
The two original blues, "Can't Help Myself" and "Since I Found You" feature it along with Joe Wilson's harp, and it fully infuses Doug Sahm's "Someday." The original "Karla" combines swing with early 1950s R&B, while four songs long familiar with blues/R&B aficionados -- Nappy Brown's "Don't Be Angry," Louis Jordan's "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens," and two B.B. King numbers, "Get Out Of Here" and "You Upsets Me" -- while partaking of the original arrangements, augment them with a big-band sound.
The rock-tempo "Everytime I Hear That Mellow Saxophone" and "Blow Wind Blow" have Latin beats, and the originals, "Gotta Get Next To You" and "Hurry On Back," and the final cut, "Any Other Way," are 1960s R&B with horn riffing.
The lone instrumental, "Ken's Boogie," written by keyboardist Ken Strange, is a traditional piano boogie that also incorporates horns and the amplified harp of guest Mitch Kashmar.
Tasty guitar solos from Larry Nass are featured on "Since I Found You," "Hurry On Back," "You Upsets Me" and "Any Other Way." Ken Strange's organ and piano are an integral part of the group's sound, and drive the music in tandem with the dynamic horn section. The vocals of Joe Wilson on 11 of the tracks, those of Craig Thomas on two, with co-lead on one, and Jim Hochanadel are expressive and properly emotive.
The R&B Bombers will appear in Indianapolis at the Jazz Kitchen (54th and College) on June 12, 2009. They will be an act no one will want to miss. For more info on the group, as well as ordering information for the CD, go to the band's Web site.
George Fish can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.