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. Singer Phil Pemberton brings his sweet and soulful vocals and adds another bright new dimension to the jazzy, jump-blues musical roots. Their winning combination of jump, swing, blues, R&B and soul remains their calling card, as does their ability to fill the dance floor. Along with bassist John Turner, trumpeter Carl Gerhard, drummer Chris Anzalone, keyboardist Rusty Scott, baritone and tenor saxophonist Alek Razdan, and tenor and alto saxophonist Rich Lataille, Roomful keeps on rockin’ into 2020!
With a non-stop performance schedule for over 50 years, Roomful of Blues has earned critical, popular and radio success and a legion of fans across the globe.
According to DownBeat magazine, Roomful of Blues “are 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 ever heard.” Since 1967, the group’s deeply rooted blend of swing, rock ‘n’ roll, jump, blues and soul has earned it 5 Grammy Award nominations and a slew of other accolades, including 7 Blues Music Awards and the prestigious DownBeat International Critics Poll for “Best Blues Band”.
PHIL PEMBERTON ~ VOCALS
As leader of his own bands for the last 20 years, this Massachusetts native has found himself playing to intimate clubs all the way to large festivals, throughout the US, England, France and Canada. In addition, The Philip Pemberton Band was also the 1st Western band to play in the former capital of China, Xi’an on a 2 week tour broadcast to ½ a billion people throughout Asia.
“His voice can ache with tenderness, or rattle the rafters with its power…”-Patricia Smith (Pulitzer nominated Journalist) Boston Globe
“This man could sing his way outta Jail…” -Bill Smith
CHRIS VACHON ~ GUITAR
Chris is a true multi-talent. His prowess as a guitar slinger is well- documented, and his strengths as a producer and songwriter grow from album to album. He produced the band’s eight most recent albums—There Goes the Neighborhood (1998), Watch You When You Go (2001), Live at Wolf Trap (2002) the Grammy nominated That’s Right! (2003), and Standing Room Only (2004), Raisin’ A Ruckus (2008), Hook, Line & Sinker (2011) and 45 Live (2013) after co-producing all of Roomful’s other albums recorded in the ’90s. Chris’ songs—such as “Turn It On! Turn It Up!,” “Running Out of Time,” “She’ll Be So Fine,” “Blue, Blue World,” “Dynamite” and “Keep on Rockin'"—have become firm favorites in AAA and blues radio formats, bringing many new fans into the Roomful fold.
JOHN TURNER ~ UPRIGHT & ELECTRIC BASS
A veteran of the New England jazz scene, bassist John Turner has performed and recorded with just about everybody–specifically the Either/Orchestra, Charlie Kohlhase, Scott Hamilton, Roswell Rudd, Lee Konitz, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, members of Ornette Coleman’s band, and , Magic Dick-Jay Geils and Blues Time to name a few. John’s rock solid bottom is the essential element of the swing groove which Roomful is renowned for.
RUSTY SCOTT ~ PIANO & B3
Rusty Scott has been a fixture on the Boston jazz and blues scene for a number of years now. He began playing piano at the age of eight. His jazz studies began with Burlington jazz musician, Bruce Sklar, while attending the University of Vermont. In 1989 he attended Berklee College of Music. Rusty also plays Hammond B3 organ and in addition to being a member of Roomful of Blues he currently heads up the Rusty Scott Organ Group, playing major venues throughout Boston and New England. Rusty’s solid rhythm, driving piano solos, and howlin’ organ riffs are a first-class addition to the Roomful tradition.