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Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's A Tip Of The Hat To Fats (CD)

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(Blind Pig Records) 17 Tracks - Digipack -  The brand new live album 2019 of the... more

Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's: A Tip Of The Hat To Fats (CD)

(Blind Pig Records) 17 Tracks - Digipack - 

The brand new live album 2019 of the renowned Jump Blues/Boogie Woogie pianist Mitch Woods!

A Tip Of The Hat To Fats is the sequel to Mitch's 2017 album ''Friends Along The Way'', which has been nominated for the Blues Music Award and includes unforgettable collaborations with Van Morrison, Taj Mahal and Elvin Bishop, James Cotton, Marcia Ball, Charlie Musselwhite, Maria Muldaur, Cyril Neville and many more greats.

Recorded live at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2018, this album pays homage to Fats Domino and testifies to the virtuosity of the pianist, singer and bandleader. It offers dynamic new performances of songs from Mitch's own catalogue as well as from Fats, Professor Longhair, Wynonie Harris and Jackie Brenston.

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Woods, Mitch & His Rocket 88's - A Tip Of The Hat To Fats (CD) CD 1
01 Solid Gold Cadillac Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
02 Spoken: Welcome Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
03 Down Boy Down Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
04 Spoken: Gonna Have A Ball Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
05 Mojo Mambo Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
06 Spoken: Thank You Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
07 Crawfishin' Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
08 Spoken: Fats Dedication Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
09 Blue Monday Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
10 Spoken: Band Introductions Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
11 Jambalaya Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
12 Spoken: More Band Introductions Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
13 Walking To New Orleans Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
14 Spoken: Intro To Rocket 88 Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
15 Rocket 88 Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
16 Spoken: Intro To The House Of Blue Lights Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
17 The House Of Blue Lights Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's Mitch Woods calls his music "Rock-a-Boogie," a personal... more
"Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's"

Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's

Mitch Woods calls his music "Rock-a-Boogie," a personal extension of the jump blues and boogie-woogie that rocked the roadhouses and jumped the juke joints of the late '40's and early '50s. It is a raucous sound currently gaining favor in blues and R&B circles. But Mitch is no latter-day dilettante sorting through old records to find himself a "new" sound; he has been playing this music for more than 20 years. After Mitch's arrival in the San Francisco Bay Area 20 years ago, Oakland blues guitarist HiTide Harris heard him play and was reminded of old Louis Jordan records, something Woods had never heard before. Encountering the jump band sound of Jordan was a major step in his quest.

"I am not a revivalist," cautions Woods. "I'm doing what I do. I have a love for the music and it's a style I want to carry into the '90s." His third Blind Pig album, Solid Gold Cadillac, is a typical mixed bag of material for Woods and his Rocket 88s; a few originals, a few old favorites finally commited to posterity, a few obscurities that found their way into his hands, all informed by the unique flair and distinctive character Woods brings to his music. Sources range from obvious quarters like Joe Liggins' "Pink Champagne" to forgotten nuggets like the early Leiber and Stoller "Got a New Car."

His own numbers like the title track or "Blues Hangover" feature the same irreverant bonhomie and jaunty ripostes as the vintage numbers. Clearly Woods has learned his lessons at the feets of the masters. Helping him and the regulation Rocket 88s on these sessions were an array of guests, including the Roomful of Blues reed section, saxmen from the East Coast allies in the same school of music; guitarist Ronnie Earl, a Roomful alumnus himself; and ace blues harpist Charlie Musselwhite, who put his inimitable touch on "Blues Hangover." Woods' own band includes veterans who have played with the likes of Commander Cody, Elvin Bishop, Marcia Ball and others.

The selections find Woods and the 88s giving the old Clarence Garlow number "Crawfishin'" a Professor Longhair New Orleans flavor; Woods trying his hand at the Hammond B-3 organ on an Albert Collins standard, "Frosty," that showcases guitaristics from both Kenny Ray of the 88s and Ronnie Earl, sitting in on the track. Mostly, however, the album rides down the middle of a honky-tonk groove that led Woods to labelling the sound "rock-a-boogie." Woods cites musicians like Jordan, Wynonie Harris, Roy Milton, Jimmy Liggins, and even Louis Prima as inspirations. Rippling brass and rolling keyboards meet a walloping backbeat and it's "let the good times roll."

This music has lain hidden under the floorboards, never unearthed by rock scholars or British revivalists, but may have formed the bedrock of uptown R&B music by Ray Charles, Joe Turner, even Chuck Berry and James Brown. For Woods, it has been the subject of fascination his entire adult life. He combed record stores for hints of the literature. He made his way into the heart of West Oakland, where Louis Jordan was playing the Showcase. He drove to see Mr. Honeydripper himself, Joe Liggins, play one of his last gigs. After meeting this giant of the music between sets, Woods was invited to join the festivities onstage. "He turned over the band to me," recalls Woods. "Would you welcome Mr. Rocket 88 himself," said Liggins. "He's a man with quite a left hand . . .

(Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle)

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Tracklist
Woods, Mitch & His Rocket 88's - A Tip Of The Hat To Fats (CD) CD 1
01 Solid Gold Cadillac
02 Spoken: Welcome
03 Down Boy Down
04 Spoken: Gonna Have A Ball
05 Mojo Mambo
06 Spoken: Thank You
07 Crawfishin'
08 Spoken: Fats Dedication
09 Blue Monday
10 Spoken: Band Introductions
11 Jambalaya
12 Spoken: More Band Introductions
13 Walking To New Orleans
14 Spoken: Intro To Rocket 88
15 Rocket 88
16 Spoken: Intro To The House Of Blue Lights
17 The House Of Blue Lights