Bob Enos, 1947-2008

Remembering one of a kind
By MARC LIPKIN  |  January 16, 2008

Marc Lipkin, the director of publicity for Alligator Records, provided us with this report.

Bob Enos, longtime trumpet player for Roomful of Blues, died in his sleep in his hotel room in Douglas, Georgia, early Friday morning, January 11, of suspected heart failure. He was 60. Roomful had played the Douglas Country Club the previous night. The band was on its way to Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Sunday to perform on the Legendary Blues Cruise. Roomful is continuing its current tour with former band member John Wolfe taking Enos’s place.
Enos joined Roomful Of Blues in September 1981; only saxophonist Rich Lataille had been with the band longer. He appeared on every album that Roomful made apart from its first three releases, including a new CD, Raisin’ a Ruckus, released on January 15. Enos can also be heard with the Roomful horn section on recordings by Pat Benatar, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Colin James, Jimmy “T99” Nelson, and others. Influenced by Louis Armstrong and Roy Eldridge, Enos’s driving delivery and punching high notes put a sparkle atop the Roomful horn section and frequently drew gasps from the audience.
Born in Boston, on July 4, 1947, Bob took up the trumpet at age 14, studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music, and spent the late ’60s and early ’70s playing in R&B and soul bands. After studying with John Coffee and Ray Copeland, he spent two years working with the legendary Platters (led by Herb Reed) before joining Jack Radcliffe and the New Viper Revue. He then founded the award-winning band Channel One and was with this jazz fusion group for three years. After a period of freelance work he joined Roomful, literally on the eve of the band’s first coast-to-coast tour.
“Bob was one of a kind,” said Roomful bandleader Chris Vachon, “a unique talent. The band obviously feels devastated. When you work as closely together as a band like Roomful does, each person is family — we’re like brothers. It makes this kind of thing hard, very hard indeed.”
“He could always hit those high notes,” said Roomful’s former bandleader Greg Piccolo. “It was an amazing thing — I had never worked with a trumpet player who was so consistent. It didn’t matter how tired the band was, how long the drive to the job had been. He was always there, right on the money. He was a bull.”
“He was a pro through and through,” commented Bob Bell who managed Roomful for more than 20 years. “He loved the music and he loved the band. Outside of his family, it was his life. He brought a lot of joy to an awful lot of folks. And he was a really sweet guy.”
He is survived by his wife Jill, sons Louis, Jude, and Joseph, and daughter Elizabeth.
Contributions for Bob Enos’s son’s education may be sent to: Bob Enos memorial Scholarship Fund c/o TD Bank North, 127 South Street, Wrentham, MA 02093.

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