Kind of blue

Roomful soldiers on; plus, the Radionics and Ebu Gogo
By BOB GULLA  |  January 23, 2008
RadionicsINSIDE
A FRESH START: The Radionics.

Roomful of Blues is headed back home, and the timing couldn’t be better. After the very sad and unexpected death of trumpeter Bob Enos on the road in Georgia, the band had to honor a commitment to play a week-long blues cruise. When a family member crosses over, the last thing you want to do is be forced into a social situation. But at two gigs this weekend, sympathetic family, friends, and fans will help the band mourn Enos’s passing. Roomful will also be celebrating the release of their new Alligator outing, Raisin’ a Ruckus. Enos’s studio swan song, Ruckus is another exhilarating batch of uptempo blues, roots, and swing. This time out, singer Dave Howard, guitarist/ bandleader Chris Vachon, and Rich Lataille all contribute memorable tracks. The quality of the material is consistently good and the performance was captured skillfully by Vachon and Jon Duva. The band’s label deal with Alligator suits them beautifully; fingers crossed that it lasts. It’s a match made in blues heaven. And speaking of heaven . . . We’re sure Bob and his trumpet will be watching over the proceedings, an angel with brass, always there, spot-on, pitch-perfect, and rockin’ the night away.

Roomful of Blues | January 25 | 8 pm | The Towers, 35 Ocean Road, Narragansett | $20 | 401.782.2597 | thetowersri.com | January 26 | 8 pm | Blackstone River Theatre, 549 Broad Street, Cumberland | $20 | 401.725.9272 | riverfolk.org

The Radionics
They used to be Rebecca Nurse, and while that name served its purpose, it didn’t really do the band any favors when they tried reaching outside the local area. Now coined the Radionics, Tracy “Trace” Garrity (voice/bass), Shawn Garrity (guitar, voice), and drummer Angelo Franco have regrouped for a fresh start. They officially kick off this new phase with the release of their debut, Doubt, Pain, and Rock ’n’ Roll, this Friday at Jerky’s. They recorded some decent stuff as RN, but they never quite attained the heights they’ve hit with their new disc. The trio fuses heavy classic and punky rock a la Joan Jett, with dashes of Zep and AC/DC. They’ve also added more intricate harmony work on guitar and voice, and come up with some nice melodic counterpoints, especially on “Holiday In Iraq” and the Who-influenced “Money,” which finds Trace doing her best Bruce Dickinson impersonation.

The Radionics | January 25 | Jerky’s, 71 Richmond St, Providence | $20 | 401.621.2244 | myspace.com/jerkysbar

Ebu Gogo
There’s a lot going on in Ebu Gogo land. The band, a Grüvis Malt sideproject with Gavin Castleton, Brendan Bell, and Justin Abene, just released Worlds, a wild slab of prog-rock madness. The Grüvis Malt extended family has also just launched a new website. “It’s for our mini-label, Integers Only,” says Castleton. “Integersonly.com is the home, and it showcases all the work of our family. It’s available in 256 kbps, DRM-free mp3 form, which has proven to be a real blessing for us.” Gavin and Ebu Gogo designed and coded the site and it has some cool stuff, plus a passel of absurdly inventive tunes. The band is gearing up for a run down to Florida at the end of February to play some record release shows with friends One Drop. “We’re building a new Ebu Gogo site that will be very strange,” Gavin says, “which we’re all looking forward to and we’re getting ready for a big push on the album.”

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Related: Nights on the town, Starting over, In the blood, More more >
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