Blue Lunch 2014 Summer Tour & New Recording

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Blue LunchBlue Lunch is planning a nationwide tour and is looking forward to touring Europe. Clearly, Cleveland, OH cannot hold a group this big and this interesting.  This is the band that has labored in the musical trenches of Northeast Ohio for 30 years and has astonished many a touring artist for whom they have opened. Right now, on the heels of the critically acclaimed Blue Lunch Special, a compilation of previously released recordings, the band is preparing their new recording of new songs for their second Rip Cat release. The new album should be out by the fall of 2014. For more information, to see a calendar of shows currently booked, and to view several great galleries of photos, visit http://bluelunch.com

There are also a number of great videos on youtube.com, including the band performing with the late Robert Lockwood, Jr.

Blue Lunch, now celebrating its 30th anniversary with the release of a compilation album Blue Lunch Special, belongs to a rare breed of roots bands. Singer and guitarist Bob Frank, a band member since 1995, explains, “It’s harder to define the sound for us than anybody else. We do everything from doo-wop harmonies to close to straight-ahead jazz to the most low-down gutbucket Chicago blues. And we explore different periods of r&b [like 1940s jump-blues and 1950s New Orleans-style] but we do them all authentically.” Singer and harmonica player Pete London, a founder of the Cleveland-based band back in 1984, adds, “To call us a blues band is accurate, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.”

The 8-piece group, includes three horns, communicates a wondrous vibe that steers clear of sounding dated. They’re stylistic kin to Roomful of Blues, the long-running r&b-blues juggernaut, yet different. Blue Lunch features two lead singing voices and backup harmonies, relies on solid original songwriting mainly by Bob, and has a stable, unchanging roster of musicians. They pack a big punch as musicians and entertainers. Terry Stewart, the former executive director of the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, knows the score: “Check ’em out because these cats can swing!”

Blue LunchBlue Lunch’s debut on the mighty little Rip Cat label, Blue Lunch Special, collects 16 specially selected tracks from six previous band albums, spanning 15 years. The mid-1990s was when the outfit really got up to speed creatively and chops-wise, and they’ve been in a righteous groove ever since. Highlights include “Cold Day Down Below,” a Frank composition wherein the octet sizes up Professor Longhair’s New Orleans, and a striking bare-bones no-horns version of blues great Robert Lockwood Jr.’s “Little Boy Blue.” The Midwesterners especially crackle with sparks of artistic maturity and invention on five numbers recorded for the Sideswiped album of 2011. The most recent track, “Tenor Madness,” (off 2012’s Saxophone Shootout II) finds present-day band saxman Chris Burge wild-eyed in the company of two former Blue Lunch tenorists, Keith McKelley and Tony Koussa. No matter the key or tempo or setting, passionate authenticity informs all the vocals and instrumentation coming from these Clevelanders.

Acclaimed by Ohio’s largest newspaper, The Plain Dealer, magazines Blues Revue and Jazz & Blues Report, among other media outlets, Blue Lunch has appeared at several leading roots events like Pittsburgh Blues Festival and, in fact, even performed at the 2004 Presidential Inaugural Ball back east. They had the privilege of performing with their mentor-friend-neighbor Lockwood as well as Little Milton on his last stop in Cleveland. Blue Lunch, too, has crossed

paths with Muddy Waters Band pianist Pinetop Perkins and many other luminaries. Early in 2014, the guys have been working top Midwestern clubs with lauded blues ladies Candye Kane, Laura Chavez, and Long Tall Deb. A second Rip Cat release is in the works. Bob Frank promises more great music, “Our sound’s totally evolved, and it’s evolving still.”



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