The Rockit 88 is back in 2010 with Sweet Sugar Cane (7 Arts Music). Rockit 88 Band includes the two founders: keyboardist/vocals Bill King and guitarist/vocals – Neil Chapman and heavyweights – Jim Casson drums, Jay Speziale bass/vocals and newcomer Stacey Bulmer sharing frontline duty. The band has revamped its sound with several months of writing new material for their second release ‘Sweet Sugar Cane.’
Blues remains at the core but the band has added a touch of country rock, Appalachian, folk electric and Southern rock to the mix. ‘Sweet Sugar Cane’ is all about storytelling – the kind that happens in the Deep South – civil rights, dignity, passion and desire, life, loss and the celebration of the human spirit. The songwriting have been called Van Morrison meets Bob Dylan.
At the core of the band’s sound is a blend of rockin’ piano, heavy slide guitar, thundering bass, pounding drums, four lead singers – a sound made to order by great American bands like the Allman Brothers and Little Feet.
In 2003 piano/vocalist Bill King paired down his dream band featuring partner – guitarist Neil Chapman – the Saturday Nite Fish Fry to the rhythm section and allowed it to feast on its own vices. A steady Friday night gig at RD’s Barbeque & Blues in Toronto helped the four-piece find a name, attitude, distinct personality and new repertoire.
The sound was classic blues with a bit of New Orleans and Southern rock sprinkled on top for seasoning. The group’s debut went on to capture a Maple Blues Award for Best New Artist and a Juno nomination for best blues album.
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Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.