Vocalist DD Bastos And Keyboardist Jeff Ceasrine Bring Their Talents To "The Best Little Big Band In The World" (Blues Music Magazine

“Brawny shuffles, swinging horns, searing guitar, passionate vocals and balls-to-the-wall enthusiasm” —Living Blues
“Jubilant, jazzy R&B...boisterous horn-propelled magnificence...infectiously joyous spirit” —Blues Music Magazine

Roomful Of Blues, the world-renowned, horn-fueled blues band, has announced changes to their houserocking line-up. Powerful veteran vocalist DD Bastos joins Roomful Of Blues as the new featured vocalist. DD is a dynamic singer with a deep background in blues, swing and rock 'n' roll, and the leader of New England-based band, DD & The Road Kings. Bastos is also a Choral Director for the New Bedford, MA public school system, with 20-plus years as a private music teacher.

Says Bastos, "I’m excited, happy and grateful for the opportunity to work with Roomful Of Blues. The fact that they are a part of the Alligator Records family of blues artists is a thrill for me, since some of my all-time favorite blues artists made their home at Alligator."

Bastos replaces fan favorite Phil Pemberton, whose health is currently keeping him off the road. Pemberton has been with Roomful Of Blues for 15 years and is the featured singer on their three latest Alligator recordings: Hook Line And Sinker, 45 Live and In A Roomful Of Blues.

According to a statement released by the band, Pemberton's contributions are immeasurable. "Phil is a world-class vocalist and has been a key band member since 2009. He has toured the world with Roomful Of Blues and has been on our last three Alligator releases. Many of our fans are already aware that Phil has been struggling with health issues during the past year and a half. He is now taking some time off and is working very hard to return to full health. We’re wishing Phil a speedy recovery and many thanks for all his accomplishments with us."

In other band news, new keyboardist Jeff Ceasrine takes the place of Rusty Scott. Ceasrine is known as one of the best musicians in New England and has sat in occasionally with Roomful Of Blues since 2008. According to bandleader/guitarist Chris Vachon, "Jeff is a natural to take over where Rusty Scott left off."

With the addition of Bastos and Ceasrine, the current line-up of the Rhode Island-based Roomful Of Blues is guitarist Vachon, tenor and alto saxophonist Rich Lataille, baritone and tenor saxophonist Alek Razdan, trumpeter Carl “Geerz” Gerhard, bassist John Turner and drummer Mike Coffey.

Roomful Of Blues continues to be one of the tightest, most joyful blues ensembles in the world. The Rhode Island-based group has been delighting audiences for over 50 years. The group has earned five GRAMMY Award nominations and a slew of other accolades, including seven Blues Music Awards. The prestigious DownBeat International Critics Poll twice selected them as Best Blues Band.

The band’s latest album is 2020's In A Roomful Of Blues, their sixth release on Alligator Records (and 19th overall). Filled with soaring blues, zydeco twists, late-night ballads, Latin-tinged funk and a touch of vintage, fifth-gear rock ‘n’ roll, the album continues to delight and excite fans, critics and radio programmers across the country and around the world.

Roomful Of Blues began in 1967 when a group of southern Rhode Island teenagers with a shared passion for the blues formed a straight-ahead Chicago-style electric blues band to explore the music of their heroes. They added a horn section (including Rich Lataille) in 1970 and released their self-titled debut album in 1977 on Island Records (reissued on Hyena Records), which brought them to the attention of fans and critics from coast to coast. The band has performed in cities around the world, traveling abroad to 22 countries including Lebanon, Poland, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey and Russia. The New Yorker says the band brings “thunderous performances that get feet stomping and hands clapping.”

Vachon first joined Roomful in 1990 and has been leading the band since 1998. Guitar Player says Vachon’s guitar playing “burns with explosive solos and a delightfully greasy sense of rhythm.” The band has maintained its signature sound through great musicianship and a stellar horn section, featuring Lataille, whose masterful playing can evoke either the fat-toned, honking sax of the glory days of early rock or the cool elegance of big band swing jazz.
While keenly aware of the group’s half century of history, Vachon is quick to note that they are constantly looking forward. “We always keep things fresh, and we keep the excitement level high. Playing this music is an immense amount of fun for us,” he says. “And it’s just as much fun for our audience.”