The Rocket 88s

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Last night it was back to Phoenix’s Rhythm Room to try catch some of its more traditional blues offerings — and we struck gold, because the Rocket 88s were playing.

Of course, any true R&B fan know that Rocket 88, recorded in 1951 by Jackie Brenton and his Delta Cats, is considered by many experts to be the first rock and roll record. Last night the Rocket 88s were true to their illustrious name, playing a kick-ass mixture of early rock and roll and R&B that got many people (myself included) out on the dance floor and boogeying. We knew they were going to be great from the first notes, but they really blew the doors off.

Why would a Columbus, Ohio guy write about a Phoenix band that he’ll (unfortunately) probably never get to see again? Because local music is important and should be supported, whether the locality is Columbus or Phoenix or New Orleans. And if a hard-working band gives you a great evening they deserve a shout-out even if no one reads it. The Rocket 88s were really good and earned the kudos. I bought one of their CDs, too.

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At The Rhythm Room

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Last night we hung out at the Rhythm Room, a legendary Phoenix blues rock club. It is found in a somewhat marginal part of the sprawling Phoenix metroplex, just down the street from a funeral home and a Native American joint where you can get enormous fried bread tacos that position you nicely for the beers of the evening.

Rather than its normal offering of blues, last night the RR was featuring an eclectic mix of acts that ran the gamut from folk to abstract emo to these guys, who did a very credible job covering some power rock classics from Creedence, Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughn.

It’s fun to experience a live music venue in a new city, even if not every act is to your liking.