A Roomful of history

Estrella Medina

Roomful of Blues has filled up a lot of rooms during their three-decade career.

And Rich Lataille has been there to see it all.

Throughout Roomful of Blues’ 28 years, Lataille has seen the group’s roster and musical style change.

During the ’70s, Roomful of Blues was one of only a few bands that played swing. Now, the band’s sound includes a variety of blues-based styles that incorporate swing and rock ‘n’ roll.

Latialle said his musical influences include jazz, big band and blues. Most of the band members are from New England,; however, the members listen to musical styles from places as diverse as New Orleans and Chicago.

“The new band members add new energy and a different feeling,” Latialle said. “Whenever new people come into the band, they influence each other.”

The band’s musical versatility can be heard on the group’s 13th album, “There Goes The Neighborhood.”

Two of the new band members, Mac Odom and Chris Vachon, wrote some of the songs on the new album and some tunes were taken from Percy Mayfield, Memphis Slim and Ellington songbooks.

“Friday night’s performance will include quite a bit from the new [album], some songs from the last three or four CDs and a few tunes from the new CD.

“We play around 200 dates a year,” Latialle said. “It’s a vagabond existence. We usually travel by tour bus but sometimes by plane in certain spots.”