The Pacific Northwest is home to Bill Rhoades and the Party Kings and the band is a regional favorite. Rhoades is the consummate blues performer. He works for a music retailer, leads a band, has a blues show on KBOO FM in Portland, Oregon. In the decades of the 1970s and 80s, he co-founded The Oregon Blues Society
and the famed Cascade Blues Association
Bill Rhoades is influenced by the legends of the Chicago scene. This CD includes tunes composed by some of Chicago's finest and some originals by the leader. He includes songs by both
Sonny Boy Williamsons, "Temperature 110" and "Early In The Morning."
This reviewer was stunned by the musicianship of Rhoades and guitarist Michael Osborn on "Temperature 110." His own "Hurt Again" is another highlight and has a touch of a New Orleans feeling. Michael Osborn plays an emotional solo on the tune.
The harp player's devotion to detail is apparent with his reading of slide guitarist, J.B. Hutto's "Now She's Gone." He invited another regional favorite, Terry Robb, who fills the slide guitar chair on the Hutto classic. The entire band "cooks like Emeril" on the song.
Listeners who appreciate the unusual will enjoy Bill Rhoades and guest Dave Lange's duo version of Clarence Lofton's "Sixes And Sevens." Dave Lange plays the Indian Shruti Box, a drone instrument often used in the east to accompany flute solos. The boogie-woogie legend's songs are seldom heard today and this is certainly the most original take on one of his tunes.
It's easy to see why this little band is making a lot of noise regionally. Hopefully, this CD will get the national airplay it deserves. It's good blues!