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The RooTsters | Merge

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Blues: Acoustic Blues Country: Americana Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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by The RooTsters

We blew our ears out playing rock many years ago; decided that any music that makes eardrums crinkle like cellophane is out. The RooTsters are about making acoustic blues sound fresh to modern ears while honoring the original artists who inspired us.
Genre: Blues: Acoustic Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Back to the City
4:06 $0.99
2. Lola Dee
4:17 $0.99
3. Tampa Blues
4:24 $0.99
4. Right Reasons
3:50 $0.99
5. Roll Around
3:30 $0.99
6. Just Friends
4:37 $0.99
7. For an Old Man
4:19 $0.99
8. Duoglide
3:59 $0.99
9. Prodigal Son
3:30 $0.99
10. Bio-Diesel Boogie
4:43 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The RooTsters believe in live, acoustic music because amplifiers and playback devices have too many buttons to fiddle with onstage — and because we blew our ears out on Rock back when we were a lot younger and a lot less careful about a lot of things.

We are singer-songwriters in the blues-blues tradition who blend American acoustic- and pop guitar styles into intimate conversations, edgy rants, and suspiciously improbable tales. The result is our own special blend of acoustic music that pays respect to the famous American artists who influenced us and all the forgotten immigrants who came before. We bring you a diverse but strangely compatible and compelling mix of styles of very listenable, unplugged music — too interesting to be ambience and too artful to be cliché. We mine the rich lode of America's acoustic-guitar and songwriting traditions, from Ragtime to Blues to Jazz to Swing to R&B to Rock while staying connected to the European, African, and Caribbean songs, tall tales, laments, broadsides, and hymns that set the foundations of American pop. As The RooTsters, we combine decades of listening to and playing blues, jazz, rock, and world rhythms with a poet's eye on the world. And we do remember to have fun in the process!

Introducing the core band:

Stanislove, Chief Instigator (Vocals, Guitar, Bottleneck Slide, Mandolin)
Stan is an acoustic-rootsy former folkie and songwriter who picked up the acoustic guitar at 16 and hasn't set it down yet. A German-born, "recent" Washington native (since 1985), he has done many different things for a living, from running nuclear power plants to cataloguing obscure books to designing Web sites; none made him happy. Music is what makes him happy, and music from people like Son House and Sarah Vaughn and Frank Zappa helps keep him sane. He really likes Dixieland and jug-band music, and founded two jug bands (Ten Years Late in CT and the Emerald City Jug Band in Seattle) to keep the tradition alive and have fun in the bargain. As an artist, he cheerfully steals from the likes of Woody Guthrie and Cisco Houston and Bob Dylan and Mose Allison and Delta blues singers like Muddy Waters and rockers like Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry, with ragtime, swing and ballad icons thrown in for good measure. Stan is a soulful singer and a gritty observer who can at once make a point and get you to laugh. His solo performances feature acoustic blues, tongue-and-cheekily 'updated' traditional songs and biting political rants.

Stanislove started the Emerald City Jug Band in 2001, but as a singer-songwriter soon realized that his more lyrical, heartfelt compositions didn't fit into the jug-band idiom. (You just don't goof on certain subjects!) He and several of his ECJB co-conspirators then founded Teeth, Hair & eyeballs, which morphed into The RooTsters after our first album. Stan is a blues man drenched by decades of pop music and pummeled by that inconvenient joy known as Life.

Alan Kausal Kausal (Vocals, Guitar)
has been a musician since 1972. As a singer-songwriter and patriarch of an accomplished musical family (including blues guitarist Justin Kausal-Hayes, his twin sister Anisa Kausal-Hayes, and younger brother Nabil Kausal-Hayes), he is well respected among Seattle's acoustic musicians. He was inspired by artists such as Djando Reinhardt, John Prine, James Taylor, and Crosby Stills & Nash; loyal fans compare him to the likes of Steve Goodman and Willie Nelson. With his characteristically jovial showmanship, Alan also brings to life covers from all over the musical map — from high-energy soulful swing to slow blues to favorite blues songs. His spontaneous wit and playful antics enable him to create an immediate rapport with his audience. While attending Drake University he formed the acoustic trio Wooden Nickel, which became a staple of the local music scene. Alan sometimes also records lead guitar behind several Seattle area song writers.

"Merge" sidemen and studio luminaries:

Jason Broman (Drums)
Jason's from upstate New York and used to be a mountain-rescue guide until he took on gravity -- and lost. Luckily, it happened at a climbing gym, where medical help was instantly available. Now he's into slightly less dangerous things, like being married and playing with old guys.

Jon Hamar (Contra bass)
Jon is an in-demand classical bassist with a love for Jazz and a wide enough range of experience to instantly grok our music. His enthusiasm, playfulness and easy adaptability to any style of acoustic Americana added a fat bottom to our sound and made this album big fun to record and edit.

Hugh Sutton (Keyboards, Accordion)
Hugh is a fixture in the Sorrento Hotel's big, paneled lounge, where he wiggles the blacks-and-whites for numerous local and touring jazz combos. His love for that N'awlins-style roots music, however, is what lent such a right-on flavor to diverse tunes from the wistful "Tampa Blues" to the naughty-fun "Lola Dee."

Thaddeus Spae (Trombone)
Thaddeus is a stalwart of the Puget Sound acoustic music scene and just the right "bone" player for us.

Mike Thompsen (Vocals)
We needed more voices for some of the harmonies than we had available, so Mike's clear tenor filled in on several tunes.

"Lonesome Steve" Mitchell (Emeritus: Vocals, Bass on "BioDiesel Boogie" and "Prodigal Son")
Steve was our resident Luddite, with no connection to cyberspace except through his girlfriend's email address (well, at least he did have a cell phone...), so you can't look him up on the them Interweb tubes. Suffice it to say he was born in Kansas City, spent some time in the Army and afterward even more on his Harley Davidson—where he acquired his nickname because of his refusal to offer his lady passengers more than a tiny pillion pad for a seat—and yet more on his guitar, because no one knows more Country and R&B songs than Steve. A while ago he decided he liked his stand-up bass even more. An excellent choice.



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