Press Highlights

“First of all, hats off to this crew of bluesmen for forming a super group for the blues…This is the third release and may well be the best so far…Everyone is on top of his game and the ensemble is really tight throughout…This set is as good as the original Roomful of Blues”  - Dave Rogers, New Blues News

“Now the music!  All-Star is the right word.  With Duke Robillard doing vocals and guitar on three cuts, he knocks you out!  Jimmie Vaughn plays guitar on another three cuts.  Monster Mike Welch plays guitar on no less than nine cuts!  Doing vocals are Sugaray Rayford on three cuts, Brian Templeton on two and Willie J Laws on three more.. This is just an ace CD!  The right guys playing the music the right way!  This is a shout out to the real blues, no holds barred, wide open players we all love!  Play it loud, crank it up, sing along, it’s all on here.  I know you’ll like it. …Classic blues done by veteran players. “ - Blue Barry, Smoky Mountain Blues Society

"Knickerbocker All-Stars "Texas Rhody Blues": A charity record by this bunch of blues rocking pals from Texas and Rhode Island smokes mightily so we won't tell anyone this was done for a good cause. With the hot cats from both states tearing it up in fine style, this after hours jam flows with the easy camaraderie that blues buddies bring to the party to let the good times roll. Fun stuff any over age frat boy will be able to relate to, the "yeah, baby"'s are all authentic and the good times do roll. Well done"  - Midtown Record

KSCU HOT 25 Blues CDs for December 2015 : 1. Knickerbocker All-Stars / Go Back Home to the Blues

"Go Back Home To The Blues" is the second release for the Knickerbocker All-Stars.  Both releases include more than a few hands full of all star musicians from that geographical area that I like to call "Roomful of Bluesville".  This particular batch of all stars include: Mark Teixeira on drums; Brad Hallen on standup & electric bass; Al Copley on piano; Monster Mike Welch on guitar; Doug James on baritone & tenor sax; Sax Gordon Beadle on tenor sax; Rich Lataille on alto & tenor sax; Doc Chanonhouse on trumpet; Al Basile on cornet; Carl Querfurth on trombone; and Sugar Ray Norcia, Brian Templeton, Willie J Laws & Al Basile on vocals.  The disc contains thirteen tracks, of which four are Al Basile originals, with the other nine being covers of these artist's early influences.  Anyone with any knowledge of the blues who just read the above list of musicians already knows the caliber of this disc, almost making this review a moot point. With just a few weeks left in the year, "Go Back Home To The Blues" is an obvious contender for the 2015 "Blewzzy" and since this is the time of the year when the Blues Music Awards Nominations are being considered as well, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see it get a nod." - Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro

“The sheer chill of this album, (Go Back Home To The Blues), have me writing to you at 02:01 Atlantic Standard Time and I'm not at a blues festival but Go Back Home to The Blues makes me feel like I am still at the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in Fredericton.” Yanick M. Thériault CFBO FM

“ …The Knickerbocker Café in Westerly, Rhode Island, was the birth-place of Roomful, the big, brassy band that revolutionized the blues revival in the ‘70’s, and to some degree can claim responsibility for the jump-blues boom of the following decade…and is the style of this wonderful CD….if you like your music quiet, thoughtful and reflective ,this certainly isn’t for you! On the other hand if you are looking for blasting good-timin’ sounds..then you’ve definitely come to the right place.” Norman Darwen   Blues in the South Review

“This (CD) is big, brassy, bold urban blues played by veterans, among them original members of Roomful of Blues and the Duke Robillard Band…This ten piece band, driven by the locomotive 5 piece brass section,leave you breathless as they storm through 13 superbly arranged tracks… a great album to kick off 2016,terrific.”   Roy BaintonBlues Matters!

“..What can one say as the (Knickerbocker) All-Stars are terrific, with (Mike) Welch again showing that he has become one of today’s top string benders. .. The rest of this album is of an equally high level…This entire recording is a joy for fans of jump and urban blues to listen to. It is another upper deck   home run from the Knickerbocker All-Stars.” Ron Weinstock   Blues and Jazz Report

“With 13 prime slabs of vintage blues on offer – each a gem in their own right – it is difficult to pick out highlights so I will concentrate on some personal favourites… Sugar Ray opens with the swinging “horn-fuelled” 36-22-36”, his smooth vocals… Willie J Laws’ righteous tones fuel the irresistible swing of ‘You Know That You Love Me’… Laws again taking centre stage on the pure Crescent City feel of Guitar Slim’s ‘Something To Remember You By’… The great Al Basile features on the “Jungle-Book’ swing of his own ‘Don’t You Ever Get Tired Of Being Right’ with his characterful vocals and jumping cornet… Add in the manic Chuck Berry meets Elmore James feel of ‘Tried’ and a totally wild rendition of Camille Howard’s ‘Blockbuster Boogie’ and you have a set that can’t fail to delight.”    Mick Rainsford

“The Knickerbocker All-Stars new CD “Go Back Home to The Blues” is out and it demands your attention!...  Brian Templeton, Sugar Ray Norcia, Willie J Laws, and Al Basile on vocals, and some cornet.  Al Copley on piano, Monster Mike Welch on guitar, Mark Teixeira on drums, and your horn section consists of Doug James, Sax Gordon Beadle, Rich Lataille, Doc Chanonhouse, and Carl Querfurth.  This horn section is beyond words!  This is truly a big band sound and blues from the ground up!... Vocals are killer, guitar and band work are supreme, this is a top notch CD from top to bottom!.. Most, most excellent music.  Take a little time and check it out.  Well worth your time!”  – Smoky Mountain Blues Society

“…a great brass section and a triumvirate of singers, looking back to the good old days when folk like Bobby Bland and Roy Brown ruled the roost, with the formers ’36-22-36′ a real highlight.  …The other essential number sees them taking on Guitar Slim’s ‘Something To Remember You By’. and they’re right.  There is no way you’ll forget it….The band is simply outstanding with the piano work of Al Copley simply amazing.  This is by far, the best party you’ll get invited to this year, so if jump blues and swing is your thing, then you need to be listening to this. “         By Stuart HamiltonThe Rocker

“Being the betting man that I am, I'm making this one a front runner for a 2014 BMA nomination.  

Like that was hard! “ Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro

 “This cd has the wow factor! We all sat in and listened to the album twice

last night and loved it.”  Blues Radio UK

“I just received the newest release, Open Mic At The Knick, by the Knickerbocker All-Stars and it's excellent! …Ricky King Russell lays down some really hot guitar riffs and Sugar Ray Norcia leads the way on vocals. Al Copley smokes the keys… Dave Maxwell on keys and tight drumming from Bobby and Fran Christina on drums, is a super conclusion to a hot set! “ Bman’s Blues Report

“GREAT record!”Jean-Pierre Petit "L'Hôtel Du Blues" CKUT 90,3 FM (Montréal, Canada)

"Classic songs with a craftsman's touch" Don Luisi “Damn Right I Got The Blues”  RMU Radio

“…"Open Mike At The Nick"…What a treasure….This is the best various artist releases that I have received in a very long time. Every song is outstanding and deserves a place on my show.” Tom AddisBlues Palace   KMHD Portland

“Just received this CD. Lead singer....Malford Milligan on "Love Disease" awesome. It is definitely killer. It's classic Soul, R&B and Blues all rolled into one that knocked me dead. As well as the rest. I was quite impressed. This CD is tight and top end. Keep an eye (and ear) on this band.”    Madcat BlueWJCU

“This disc stirs memories of that golden age…The real deal does still exist and the Knickerbocker All-Stars are living proof…This is one piece that should certainly, at the very least, be nominated for a Blues Music Award.  Honestly, it should win at least one award… It doesn’t get any better than this.” - Bill “Chicken” Wilson 

“KNICKERBOCKER ALL STARS… Pros on a busman's holiday of kicking it out on blues classics from the real hitters of back in the day, everybody is having a swinging good time, stomping the blues night away in first call show band style. A killer time you don't want to miss.”  - CHRIS SPECTORMidwest Record

“This one is killer too!  My favorite is "Somebody's Got To Go".  I always loved the version of that by Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson… HOWEVER, this one is killer!”  Smokey Mt Blues Society

“Listening to Open Mic At The Nick, you should have a hit”  - Dan Solomon WVLS 89.7


'If you want to get a great cd with great covers with each singer putting his own spin on it with a great band then put “Open Mic at the Knick “with the Knickerbocker All Stars, is a great cd to put in your stack” - Ole Harv, 88.1 WVPE

Open Mic At The Nick is a workingman’s blues album. It is music that is presented in blues clubs all across the United States. So sit back, grab your favorite brew, and let the music take you away”.  - David Bowling Cashbox

“…Dream Team consisting of blues veterans from these bands and others who have played at the Knick for this masterful session.  With singers like Malford Milligan, Willy Laws, Johnny Nicholas, and Curtis Salgado.. musicians that include Christina and his brother, former T-Bird Fran, Al Copley, Rich Latielle, Dave Maxwell, and Ricky King Russell....well, do I really need to do any more to sell this for you????” - Graham Clarke

“The Knickerbocker All-Stars’ Open Mic at the Knick celebrates with all new studio recordings a storied Rhode Island saloon…What a great idea to do this and more so, what a fantastic band, backing with blues dynamism a parade of singers… Texan Johnny Nicholas drips blues all over near the end on “Along about Midnight,” sealing the deal on this CD.”  - Compact Dream

“Open Mic At The Knick brings together favorite classic tunes, filled with plenty of horns, piano and fabulous melodies. Various known musicians add their special flare to each cover tune to create a collection of great listening pleasure.” – Mississippi Blues Club

“There must be some type of geotectonic blues magic swirling around under the floor of the Narragansett Bay, and, in particular, on the Westerly-Newport axis that has fostered the wealth of talent that has originated there. From Duke Robillard to Sugar Ray Norcia, Curtis Salgado and Greg Piccolo and others, the critical mass was achieved and Roomful Of Blues sprung forth from Vulcan’s forge. Paying tribute to that potent power, Open Mic developed and wailed a solid platter of swing up-tempo blues right atcha.  Vocal duties were carried by Willy Law, Johnny Nicolas, Curtis Salgado, Sugar Ray Norcia etc., the core of Roomful,  the Cadillac Horns, Al Copley and Dave Maxwell on 88s, Ricky ‘King’ Russell’s axe, Bob Worthington’s bass, the Christina brothers on drums all put it together. They pour out blinding hot, swinging and jiving, horn heavy down and dirty and that’s sho fine!” - Dr Blues, Long Island Blues Society

“ The album abounds with soulful vocals, puissant solos, and impeccable musicianship with the brawny horn section providing a wall of sound…”Open Mic At The Knick” is a scintillating celebration of an important New England Blues venue” - Thomas J Cullen III, Blues Music Magazine