Although they're solidly rooted in postwar Chicago blues tradition (spiced with a serious tendency to swing), labeling ROB STONE & THE C NOTES a traditional blues band would be an injustice to their imagination. This young Windy City combo is charting its own direction.
The band has paid plenty of dues in its short life, as an integral member of the touring band of Sam Lay - the blues shuffle master drummer (of Paul Butterfield and Siegal-Schwall fame) - from 1994 to 1998. Prior to that, Rob played harmonica in various bands in his home town of Boston, after picking up the instrument at age eighteen, inspired by seeing Charlie Musselwhite in concert.
Chris James, lead guitarist of the C-Notes, at age thirteen started playing harmonica with San Diego's Tomcat Courtney. After ten years with Tomcat, Chris took up guitar, eventually moving to Chicago and hooking up with Sam Lay in 1991. He and bassist Patrick Rynn currently also tour with Jody Williams. Patrick came up early in blues too, playing bass for Griswold Brothers and Big Jack Reynolds - the mainstays of the Toledo blues scene for many years. Chris and Pat formed a musical unit in 1990, and have played together since.
On this Earwig debut album, this dynamic trio is joined by Sam Lay on seven cuts, and by Dave Myers on guitar on three numbers. These are the last recordings of Dave Myers, who along with his guitarist brother Louis Myers and drummer Fred Below were instumental in modernizing the Chicago blues sound in the 1950s.
Since 1998, Rob, Chris and Patrick have been working as the C-NOTES, forging a fresh sound with solid songwriting by Rob and Chris, while remaining true to a Chicago blue tradition.
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