When Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88s kick Sharon's 18th Annual Square Jam into high gear Thursday night, audience members will "notice their feet starting to move uncontrollably, they will hear the sounds of pianos and saxes, and they will notice a smile on their face," Woods says.
Fresh off gigs in Cognac, France and Catania, Sicily, Italy, the jump 'n boogie band will headline this week's Post Office Square farmer's market-style festival, at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Pianist David Maxwell and local band Skatana are on the line-up card as well. Skatana features Sam Kutana on vocals/trombone; Sam D'Arcy on bass guitar;
Sam Izzo on trumpet; Jordan Tetewski on saxophone; and Pascal McGilvray on guitar/vox, according to the group's Facebook page.
A stage will be set up on Billings Street. Inclement weather would move the event to the Sharon Community Center.
"Town concerts are always fun. People are out for a good time and music adds to the element," Woods told Sharon Patch during an e-mail interview.
"I have played everywhere....on boats, in parks, at festivals, clubs, even a car wash! So, this will be fun."
New Arts of Sharon will sponsor a children's art activity. There also will be an Autism Bubble Truck. And the Rotary Club of Sharon will collect non-perishables for donation to the Ilsa Marks Food Pantry, which serves Sharon and Stoughton.
The event sponsors include Beacon Communities/Wilber School, Avalon/Bay,
Comcast, Eastern Bank, Comcast and NStar.
What drew you to jump n' boogie music?
When I first heard someone play piano, it was boogie woogie.
I was 11 years old, and that's when I knew I wanted to play the piano.
As I matured as a musician, people always commented that I sounded like the old boogie and jump guys, so I went out and bought all their records. I also got to see and play with many of the great blues masters who were still alive -- including Louis Jordan, John Lee Hooker, Charles Brown, and many, many more.
The band has been together for nearly three decades. How has the group evolved during this time?
I have worked with many different musicians over the years, I spent many years in New Orleans, and touring around the world. We will feature my favorite New Orleans sax player (now living in the Boston area), Amadee Castenell on our show in Sharon.
Which songs will you likely perform in Sharon?
If people are familiar with my music, they will recognize many of my original songs: "Broke", "Shakin The Shack", "Solid Gold Cadillac", "Boogie Woogie Bar B Que", "Jukebox Drive", "Rocket 88."
I like songs about cars, good eats, love, and booze. No Bob Dylan songs from us.
Is the band working on any new CDs?
Yes, just finishing the cover work on a double CD/DVD combo. Blues Beyond Borders-Live In Istanbul. It's a live concert from our tour of Turkey, plus lots of fun DVD extras of our adventures on the road. It will be out in late September. Check my website, www.mitchwoods.com.
Also, we will have available for purchase our latest CD -- Gumbo Blues -- my tribute to New Orleans Rhythm & Blues.
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