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Rob Stone & The C-Notes

A live performance by The C-Notes can transport the listener back to the heyday of Chicago blues. Fronted by harmonica-playing vocalist Rob Stone, the group comprises four seasoned professionals with well over a half-century of combined blues playing experience. They’ve paid their dues in the smoky Chicago blues joints and toured coast to coast across North America and Europe, as well as the Hawaiian islands and Japan, playing countless blues festivals, club dates and television appearances.

Separately, the members of the group have recorded for the Alligator, Evidence, Hightone, Ice House, Marquis, Appaloosa and Magnum blues labels, and received national recognition in countless blues publications. These musicians have performed with, and learned from, many of the greats, and toured extensively with the renowned drummer Sam Lay, “The Shuffle-Master,” and with Jody Williams,  renowned Chicago guitarist.  Their mastery shows from the first note. They are all authentic showmen with pure ability to tear up a stage, as evidenced by their prominent role in the recent Martin Scorsese-produced “Godfathers and Sons” episode of The Blues series that aired recently on PBS stations nationwide.

As a vocalist Rob Stone is powerful, yet relaxed and natural; as a harmonica player he evokes the sounds of greats like Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson and Walter Horton. The band members navigate their way effortlessly through one lean arrangement after another, from a soulful slow blues to a ferocious, driving slide guitar workout recalling past greats like Elmore James, Earl Hooker, and Muddy Waters, as well as all the blues harp legends from the heyday of Chicago Blues. Whether playing before an audience of seasoned blues fans, or a group of folks who’ve never been to a blues club, the energy and swing of their music pulls in the audience from the very first note.

The C-Notes play blues with love and respect for the tradition that lies at the heart of the music. The result is a genuine blues show unsurpassed in energy, feeling, and authenticity, presented with true professionalism and a touch of class.

With the release of Back Around Here in May of 2010, blues fans outside the Windy City, where Rob Stone plays at the House of Blues, will no longer be wondering about his current musical whereabouts. You won’t find anything downbeat on this new release: whether in the studio or onstage, this harp player maintains a high-energy attack. Rob’s rich, fat harmonica tone displays the stylistic sway of his mighty heroes – Little Walter, Big Walter Horton, the two Sonny Boys, and Junior Wells. Backing him on this new album are his longtime friends guitarist Chris James and bassist Patrick Rynn, who combined with Stone to write eight fresh originals, including the jumping title track, a houserocker driven by tight horns and James’ slashing axe. The three exhibit the same tight ensemble playing and unshakable commitment to Chicago blues tradition that defined their trio, The C-Notes. Guest artists include Sam Lay and Willie Hayes on drums, Rodney Brown on Sax, and David Maxwell on piano.

“Rather than just …recycling old standards, [this band] demonstrates that there is still a lot of mileage left in the Chicago style.”

–Blues on Stage

rob stone and the c-notes harmonica player