The kitchen boombox is nothing if not eclectic. Depending on my mood, energy level and even what I’m cooking, it can be playing anything from opera to punk to avant garde jazz to you name it. When I’m looking for high-energy fun to get me going, this album always delivers.
The Mighty Blue Kings debuted in 1995, opening for Junior Wells at Buddy Guy’s club Legends. They soon had a weekly gig at Chicago’s vaunted Green Mill. A renewed interest in jump jazz and swing dancing was just heating up, and these boys were nailing it. Ross Bon’s spot on period vocals backed by tight horn and rhythm sections perfectly captured a vintage sound as they performed a mix of old songs and original tunes that seemed right out of the 40s. The vibe of their live performances was loose-hipped fun.
Soon they were touring more than they were at the Green Mill, and when they did get back to Chicago, the Green Mill was too small to accommodate their crowds. These YouTube clips are from a performance at a larger Chicago venue, Metro. They’ll give you a sense of their style and sound, if not of the energy of those nights in Uptown at the Green Mill.
There are 14 tracks in all on Meet Me In Uptown, a fun mix of uptempo swing and boozy ballads. Together, they’re guaranteed to get me and any visitors to my kitchen moving. You’ll find new and used CDs on Amazon as well as downloadable MP3s. Give them a listen—I think you’ll want to bring a little Uptown to your kitchen too.