Without Rounder, artists like Boozoo Chavis would remain largely unknown. An accordion player from Lake Charles, Louisiana, Chavis combined Cajun and Creole music with electric rhythm-and-blues. For years he worked in the shadows of the late zydeco star Clifton Chenier, but he recently emerged as a star in his own right. His tune "I Want To Go Home" appears on the Rounder Heritage Series release "Johnnie Billy Goat."
Johnny Adams had a distinguished career as a rhythm-and-blues singer. With roots in gospel music, Adams left his home in Louisiana and made a name for himself on the "chitlin' circuit" of nightclubs in the southern United States. He recorded nine albums for Rounder Records, and shortly before his death in 1998, was presented the Rhythm & Blues Foundation's Pioneer Award. Adams' version of George and Ira Gershwin's "But Not For Me" originally appeared on the album "There Is Always One More Time."
Louisiana was also home to blues piano pioneer "Champion" Jack Dupree. An ex-prizefighter who first recorded in the 1930s, Dupree lived in Europe for thirty years before returning to New Orleans in the mid-1980s. His four Rounder releases include the new Heritage Series album "A Portrait of 'Champion' Jack Dupree" with "When I'm Drinkin'," which originally appeared on Dupree's first Rounder album, "Back Home In New Orleans." Dupree died in 1992 at age 82.
One band that literally keeps on going and going is Roomful Of Blues. As one of America's busiest road shows, Roomful Of Blues has survived three decades of tour bus breakdowns, personnel changes and countless recording deadlines. Only three of today's eight members have been with the band more than ten years, but their trademark jazz, blues and swing sound has stayed intact.
Upcoming Rounder Heritage Series releases feature blues singers Irma Thomas and Charles Brown; bluegrass legends the Johnson Mountain Boys; and Cajun greats Beausoleil.