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Booking Mitch Woods - Blues Artists - Jump Blues, Boogie-Woogie, Electric Blues, Blues, Chicago Blues, Modern Electric Blues - Richard De La Font Agency, Inc. - For serious booking requests only, click here: For more information

Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88's are the torch bearers of a great American musical heritage. Taking  their inspiration from the great jump n' boogie outfits and swingin' little big bands of the 40's, they breathe fresh life into the vanishing brand of music that gave birth to rock 'n' roll.

Mitch Woods - booking information Mitch takes his cue from his jumpin' n' jivin', shoutin' n' honkin', pumpin' n' poundin' predecessors, Louis Jordan, Cab Calloway, Joe and Jimmie Liggins, and Louis Prima, just to name a few. Mitch's pile drivin' piano licks and energetic stage persona combine with the Rocket 88's swingin' horns, thumpin' bass, rockin' guitar and jungle drums to send a crowd into dancing delight.

Mitch Woods & his Rocket 88's, Jump Blues artists - booking information They are one of the first bands on the West Coast to reach back to an earlier time in American music using humor, style, musicianship and showmanship to forge their own swinging brand of music -- which they coined rock-a-boogie. Call it Nouveau Swing or whatever, Mitch Woods & the 88's have distilled the essence of jump, swing and boogie woogie, made it their own, and deliver it to the present.

Mitch Woods was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1971 and began performing as Mitch Woods & His Red Hot Mama, featuring his boogie woogie piano and the sultry voice of the Red Hot Mama (Susan Savoy) on tunes by Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith and Fats Waller. The band broke up as Mitch moved to Hawaii to embark on a solo career in the late 70's. He returned in 1981 to form the first incarnation of the Rocket 88's with former members of the David Bromberg Band, including John Firmin on sax, now leading his own swingin' big band, The Johnny Nocturne Band.

Mitch Woods - booking information Mitch Woods And His Rocket 88's have built a large national and international following as they perform at clubs and festivals worldwide. Look for tunes by Mitch & the 88's on "Next Generation Swing Vol. 2" (Simitar) with Squirrel Nut Zippers, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, "Swing Sucks" (Liberation) with Royal Crown Revue, and "Swing This, Baby Vol. 2" (Beyond/BMG) with New Morty Show, Lavay Smith, Steve Lucky.

What better way to go than kicking up your heels with a smile on your face, jumpin' and jivin' to Mitch Woods & His rocket 88's.

  • Mitch Woods and the 88's recorded their first of four albums for the Blind Pig label entitled "Steady Date" in 1984. Hailed by Billboard as "a Whitman sampler of American jump, bump and boogie," it features Lance Dickerson on drums (of Commander Cody fame).
  • Their second release, "Mr. Boogie's Back in Town" (1988) features Danny Caron on guitar, who has since gone on to become blues legend Charles Brown's musical director.
  • Mitch's third release "Solid Gold Cadillac" (1991) features a stellar lineup of special guests, including Charlie Musselwhite, The Roomful of Blues Horns, and Ronnie Earl. The Washington Post goes on to say about this swingin' album: "Woods is a rising figure in the boogie-woogie and jump blues revival."
  • On their fourth release, "Shakin' the Shack" (1993) Woods and the 88's combine the elements of jump/swing with New Orleans inspiration on 11 original tunes, of which Relix Magazine says: "If Shakin' The Shack doesn't get your toes tapping, shoulders swaying, fingers snapping and hips gyrating, it's time for resuscitation!"
  • Mitch's solo project, "Keeper of The Flame" (1996) on Viceroy/Lightyear distributed worldwide through WEA, is Mitch's tribute to the blues masters that inspired his career. On it he plays and sings duets with John Lee Hooker, James Cotton, Johnnie Johnson (Chuck Berry), Earl King, and Lee Allen (Fats Domino). Hooker enjoyed these sessions so much that he asked Woods to join him in his own recording "Boom Boom" (Pointblank/Charisma).

Notable songs include --

  • Blues Hangover

  • Shakin' the Shack

  • Solid Gold Cadillac

  • Rocket 88

  • Moanin' N' Ticklin'

  • Jump for Joy

  • Honkin', Shoutin', Pumpin', Poundin'

  • Jive Mr. Boogie

  • Blues Hangover

  • House of Blue Lights

  • Boogie Woogie Barbecue

What others say --

  • Keyboard:
    "Woods rocks the joint with some of the jumpin'est piano we've heard."

  • Downbeat:
    "Mitch Woods...give heart and soul to jump blues...Woods sings with smooth ebullience and hammers the piano keys with the unchecked gaiety of mentors Fess Longhair and Amos Milburn."
      -- Frank-John Hadley

  • Offbeat:
    "Piano master Mitch Woods is one of the brightest exponents of West Coast swing, Kansas City boogie-woogie and Chicago blues. Woods also has a fine touch for New Orleans' piano polyrhythms."
      -- Scott Jordan

  • Washington Post:
    "It's not easy to play that Professor Longhair piano lick – those rippling rumba triplets in the right hand against a driving, eight-to-the-bar boogie in the left – but San Francisco's Mitch Woods plays it as well as anyone outside New Orleans ever has. This may be complicated music to play, but it's very easy music to hear. There's something about the syncopated bounce of boogie-woogie that lifts one's spirits even as it shifts one's shoulders and hips."
      -- Geoffrey Himes

  • San Francisco Examiner:
    "Few pianists around have better captured the definitive boogie-blues, eight-to-the-bar styles of Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, Otis Spann, Meade Lux Lewis...and all the rest – Woods is one of them."
      -- Philip Elwood

  • New York Post:
    "One of the top boogie/blues piano men around."
      -- Dan Aquilante

  • San Francisco Bay Guardian:
    "As a keeper of the flame, Woods has always been able to blast headlong through the inferno on the strength of his dazzling boogie-woogie chops."
      -- Derk Richardson

  • Blues Revue:
    ""Keeper of The Flame" has to be one of the most uplifting recordings to have vibrated my woofers in a long time. It's like witnessing one of those breathtaking moments of music where the unspoken communication and the resulting musical dialogue can raise a goose bump or two. It has the power to charm and to entertain, the power to inspire and to motivate. Definitely do not miss out."
      -- Maureen DelGrosso

  • Southland Blues:
    "If it takes 88 keys to open the door to your heart, then pianist Mitch Woods ought to be your doorman."
      -- Bill Kisliuk

Mitch Woods & his Rocket 88's may be available for your next special event.
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