Smokehouse Ramblers
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Smokehouse Ramblers

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""Can't Get Used To It" - Smokehouse Ramblers"

"Can't Get Used To It," the debut CD from the Smokehouse Ramblers shows how three veteran blues musicians can use their talents...with good songwriting, tight arrangements, and musical ability to deliver a quality listen. The Smokehouse Ramblers are; Steve Cocchi, a solid guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, Tom Mallafarina who exhibits total command of his instrument on bass, and Buddy Cleveland on blues harp whose picture is apparently in the Webster's Dictionary next to the word virtuoso. I rarely, if ever, use this word to describe anyone but Cleveland combines the three T's, Talent, Taste and Tone, to deliver stellar performances song after song. Of late, it seems every harmonica player wants to emulate John Popper's over-played chromatic flights of narcissism but Buddy Cleveland has such a knack for putting exactly the right note in the right place and has such command over the tone of his instrument that his playing alone makes this CD worth the price. Blues shuffles, country blues and slow blues abound in a mostly acoustic format making for a relaxing listen, (take this thing for a drive and watch the 'road rage' just melt away)..."Can't Get Used To It" is a solid debut from three quality blues musicians who, though they've been around for a while, seem as if they're just getting started. - Pennsylvania Musician Magazine


""Can't Get Used To It" - Smokehouse Ramblers"

[B]lues trio Smokehouse Ramblers has released its first CD, “Can’t Get Used To It” filled with an hour of barnstormers and slow jams, originals and covers.

The band’s specialty is lighter-volume blues music “The kind…you can listen to and enjoy while eating a fine meal and sharing dinner conversation with a few friends” according to its Web site. To that extent, the trio lacks a drummer, relying on sparse percussion – a tambourine slap here, a hi-hat cymbal there – and Tom Malafarina’s bass to anchor the beat.

That approach works best in the extended, slower numbers, as the added atmosphere allows vocalist/harp player Buddy Cleveland and vocalist/guitarist/percussionist Steve Cocchi to stretch out and fill in the space with inspired solos.
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The majority of the 10-songs album is made up of originals, with an Elmore James cover and a Keb’ Mo’ cover completing the set. The arrangements are given room to breath, with most of the songs lasting well over five minutes, and the disc feels like it was recorded at a live show – a good sign of a road-tested band.

For those who like their blues harp-heavy and fun, there’s a good chance you can get used to the Smokehouse Ramblers.

- Reading Eagle


Discography

The Smokehouse Ramblers released their first CD, "Can't Get Used To It," in the Spring of 2006. The CD is available on CDBaby. com and a number of online music download and music streaming services.

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Bio

In September 2004, three blues loving musicians, all busy and active in other local blues bands, decided to put together a very special side project. This band was to take the form of an acoustic-based, lighter-volume blues trio. The kind of band that you can listen to and enjoy while eating a fine meal and sharing dinner conversation with a few friends. The goal of the project was to provide quieter, soulful blues covers and original tunes to area restaurants, private parties and night clubs, while at the same time not forgetting the real reason for playing the blues which was just to have a whole lot of fun.

Two of the "Smokehouse Ramblers" were already enjoying some local celebrity with the West Chester based band Voodoo Deville. They are harp wizard and Voodoo front man, Buddy Cleveland, and Steve Cocchi, who supplies vocals, keyboard, guitar, slide, drums and just about any other string instrument we can think of. As luck would have it, Buddy was doing some side harp work with the Reading based Dave Mell Blues Band with his good friend, blues singer/songwriter, Bluesman Tom Malafarina, who agreed to team up with the boys and in addition to original songs, provides vocals, bass guitar and acoustic guitar to the trio.

These fellas figured with three lead vocalists all capable of providing harmonies, honest to goodness musicians with the ability to play a whole mess of different instruments, a bunch of original tunes and an intense love for the blues, how could they possibly go wrong? So the three got together and recorded a some of their original songs, sat back, took a listen and said "well roll me on the beach and call me Sandy, this stuff ain't half bad." And the Smokehouse Ramblers were born.

The Smokehouse Ramblers play most styles of the blues – from the Delta to the Piedmont to Chicago. They also venture into the Rockabilly and Crossover Country genres as well. So stop by sometime, sit a spell, take a load off your feet and enjoy the Smokehouse Ramblers' own brand of "Foot Stompin', Butt Shakin', Rib Stickin', Good Time Blues".