Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's A Tip of the Hat to Fats • CD Release Show

Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's A Tip of the Hat to Fats • CD Release Show

Mitch's new album is called A Tip of the Hat to Fats, but it’s far more than a tribute to the late rock ’n’ roll granddaddy Fats Domino. With a wide embrace of styles, high-flying performances, and a song list that also includes Professor Longhair, Wynonie Harris, Jackie Brenstonand Woods himself, these nine tunes — each with a buoyant introduction by the singer, pianist and bandleader — perfectly spotlight his upbeat virtuosity. The album will be released by Blind Pig Records via The Orchard on April 19, 2019.

“I’m an entertainer, and there’s nowhere I’d rather be than at a festival playing and singing the music I love and making people happy,” Woods relates. “Onstage is where I flourish. The music I love and the songs I write in the spirit of that music domake people dance and laugh. It all comes from the era of the late 1940s through the early ’50s — a soundtrack of jump swing, blues, New Orleans music and early rock ’n’ roll, and I love to go right to the roots of it.”

For Woods, those roots extend to his childhood in New York City, when he first heard boogie-woogie piano and fell for the sound and the instrument. And they’re delightfully exposed in A Tip of the Hat to Fats, which captures a percolating live performance at the 2018 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The Crescent City holds a special place in Woods’ heart, and since his first trip there in 1981, the sounds that still resonate in the Big Easy’s boulevards and bar rooms — from the echoes of foundational artists like Domino and Fess that linger in today’s music to the daily parade of brass bands and Mardi Gras krewes that fill the streets — have become an important part of his musical evolution.

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