The Blueprints, an eight-year-old rockin’-blues band from Prince Edward Island, Canada, have issued a polished first CD called Blues With a Feeling.
Band members Mike Robicheau (vocals, guitar), Roger Greaves (drums) and Chris Roumbanis (vocals, bass) recently launched the album at The Guild in downtown Charlottetown, PEI.
“I love the raw energy and overall sound,” said Chris, a realtor who turns to music once darkness falls. “We’ve had a little radio play, especially on the syndicated show BluesOwn, which goes out to a few stations around the Maritimes.
“The fantastic launch party drew a full house and harkened back to the early 1980s at the infamous Montage Dance Theatre. In fact, we’re blown away by the support from our community and beyond. Fans from across Canada, the U.S. and Europe have bought the music.”
Record label Sandbar Music (www.sandbarmusic.com) handles the album, recorded in November 2005 and April 2006.
“The tunes are classic blues with some obscure chestnuts and occasional surprises,” said Sandbar proprietor Lloyd Doyle.
What the album lacks in youthful exuberance, it compensates for in smooth delivery and obvious skills. The tracks include: Honey Hush; Hard Way; Who’s Been Talkin’; You’ve Got to Love Her With a Feeling; Good Morning, Little School Girl; Standing on the Edge of Love; One-Hundred-Dollar Bill; Early in the Morning; Midnight Train; Same Thing Happened to Me; and Why Get Up.
Chris produced and engineered the project at Hog For Ya Productions. Roland Beaulieu, another musician, designed the cover.
The Blueprints appear frequently at Fishbone’s Bar and Grill and at Hunters Ale House, both in Charlottetown.
“In the blues tradition, if there are players in the audience, we invite them up and you never know what’ll happen,” Chris said. “We’ve had some magical moments.”
Roger, the drummer, works as a carpenter and manages a farmers’ market. Raised in Birmingham, England, he recalls the likes of Alexis Korner and John Mayal playing at nightclubs in the 1960s.
Mike, a car-rustproofer, comes from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Chris, whose mother sang with big bands in the 1940s and had a radio show in Detroit, grew up in North Bay, Ontario.
The Blueprints starred at the Tim Horton’s Jazz and Blues Festival in Charlottetown and in the 72-Hour-Jam at the 2006 East Coast Music Awards.
Chris founded the band in 1998, together with Steve Love, Tony Argent and Doug Bridges. Mike joined in 2002 and Roger in 2004. Paul MacLeod and Dave Gould filled vacancies along the way.
“Doug came up with the band’s name,” said Chris. “We started to rehearse and did our first gig at a wedding.”
The Blueprints advanced to club shows. They hosted jam sessions at D’Arcy McGee’s and at Fishbones. They appeared at Myron’s, Brennan’s and the Charlottetown Hotel.
For three consecutive years starting in 2002, The Blueprints received PEI Music Award nominations.
Why did they wait eight years to issue a CD? “It took the current members to reach the point of wanting to document our music,” Chris said. “Already, we’re talking about another CD to feature our own songs. We just want to keep on playing some blues….”
For more information: www.theblueprintspei.com
Mike, Roger and Chris (left to right) draft The Blueprints.