Rochester-based blues band Bill Schmitt and the Bluesmasters have been a roadhouse fixture in upstate New York since 2005.
With freight train rhythms, subtle phrasing and bright intricate solos, the music draws influence from artists like Freddie King, Muddy Waters and Joe Bonamassa.
The blues have been a constant even though the band plays a cross section of rock and rhythm & blues. These guys can take a typical 12 bar blues rhythm and keep it swinging – making it relevant and exciting for old school blues fans as well as younger listeners of jazz and R & B.
Greg Fox’s voice and sax are rooted in that bluesy genre. He howls, roars and gallops to the groove with his tenor sax forming a sexy exclamation point.
Mike Master’s poly rhythms and muscular grooves keep the train moving.
John Carlino on bass goes from delicate grooves to a metronomic swing.
Bob Fess on guitar grew up with the blues and his fretboard skills make him a driving force. Thick toned guitar workouts demonstrate his love and reverence for the blues and classic rock greats like Clapton, Freddy King, Muddy Waters and Jeff Beck.
Bill Schmitt makes this ensemble all possible and provides the musical direction to keep things together and moving in the right direction. His B3 style keyboard skills keep things traditional but also add well crafted energetic lines to each song.
This band is a study in ensemble playing, and it’s members feed off each other’s energy, pushing one another into high gear with integrated parts that answer and compliment the other.