Woods styled his group after the jumpin’ n’ jivin’, shoutin’ n’ honkin’ bands of Louis Jordan, Wynonie Harris, Amos Milburn, and Roy Milton. Adding a healthy dose of New Orleans R&B, pile-drivin’ piano, and Woods’ own playful lyrics, Woods and His Rocket 88s forge their own brand of music they call “rock-a-boogie.”
“A joyous, wall-to-wall blast guaranteed to chase away any blues” (Philadelphia Inquirer), the 88s came together in Northern California in 1980 and quickly rose to the top of the blues club circuit. Their first album, Steady Date, got hot reviews in 1984 and led to appearances at the San Francisco Blues Festival and gigs opening for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Neville Brothers, and James Brown.
Countless concerts and many albums later, bandleader Woods has never lost touch with the music and musicians of New Orleans. In 2006 he realized his dream of reuniting the surviving members of Fats Domino’s original band. After playing a live show at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, they ducked into the studio, and filmed the whole shebang. The CD/DVD, Big Easy Boogie, is available on Club 88 Records.