Rhythm Rockets- Chicago’s Old School Swing, Jazz, Rhythm & Blues Band

Blues and R&B
Swing
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Since 1996, Chicago's Rhythm Rockets have been performing on stages across the country and throughout the Midwest. Steeped in post war Jazz, Rhythm & Blues from the 1940s and 1950s, the band brings an authentic representation of the genre. Chicago Jazz Magazine's Randy Freedman noted, "The RR's possessed two distinct advantages over many of their now-defunct musical contemporaries that helped ensure their survival and growth into the present day: the band's wise placement of emphasis on musicianship over gimmickry, and the invaluable look and sound of lead vocalist Nicole Kestler. Few other female artists today combine the necessary daring, confidence and originality (not to mention the pipes) to follow big-voiced legends like Ruth Brown and Mabel (Big Maybelle) Smith, or Peggy Lee's sultry purr."

The Rhythm Rockets have come a long way since they played their first gig at a nightclub in Chicago’s Western suburbs on New Year’s Eve of 1996. Over the last two decades, they’ve steadily emerged as one of the city’s top Swing, Rhythm & Blues combos, incorporating a measure of jazz into their elegant presentation as well.

Formed at the height of the neo-swing craze, the jump-and-jive influences of Louis Jordan and Louis Prima were once a primary part of their approach. But along the way, they’ve tapped into the horn-driven postwar jump blues sound so securely and with such irresistible gusto that they’ve entirely transcended a short-lived trend once defined by Brylcreem and Zoot suits. Whether you enjoy cutting a rug on the dance floor or simply sitting back and grooving to their swinging musical attack, this outfit always delivers the goods, respecting the idiom without rendering it a museum piece as too many of their one-time peers did.

The Rhythm Rockets continue a consistent performance schedule with public and private events.


Set List

Ain’t Nobody’s Business – JORDAN/FITZGERALD

All Night Long – JOE HOUSTON

At Last – ETTA JAMES

Baby, You’re Always On My Mind – ELLA JOHNSON 

Back to the Chicken Shack – JIMMY SMITH

Bag’s Groove – MILT JACKSON

Blues In Orbit – DUKE ELLINGTON

Blues In The Night – ARLEN-MERCER/BUTERA

Boogie Woogie Country Girl – BIG JOE TURNER

Bottoms Up – ILLINOIS JAQUET  

Bread & Gravy – ETHEL WATERS

Buzzard Pie – RUDY GREEN

Buzz Me Blues – LOUIS JORDAN

Caledonia – LOUIS JORDAN

Cannonball Express – PEGGY LEE  

Charade – BOBBY DARIN  

Choo Choo Ch’Boogie – LOUIS JORDAN  

C Jam Blues – DUKE ELLINGTON

Crawfishun’ – CLARENCE GARLOW

Crazy Crazy Party – THE CUES

Crazy House – REDD FOX

Daddy Daddy – RUTH BROWN/MORSE

Daddy Don’t Shout – ELLA JOHNSON

Day Old Bread and Canned Beans – TRENIERS

Deacon’s Hop – BIG JAY MCNEELY

Don’t Get Around Much Anymore – ETTA JAMES VERSION

Do I Move You? – NINA SIMONE

Do Right Baby – BILLY GAYLES

Drinkin’ Beer – TINY GRIMES

Duck Before You Drown – DINAH WASHINGTON

Evenin‘ – T-BONE WALKER

Every Night – PEGGY LEE

Evil Gal Blues – DINAH WASAHINGTON

Fever – SAM BUTERA

Five Months, Two Weeks, Two Days – LOUIS PRIMA  

5-10-15 Hours – RUTH BROWN  

Forty Cups of Coffee – ELLA MAE MORSE  

Frog Hop – CHUCK HIGGINS

Gimme Some – NINA SIMONE

Good Rockin’ Daddy – ETTA JAMES

Good Rockin Tonight – TRENIERS  

Halelujah I Love Him So – PEGGY LEE

Happy Pay Day   

Have Mercy – ELLA MAE MORSE  

I Don’t Hurt Anymore – DINAH WASHINGTON

I Don’t Know Enough About You – PEGGY LEE

I Just Couldn’t Stand It No More – DINAH WASHINGTON

I’ll Take A Holiday From Love – RHYTHM ROCKETS  

I’m Beginning to See the Light – HARRY JAMES

I’m In The Mood for You  ANNIE LAURIE

I’m Mad At You – WYNONA CARR

I’m Tired of Crying Over You – ELLA JOHNSON

I’m Tore Up – BILLY GAYLES

I’m Tryin‘ – LITTLE MILTON

In The Middle of the Night – AMOS MILBORN

Is You Is or Is You Ain’t – DINAH WASHINGTON

It Ain’t What You Say – ESTHER WILLIAMS

It’s Love Baby 24 Hours A Day – RUTH BROWN

I’ve Got A Feelin’ – BIG MAYBELLE

I Want You – CADETS

Jump & Shout

Jump, Jive & Wail – LOUIS PRIMA

Jump These Blues – RHYTHM ROCKETS

Just A Little Lovin’  – RAY CHARLES

Kidney Stew – EDDY VINSON  

Let’s Have A Party – AMOS MILBORN  

Let’s House Party – AMOS MILBORN  

Let’s Rock A While B- AMOS MILBORN  

Let The Good Times Roll – LOUIS JORDAN

Linger In My Arms a Little Longer – PEGGY LEE

Love You Madly – ELLA FITZGERALD

Mamma He Treats Your Daughter Mean – RUTH BROWN

Mean & Evil – DINAH WASHINGTON

Meet Me Halfway

Memphis In June – HOAGY CARMICHAEL

Mess Around – RAY CHARLES

Miss Otis Regrets – ELLA FITZGERALD

Moanin’ – ART BLAKEY

Motten Swing

My Baby Just Cares For Me – NINA SIMONE  

My Baby’s Left Me – TINY GRIMES

My Dearest Darling – ETTA JAMES

My Heart Belongs To Daddy – PEGGY LEE

My Mind Is Troubled – LITTLE MILTON

Nervous Man Nervous – JAY McNEELY  

Night Train – JAMES BROWN   

No More Love – ELLA JOHNSON

Oh Babe – WYNONNIE HARRIS

One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show – BIG MAYBELLE SMITH

One O’Clock Jump – COUNT BASIE 

One Scotch, One Bourban, One Beer – AMOS MILBORNE    

Oo Pappa Do – ESTHER WILLIAMS 

Pachuko Hop – CHUCK HIGGINS

Put Your Arms Around Me Baby – ELLA MAE MORSE      

Razzle Dazzle – ELLA MAE MORSE  

Rocket to the Moon – COLLIN JAMES

Rockin’ Boy  – CHUZ ALFRED

Rockin Good Way – WASHINGTON/BENTON

Rock Me All Night Long – ELLA MAE MORSE

Roll Baby Roll  – FLOYD DIXON

Romance In The Dark

Roomin’ House Blues – AMOS MILBORN  

Sack of Woe – CANNONBALL ADDERLEY  

San Fernando Valley – NICOLE KESTLER

Satisfy My Soul – ELLA JOHNSON  

Send For Me – NAT KING COLE  

Sentimental Journey – RUTH BROWN

Since I Fell For You – ELLA JOHNSON  

Sister Sadie – HORACE SISTER

Soft Winds – DINAH WASHINGTON  

So Good To My Baby – BIG MAYBELLE

Stompin’ at the Savoy – ELLA FITZGERALD  

Stormy Weather   

Sunnyside of the Street

Take The A-Train  -DUKE ELLINGTON

T-Bone Shuffle – T-BONE WALKER  

Teach Me Tonight – DINAH WASHINGTON

Tell Me What’s the Reason – T-BONE WALKER

Tenor Madness – SONNY ROLLINS

That’s All – ETTA JAMES

That’s My Desire – HADDA BROOKS

The Man That Got Away – DINAH WASHINGTON

The Things that I’d Do For You – JUNIOR WELLS

Things Ain’t What They Use To Be

Them There Eyes – VARETTA DILLARD

They Can’t Take That Away – BILLY HOLIDAY

Til’ My Baby Comes Back – ELLA JOHNSON

Tina’s Cantina – BIG AL SEARS

Trouble in Mind – DINAH WASHINGTON

Turnpike – ILLINOIS JACQUET

Turn The Lights Down Low – LITTLE ESTHER

Uh Oh – TRENIERS

Waitin & Drinkin B- CALVIN BOSE

Walkin Blues (Walk Right In) – FLUFFY HUNTER

WB Hop – CHUCK HIGGINS

What Good Will It Do Me? – ELLA MAE MORSE

What’s the Matter With You – ALBINA JONES

Why Don’t You Do Right – PEGGY LEE

Why Don’t You Haul Off – BULL MOOSE JACKSON

Wild, Wild, Young Men – RUTH BROWN

Wild Women Don’t Have The Blues – IDA COX

You Got Me Where You Want Me – ETTA JAMES

You Need To Rock – JOHNNY HODGES

You Was Right Baby – PEGGY LEE

You’ve Got What It Takes – WASHINGTON/BENTON

AND MORE…..

Rhythm Rockets- Chicago’s Old School Swing, Jazz, Rhythm & Blues Band

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