If you’re looking for down home, old school, no-nonsense, house-rocking rhythm & blues, you’ve come to the right place! The Juke Joint 5 focuses on the sounds you might have heard emerging in the early 1950s from some distant, static-crackling, late night radio station: jumped-up urban rhythm and blues; the raw Delta country sound just recently getting electrified in Chicago; Memphis rockabilly; and the primitive beginnings of rock and roll.
The Juke Joint 5 (from left: Richard Malcolm, Silvertone Steve, Gretchen Bostrom, Dick “The Poet” Lourie, John Bunszell). Photo by Mark Layman.
The Juke Joint 5, formed several years ago, is a tight-knit and busy Boston-based group that continually awes audiences with their high energy stage presence and dedication to down home, old school, no-nonsense, house-rocking rhythm & blues. The group’s powerful vocals are provided by Gretchen Bostrom, performing the JJ5’s wide range of material from the group’s originals to songs by Ruth Brown, Louis Jordan, LaVern Baker, Don Covay, Big Mama Thornton, Little Richard, Slim Harpo, and other such classic blues/r&b performers. Joining Gretchen in the front line are two old pro blues players: Silvertone Steve is a slide guitar master and veteran of J.B. Hutto’s band; gritty saxman Dick “the Poet” Lourie performed frequently with the late Big Jack Johnson. John Bunszell on bass and drummer Richard Malcolm make up the band’s solid rhythm section. Both Richard and John have played with some of the area’s finest musicians: John has performed with Matt Stubbs, Racky Thomas and more; Richard has toured with Luther “Guitar” Johnson and has performed with a variety of Boston-based groups.
Band members work together on other projects that have grown out of the deeply shared commitment to their style of blues, including regular visits to Clarksdale, Mississippi, in the heart of the Delta, where Gretchen and Dick perform with local blues musicians.