Bakelite 78's CD release party for Delta Disc takes place at FitzGerald's on Thursday Nov. 20th, 2008 featuring Bakelite 78, Black Bear Combo and Jimbo Mathus' Knockdown South. BAKELITE 78 returns with a follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut... Following the success of Bakelite 78's 2006 debut album It's a Sin, the band was approached by musician/producer Jimbo Mathus, founding member of the 1990's hot-jazz indie combo the Squirrel Nut Zippers to record a follow-up. Bakelite 78 hauled their batch of newly written songs and a selection of vintage tunes and traveled to Jimbo's Delta Recording Service in Como, Mississippi to put it all on tape. The resulting 13-song album, Delta Disc is an eclectic mix of Dixieland, blues, proto-country, and cabaret. Fans of It's A Sin will love it and so will those uninitiated to the Bakelite 78 experience. Where'd they get the money? The City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs generous Community Arts Assistance Program Grant helped finance the recording. Robert J. Rial, the band's founder, frontman and principal songwriter, submitted a selection from the recordings to the Department of Cultural Affairs and was chosen out of thousands of applicants to receive grant money to help complete the project. Bakelite 78 was recognized for their deep appreciation of Chicago's musical heritage, which has it's roots in the Mississippi Delta. The connection between the two regions underlies the entire project. Where'd they come from in the first place? Arriving in Chicago in 2000, singer-songwriter and guitarist Robert Joseph Rial continued a musical direction he started at college in southeastern Ohio. Robert played the styles he loved most: country blues and swing, Vaudeville, Tin Pan Alley, American folk songs, jazz and mountain music. Many of these styles of music were originally released on 78-speed records. Some 78s were made from a 'new' material, an early form of plastic called Bakelite. Bakelite 78 records preserved the music of this era. Bakelite 78 the band was meticulously assembled to bring them back to life. Robert Rial's choice of instruments in his group reflected the era of Bakelite 78's musical repertoire - tenor guitar and stand-up megaphone to better emulate the singing style of classic 'pre-microphone-era' singers. The original lineup of Bakelite 78 performed around Chicago between 2003 and 2008, with Robert on tenor guitar and voice, along with Ariel Bolles on upright acoustic bass, Jason Grey on washboard/percussion, banjolin and accordion, Bob Kessler on clarinet and harmonica, and Rich Unetich on trumpet. Robert Joseph Rial now lives in Seattle, Washington, where he has plans to take Bakelite 78 in a slightly different direction in 2009.
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