Before Rock and Roll there was Blues, the core of Riot and the Blues Devils. It all starts with the Blues, add some Rockabilly attitude, and Riot and the Blues Devils will grab your attention in all of their recordings and live performances. They like to call it their special blend of Blues-a-billy!
Riot and the Blues Devils is a three piece combo of experienced musicians : Riot on lead vocals and guitars, Big Papa Mike on bass and vocals, and Mark DiClaudio on drums and vocals. Formed in 2001, they have released three studio albums : eponymous (2005), Tough Times (2008), No one to blame but me (2012, Iguane Records/DEP/Universal) and a live CD/DVD, Turn it up...Live! (2014, Ambiances Ambiguës/DEP/Universal). The first two were released as “Riot and his Rhythm Devils”. “Find Me a Woman” from the eponymous album was featured on the 2006 “Blues Sampler Volume 2” compilation CD on Network Pacific Records.
They have made quite an impression over the past decade either when performing in major festivals or while playing hundreds of shows in different venues. Some highlights include opening slots for Ronnie Baker Brooks and Jeff Healey. They’ve also had several Lys Blues awards nominations.
A brief history:
Born in the mid 70’s, Riot got interested in guitars as a teenager. A certain top hat wearing, six string gunslinger named Slash most probably had a lot to do with the fact that Riot got into music and bought a Gibson Les Paul! He formed a band with a few friends and started playing the Montreal bar scene with a set of Hard Rock covers mixed with Classic Rock, Blues, R&B and originals. These guys played everything from Ray Charles to Pantera!
As time went by and his taste in music evolved, Riot got more and more into blues, country and rockabilly. He discovered great musicians such as Danny Gatton, Merle Haggard, Muddy Waters, Buck Owens, and Roy Buchanan and fell in love with that Tele Twang! He just had to switch to a Telecaster!
After playing on and off with several bands as a guitar player, he decided it was time for him to step into the spotlight and front his own band. It was 2001, and Riot and his Rhythm Devils were now Montreal’s newest 3 piece blues band. It was decided early on that this would not be just a cover band. The guys wanted to mix in their own material into their live set.
After a few changes in the bass player’s seat, Big Papa Mike joined the band in late 2002. The band got more gigs, wrote more songs, and headed for the studio in late 2004. The eponymous Riot and his Rhythm Devils album was released in march 2005, and that’s when things shifted gears!
In late 2006, the band had to part ways with original drummer Rick Cameron due to different views regarding the musical direction the band should take. Several gigs were played with different drummers while new material was being written. Drummer Mark DiClaudio finally joined the band, and they headed back in the studio to record “Tough Times” which was released in March 2008.
The new line up quickly gelled which took the band to a whole new level. Move forward to 2011, and it’s time to go back to the studio! The band met Iguane Record’s Nicky Estor through a mutual friend and signed a contract with Iguane Records in July 2011. “No one to blame but me - (Iguane Records/DEP/Universal)” was recorded in November 2011 and released in March 2012. The band decided it was time for a name change and are now Riot and the Blues Devils.
The first decade of the band’s history was packed with fun gigs and great memories, but one has a feeling that the best is yet to come!