Riverboat Stompers at Primavera Ristorante February 16, 2017

Jazz Sea Cruise – January 1-19, 2018    Phone 352.205.1777  Fax: 352.415.0779

7 piece Traditional Jazz Band

Riverboat Stompers

The Riverboat Stompers with guest Craig Ball performed peppy renditions of New Orleans favorites  at Primavera Ristorante, with Craig Ball (cl), Neil Flewelling (ct), Frank Batchelor (tb), Steve Taddeo (dr), Phil Hower (p), Pierre Lemieux (tu), and Eric Baldwin (bj)

by Marce, videos by Pierre Lemieux

They began with Original Dixieland Jazz Band One Step,  celebrating The ODJB’s recording of Jazz for the first time 100 years ago!

both singing wildly

Neil and Frank filling in for Steve Straus.


Leader Steve Strauss was on temporary disability, so Frank Batchelor led the band and Neil and Frank took turns doing the vocals, having fun with You Took Advantage of Me.  I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.




Phil at keyboard, smiling at camera

Phil Hower


Phill Hower introduced Rose of Washington Square. (He’s the only one who knows the verses.) Phil’s heroes are the great stride pianists of the 1920’s and ’30’s, and he emulates their techniques and style. with a strongly rhythmic left hand.

Frank did the vocal, Phil in absolute rapture on keyboard.   Eric Baldwin took this solo on guitar



The theme from This Old House, Louisiana Fairy Tale is always a favorite!

Pierre playing tuba

Pierre Lemieux


Bei Mir Bis Du Schoen –  Eric moved to  banjo. Excellent solos all around, including Pierre Lemieux’s tuba.  Pierre maintains that Trad Jazz beat in many bands!

Phil Hower and Pierre Lemieux have been with the Riverboat Stompers band since its inception in 1990.



Bei Mir Bis Du Schon  (To me you are Beautiful)

Somebody Stole My Gal was WILD with Craig Ball clarinet.  The high ferver continued with Coney Island Washboard Roundelay.

drum and clarinet

Steve Taddeo and Craig Ball

Steve Taddeo’s drumming was tasteful and appropriate, evoking Baby Dodds behind the soloists.  He added an excellent drum roll solo on Floating Down to Cotton Town.

Eric on banjo with Phil keyboard in the back

Eric Baldwin




We’ve been listening to Eric Baldwin play guitar for many years, but we really enjoyed Eric’s banjo playing!




Frank using hand for mute on trombone

Frank Batchelor




Frank Batchelor sang It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie, followed by fine band ensemble.

Muskrat Ramble

Phil started Sweet Lorraine; he knows ALL the verses.  Eric returned to guitar;   Neil took the lead, calling out the time for an upbeat Ain’t She Sweet.

clarinet and trombone pointing to Neil seated and playing cornet

Fine front line

Neil on cornet

Neil Flewellen



Neil playing a superb Sleepy Time Down South. Neil has been heard playing both in the Dixieland-style and swing all across New England.





He took the vocal on Bill Bailey, Please Come Home.


They closed with a relatively new tune, Moonlight.  Steve Straus will be back with this Powerhouse Group at Primavera March 23rd and ….

NOTE THIS! The band will be taking its first Jazz Cruise January 5-19 on the Holland America Caribbean Dixieland Jazz Cruise, with Bob Schulz Frisco Jazz, New Orleans Nighthawks, & Grand Dominion, and more!
Join them…  Phone 352.205.1777  Fax: 352.415.0779
 Dixieland Jazz Sea Cruises

Riverboat Stompers in Bellingham MA Concerts on the Grass, July 29, 2015

7-pc band in Pavillion

Riverboat Stompers at Bellingham’s Concert on the Grass

Steve Straus, leader/clarinet/soprano sax/vocals, Neil Flewelling cornet, Frank Batchelor trombone, Phil Hower keyboard, Steve Caddick banjo/vocals, Pierre Lemieux tuba, Richard Malcolm drums

Videos by Marce

The Riverboat Stompers are a seven-piece ensemble specializing in Traditional and Dixieland Jazz of the 20’s to 40’s. It’s obvious that this is the music they cherish and have played for many years.  They have been playing all over New England this summer – one of their best years ever.  It was a pleasure to catch them in my home town, Bellingham MA.  This was their first time here at the Bellingham Summer Concerts in the park – but they will be back!

They are masters of Dixieland Jazz, playing well-known standards with feeling and passion.  The three members of the front line play tight ensemble, complementing each other.  They keep this Jazz HOT!

cornet, soprano sax, and trombone

Dave Flewelling, Steve Straus, Frank Batchelor

Steve sings You Took Advantage of Me:

paving stone that says "Marcelle Fleuette Enright"  "We love you."

Part of the ‘Dance Floor’ that surrounds the building.



Part of the “dance floor”.

Concerts on the Grass are a family occasion and  also have horseback rides over by the Veterans’ Memorial


Pierre sitting and smiling, holding monstrous tuba

Pierre Lemieux


Pierre Lemieux does a fine tuba solo.  He keeps busy playing with many bands.

The band continued with Sweet Georgia Brown,


That’s a Plenty was plenty HOT!

Malcolm smiling at camera with Red Seacoast Stompers shirt

Rich Malcolm plays great Trad. He also teaches at Berklee.



Phil in red shirt smiling at the camera

Phil Hower


The drummer is the heartbeat of Traditional Jazz.    Rich is an excellent Trad drummer  (hard to find!) and keeps the musicians in perfect time.  He took the intro to SAN, starting with an Indian beat, hitting the toms, and continued backing Straus’s marvelous soprano sax – this tune was a gem!




Pianist Phil Hower listens carefully; responds with delicate and resourceful phrases.





Frank playing muted trombone

Frank Batchelor




Frank Batchelor was featured on Basin St. Blues with a lyrical sliding melody linked to the original tailgate style of New Orleans. Awesome!.




Royal Garden Blues

Neil in red shirt on cornet

Neil Flewelling, cornet



We were introduced to a tune: You Meet the Nicest People; this is the first time we’ve heard this tune. Fine cornet by Neil.

Neil Flewelling has admirable technique with solos that move lightly from phrase to phrase.   We do meet the nicest people listening to Traditional and Dixieland Jazz!!



They added some fine blues, Jazz Me Blues.  Buddy Bolden’s Blues was played slowly, melancholy and bluesy.  Straus changed the mood singing a happy Floatin’ Down to Cottontown.  “Hear the folks all singin’,  banjos ringin’ ’till the break of day.”

Steve in white shirt and red vest playing banjo.

Steve Caddick teaches banjo all over the world by Skype.


Steve Caddick (Banjo Hall of Fame inductee) on banjo and vocals, was a welcome addition to the band. Besides playing strong background rhythm,  Steve Caddick had many vocals, There’ll Be Some Changes Made, Exactly Like You, Somebody Stole My Gal, Hard Hearted Hannah, It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie, My Honey’s Lovin’ Arms, Ain’t She Sweet, and the closing tune on banjo and vocals, drum finale.



These Concerts on the Grass are broadcast on Bellingham/Mendon video station http://abmi8.org.  You might be able to get them on line.
The Riverboat Stompers were heading for Cohasset the next day, with Jimmy Mazzy on banjo.  Check our calendar on www.nejazz.com and search for Riverboat Stompers to find when this marvelous Dixieland Jazz Band will be in your neighborhood.   www.riverboatstompers.com.

Riverboat Stompers at Primavera Ristorante, March 26, 2015

7 pc Dixieland Band

Riverboat Stompers

Steve Straus clarinet/soprano sax, Neil Flewelling cornet, Frank Bachelor trombone, Jimmy Mazzy banjo, Phil Hower piano, Pierre Lemieux tuba, Richard Malcolm drums

The Riverboat Stompers are a seven-piece ensemble specializing in Traditional and Dixieland Jazz of the 20’s to 40’s. They bring an air of authenticity, and you can easily tell this is the music they cherish and have played for many years.   Jimmy Mazzy sat in on banjo and vocals, free to sing many of his unique vocals.

The others all came from a distance, driving  through a downpour for their first performance at Primavera Ristorante.  We haven’t seen them since July at the Sherborn Inn; they were well received.

With tight ensemble they began Dark Town Strutter’s Ball, Honeysuckle Rose; heartfelt solos.  Ain’t She Sweet, Pierre’s tuba was bouncing off the back wall; Rich Malcolm stood up from the drums, just tapping two sticks together!

Jim singing and playing banjo

Jimmy Mazzy


Jimmy’s soul-warming vocals are encouraged; he really gets his head around the lyrics.  Lulu’s Back in Town, All of Me.  Phil’s piano offered just the right chords behind him, as well as all the soloists.





Steve Straus on soprano sax with Jimmy behind him

Steve Straus on soprano sax



Lazy River started nice and slow, Frank’s trombone playing with passion.  Then pushed by Steve’s soprano sax, the band surged upbeat.




Neil on muted cornet

Neil Fleweling


A new horn in the band, Neil Flewelling has admirable technique with solos that move lightly from phrase to phrase.  Neil has been playing professionally for over 50 years and teaching music for over 40 years in the Haverhill school systems.  He fits right in with this band.



They played serious Dixieland Jazz, no shtick.  Steve did ask the audience to “name this tune.” Hint: A Traditional Jazz barn-burner, based on a Sousa March.  Nobody remembered Fidgety Feet. (We’re all getting old!)  Straus on clarinet, hot cornet and tuba duet.

Pierre on tuba in front of fireplace

Pierre Lemieux


South, fine tuba.  Generally the tuba plays almost exactly the same bass lines.  Pierre Lemieux’s tuba  plays some melody and counterpoint.  He is heard all over the North Shore, leads his own group “The Mill City Jazz Band” and is a regular in “Jim Kilroy’s Jambalaya Jazz Band” and “The Jailhouse Seven”.




I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Jim vocal, sophisticated exchange between cornet and sweet soprano sax.  Tuba solo was backed by Rich Malcolm, standing, just clapping his hands for beat.  The drummer is the heartbeat of Traditional Jazz.    Rich may teach at Berklee, but he’s a knowledgeable Dixieland Jazz drummer and keeps a sensitive beat using anything at his disposal.  Baby Face was wild, another Jimmy vocal, with Malcolm backing him by tapping on bell and rim of the bass drum.

Riverboat Ramblers RhythmAnother New Orleans Chestnut, Bourbon St. Parade –“ Let’s fly down or drive down, to New Orleans.”  Not a bad idea.  They’re looking for volunteers for the upcoming French Quarter Festival on the 9th.

A 1922 original, Limehouse Blues, was recorded in 1922 by Red Nichols and his Five Pennies. Fancy drum solo, Rich twirling/spinning sticks in his hands, with the band playing behind him in low stop time.  My Gal Sal, soft clarinet opener, with tuba softly mirroring his notes.

Phil’s piano took the intro to a lively Putting on the Ritz. Phil Hower’s heroes are the great stride pianists of the 1920’s and ’30’s, and he does his utmost to emulate their technique and style. His strongly rhythmic left hand has enabled Phil to be continuously on the roster of trad jazz bands.

Exactly Like You, In My Honey’s Loving Arms, lyrical, hugging the melody, Jim singing.

Steve asked if we would like to hear a Gershwin tune?  Why not?   Piano took the intro to Lady Be Good, Neil’s cornet sneaked in a bit of Stumbling.   (They can make Trad Jazz out of any melody.)   The audience was paying attention, feeding off the band’s energy.

clarinet, cornet, trombone, also shows banjo, drum & tuba

Front Line

They closed with a zesty delivery of Kid Ory’s 1926 Muscat Ramble. It was excellent Dixieland Jazz from beginning to end.  We hope to hear them again, with better weather.  They do have a CD for purchase – check out their new website created by Frank Batchelor at http://www.riverboatstompers.com/.

Riverboat Stompers at the Sherborn Inn, July 8, 2014

7-pc Dixieland Band

Riverboat Stompers at the Sherborn Inn, July 8, 2014

Larry Baxter trumpet/vocals, Steve Straus clarinet/soprano sax/vocal, Frank Batchelor trombone, Jimmy Mazzy banjo/vocals, Phil Hower piano, Pierre Lemieux tuba, Rich Malcolm drums.

The Riverboat Stompers played some serious Dixieland Jazz at the Sherborn Inn; great front line with excellent rhythm section, feeling and loving the music. They hit it off hot and heavy with Dark Town Strutters Ball, Jimmy on vocal.

Jimmy Mazzy, banjo and vocal



Jimmy sings most of the vocals – good reason to come hear this band!  Jimmy was at his best after returning from the America’s Jazz Fest in Olympia Washington.



Exuberant front line; they love playing together, with lighthearted jesting. They all played kazoo on Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone.

Larry Baxter, Steve Straus (leader) Frank Batchelor

Larry Baxter, Steve Straus (leader) Frank Batchelor

Larry Baxter’s trumpet carried the melodies, and some vocals. Heartfelt lyrics on St. James Infirmary  and in perfect French he sang C’est Si Bon, with Jimmy responding.  That was a first for us!  Baxter added some of his own made-up stanzas, surprising even the band.  There were many, but we only caught the words ‘strawberries and cream’.

Larry sings, Jimmy responds

Straus generally plays warm and vibrant clarinet, but took out the soprano sax on Blue Turning Gray Over You,  His only vocal was Lulu’s Back in Town.  Frank Batchelor’s euphonious trombone was especially prominent on Toot, Toot, Tootsie.

They continued with a harmonious medley with Jimmy supplying the lyrics,  Five Foot Two,  Four Leaf Clover, Toot, Toot, Tootsie,   Baby Face.

Phil Hower mesmeric pianist, he listens intently, fills in the open spaces, and lays down a solid foundation for the soloist.   Marvelous piano interludes complemented Jimmy’s vocal on Rosetta.
Phil Hower on baby grand

Bourbon St. Parade, Jazz Me Blues, Muscrat Ramble, Dr. Jazz, were HOT!  Little known sweet song – Our Love Was Meant To Be – was written by Fats Waller.  Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone, I’m Confessing That I Love You. All backed by top-notch base-line from Pierre Lemieux on tuba and a captivating beat by Rich Malcolm on drums.

tuba and drums

Pierre Lemieux and Rich Malcolm

It was excellent Dixieland from beginning to end.  They closed with a soulful vocal by Larry, We’ll Meet Again, starting in very slow waltz-time, ending in high-spirited, energetic polyphonic jazz!

Avid fan - piano player's wife, clapping to the beat

Avid fan – piano player’s wife.



The most enthusiastic fan was Sue Hower, motivating the band from beginning to end, clapping to the beat and shouting out her support.



Hats off to all the musicians’ wives – they deserve a gold medal!!  The men couldn’t do this without them.

The Riverboat Stompers now have a new web site created by Frank Batchelor that will have all their upcoming performances and booking info.  Check it out!  http://www.riverboatstompers.com/

Riverboat Stompers at the Sherborn Inn

7-piece Dixieland Band

Riverboat Stompers

Steve Straus reeds, Larry Baxter cornet, Frank Batchelor trombone, Phil Hower piano, Jim Mazzy Banjo, Pierre Lemieux tuba, Rick Malcolm drums.

Riverboat Stompers played at the Sherborn Inn June 25th, 2013, featuring the music of Hoagie Carlichael, Gershwin, Cole Porter, and more. They began hot and heavy with That’s-a-Plenty.

Steve Straus clarinet, Larry Baxter cornet, Frank Bachelor trombone

Front Line: Steve Straus, Larry Baxter, Frank Batchelor

Steve Straus moves easily from clarinet to soprano sax on New Orleans.   Jimmy Mazzy had many of the vocals, but Larry Baxter took over for some tunes, Lady Be Good C’est Si Bon.  Steve Straus also did a fine vocal on Cottontown.

Pierre Lemieux on tuba

Pierre Lemieux



Pierre Lemieux thoughtfully supports the band and each musician without pushing.



They dedicated Blue Turning Gray Over You to their late trombone player, Tom Page, who died about 1 ½ years ago.   Ensemble vocal took the intro to Sophie Tucker’s Some of These Days, with Jimmy taking it over with soft backing by Baxter’s cornet.

Phil Hower at piano

Phil Hower



Pianist Phil Hower listens carefully; responds with delicate and resourceful phrases.



This is a fun band.   Medley for today, with audience participation,  Ain’t She Sweet, Five Foot Two, I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover.  Everyone gets into the vocal on Alabama Jubilee, and on kazoo.   They have a ‘name this tune’ contest.  Jimmy singing, scatting, carefully not giving away the title.  But this time no one came up with the tune “South”.   Maybe next time.

Rich Malcolm on drums

Rich Malcolm



Drummer Rich Malcolm is capable of slam banging with the best of them, but he’s unselfishly maintains the beat, letting loose on solos so that we sometimes hear the melody in his drums. He started with a Latin beat on Comes Love, with swinging bridges.




Jimmy Mazzy, banjo/vocals

Jimmy Mazzy



They slowed the pace for Why, a  little known tune played by Golden Gate Rhythm Machine on the West Coast, and the Riverboat Ramblers on the East Coast.  Mazzy putting his heart into the tune in his own unique Mazzy style.




They closed with ‘Till We Meet Again.  We might be able to catch them playing somewhere on the North Shore. Check out www.riverboatstompers.com for their schedule.

Tunes played today:
That’s a Plenty, New Orleans, Lady Be Good, Blue Turning Grey Over You, South, Alabama Jubilee, Why, Who’s Sorry Now, Home, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Cottontown, I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Miss Otis Regrets, Medley, Comes Love, Lulu’s Back in Town, C’est Si Bon, Some of These Days, ‘Til We Meet Again.


Riverboat Stompers at the Sherborn Inn March 13, 2012

7-piece Dixieland Band

Larry Baxter cornet, Steve Straus leader/soprano sax/clarinet, Frank Bachelor trombone, Phil Hower piano, Dave Macmillan banjo, Pierre Lemieux tuba, Rich Malcolm drums

This is a crowd-pleasing fun band, many vocalists, fine Dixieland Band peppered with a bit of Spike Jones.  They gave an enlivening performance and the fans loved every minute of it.

They started right out with Macmillan vocal on Honeysuckle Rose nicely backed by muted cornet.   “Be Sure It’s True When You Say I Love You – with the whole band singing very resounding vocals on It’s a Sin To Tell a Lie

Big Butter & Egg Man, Steve Straus on clarinet and vocal, Phil tasty piano solo buoyed by the rhythm section.

They dedicated a song to Rush Limbaugh, The Lady is a Tramp. Steve on soprano sax with Rich rim tapping the drum.  They ended this tune appropriately, on a sour note.

Next was a lovely ballad from their first CD, played in three different keys, drum intro marking the beat to Bourbon Street Parade.   Fantastic! We don’t care how many keys they play in, when they get serious, they play flaming HOT Dixieland Jazz! But they aren’t serious for very long – there was a sudden blast from a Spike Jones’ Model T car horn that made everyone jump out of their seats.   Rich’s blistering multiple drum tags tore the house down!

They play games – Stump The Band, and someone tries to win a CD by guessing the tune.  They’re getting more difficult, picking a tune that Steve says was so little known  it was never published, but the Paris Washboard plays it.  Cornet took a break on this one while the piano did the intro to Fat’s Waller’s 1937 Our Love Was Meant To Be.  The band stumped the audience.

From the unknown to the very known, with Dave Macmillan “featured on 18 string banjo”  on a spirited Baby Face.  Larry Says Dave was “pre-disposed to play banjo.”

Piano intro to Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gave to Me —The lyrics of this tune are extremely fast, with many choruses that would test even the best vocalist.  The band stopped, leaving Larry on his own, with his razor sharp phrasing of all the testy lyrics.   Bravo! The full band returned, Larry cornet, Steve soprano sax, Frank trombone,  Phil piano. Pierre’s fine tuba solo was backed only by drums.  Rich closed with a clever solo played only on the snare drum!

Steve counted out the beat for Putting On The Ritz. It was his vocal, and he enlisted the help of the audience, who responded with “Putting on the Ritz!”  Frank’s impressive trombone solo was backed by Pierre’s tuba.

Pierre is always present, with his own exciting solos, driving the band, or in the background behind other solos, playing so softly you hardly know he’s there.

It was break time, so they chose to play a familiar tune a propos of the fine early spring weather New England has been experiencing.   They called it ” ‘ave a lawn”.   (Avalon) Cute. It was WILD, with Dave on vocal – he doesn’t need a megaphone! Rich tapping the top hat with with a trad one-beat,  and finishing with a hard charging drum solo, leading into break time.

When they returned, Steve soberly announced that Dave would play some serious banjo.  But after he started, Larry and Steve took out their kazoos.

The full band jumped back in, with a fine clarinet solo by Straus.

Dave showed them – playing incredible, charging,  banjo, withThere’ll Be Some Changes Made.

Dave is the primary vocalist with the band, starting with the first tune, It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie, then , Bourbon Street Parade, Avalon, Chinatown, and the finale, Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams.

Steve said “Many of these old songs were colorful, and naughty.  We’re not making any social commentary with a not very well known tune, but it’s that universal excuse,” in I’ve Been Floating Down That Old Green River

They have recorded a tune especially for March, a very special waltz, Take Me Out To The Ball Game!!

There was a request (from the band) for C’est Ci Bon, Larry on poignant vocal  – in perfect French.  Glorious to this Frenchwoman!

Chinatown, was rowdy, with Frank playing briskly on  double mute trombone.

Rich hit everything he could reach on the drum set, even the cow bell.

Back Home Again in Indiana. Larry carrying the melody, soprano sax and trombone in counterpoint.  Nice.

While the audience was focused on the front line’s melody – Rich got up from the drums and did a little dance on the side!  Macmillan continued unaware, strumming a  banjo solo with tuba backup.  The band connected again, closing with a wonderful ensemble.

Stump the band again. “A tune we frequently use – we’ll play it until we get it right.  It’s a genuine copy of a knock-off from our CD.”   Phil looked puzzled, since nobody had told him what they were going to play.

Steve on sax, Rich taking a drum solo against the front line’s stop-time rhythm, they started nice and easy, then raised the tempo for a smoking  Limehouse Blues, then moved into great New Orleans polyphonic sound.  Somebody won a CD on this one.

Phil had the piano intro to Cole Porter’s Miss Otis Regrets, another fine vocal by Larry,  Steve on low register clarinet.

Goody Goody.
While the front line concentrates on melody, Rich provides the beat tapping the rim with right hand and hitting the underside of the top hat for emphasis with the left hand.

We enjoy watching him – now he keeps the rhythm going by softly rim-tapping on opposite edges with both drumsticks, and hitting center snare for a resounding beat, then ending the number with a dynamic flourish!

Time’s up.  It’s time for the Finale.

Piano intro to Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams, with Steve playing a full chorus on high register soprano sax,  then a chorus on low register sax.


Despite the clowning around, these are talented musicians who play flaming HOT Dixieland Jazz; they are absolute crowd pleasers!

Watch for them in their New England stomping grounds at this website and at http://riverboatstompers.com/ .