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Howard and the White Boys take over Armor Inn Tap Room

Howard and the White Boys will play the Armor Inn Tap Room, 5381 Abbot Road in Hamburg, on July 14 and Aug. 25.
One of the Windy City’s best blues bands will blow into Hamburg tonight, when Howard and the White Boys take the stage at the Armor Inn Tap Room at 7 p.m.

The Chicago-based band has been performing its infusion of rock, funk blues and soul music for over 20 years across the United States and Europe.

“Our shows are high energy. People are always dancing and having a good time,” said Rocco Calipari, who plays electric guitar in the band. Other HWB members include Howard McCullum (vocals, bass guitar), Jim Christopulos (drums) and Pete Galanis (electric guitars, lap steel).

Howard and the White Boys first formed as an informal jam band in 1988, when the members met at Northern Illinois University. Their big break came a few months later, when the band got the opportunity to open for B.B. King. Since then, HWB’s performance record includes playing with blues legends Bo Diddley, Albert King, Luther Allison, Chuck Berry and more.

While the constant tours can take a toll on the band members, Calipari said that their friendships and love of music is what holds the band together.

He said it is opportunities like in 2002, when HWB was the backing band for Chuck Berry at the Long Beach Blues Festival, that make it all worthwhile.

“He is my hero,” said Calipari of Berry. “He is the reason I started playing guitar.”

Among the 46 states and 13 countries that HWB has played in, Buffalo has been a frequent stop for the blues band.

“We used to play the old Lafayette Tap Room regularly,” Calipari recalled. Howard and the White Boys also performed at the Buffalo’s Blues Festival.

“We have a following, and good friends in Buffalo,” Calipari said. “It’s the friends that we made and the support from everybody there that keeps us coming back.”

For those planning on attending the concert at the Armor Inn Tap Room tonight, Calipari said “be ready to hear some good music and have a great time.”

The band will also play the Tap Room on Saturday, Aug. 25.

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