Bio

Blues Next is a band formed organically when five blues players with like minds decided to come together for a jam session to see what magic they might create.  “It will show itself,” predicted Rob Matarazzo, talented Fender Stratocaster blues/rock guitarist.  And it did.  These five musicians have been together for almost two years playing fast and loose honing their talents as a unit.  Blues Next pays homage to the past with who we are now.  Think Paul Butterfield meets ZZ Top with a dash of Peter Green and Muddy Waters—shaken, not stirred! 

In the spirit of the new record business, the band is offering their first single, “The World Has Changed (a modern blues)” as a FREE, download at bluesnext.com. 

Gregg Gavitt, bass, is the secret weapon of the band.  He has been a professional musician for years playing major venues, including Nassau Coliseum.  He is a gifted multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer, and record producer.  He produced the band’s first single and recently accompanied Bob Geldof on keyboards for a live performance of “I Don’t Like Mondays” on Q104.3 in New York.  Gregg also co-produced “The World Has Changed,” official music video.

Rob Matarazzo, lead and rhythm guitar, started playing at age 12 and consistently played in bands until he "retired" at age 19.  He was the key guitarist for some formidable Santana and Chicago cover bands and has continued his growth as a musician ever since.  Rob has the rare talent to be able to play any song from any band right on the spot.  His choice guitar is the Fender Stratocaster and he loves that guitar so much he is known as “The Fender-man”--says so right on his e-mail address!  The first lead guitar solo you hear on Blues Next’s “The World Has Changed,” was done in one take.

Pete,“Paul Butterfield” Kaplow, made his first appearance at Gerde’s Folk City in 1968 and is killer on blues harp.  He idolizes and emulates the late great Paul Butterfield with his style.  He also takes over lead vocals on the band’s rollicking version of “Born In Chicago.”  Aside from wailing and bending notes to the Nth degree for Blues Next, Pete plays out at local clubs, benefits, and the Long Island Acoustic festival.

Victor Ruvolo started playing drums at age 9 in his grammar school marching band. By high school he was playing in the orchestras for Community Theater and school productions as well as performing in a working rock band. Vic continued to play in bands until his late 20's, including some recordings and radio play, when eventually family and career took precedent.  Vic "got back on the bike" a few years ago, playing in a tech company jam band.  By the time he came to jam with Blues Next, he was smokin’ hot and was immediately invited to be the band’s full time drummer.  Vic can beat the drums like the entire Santana Band’s rhythm section, and is also the featured vocalist on Blues Next’s version of Black Magic Woman.

Paul Rappaport, front man, lead and rhythm guitar, hails from Southern California.  He was a member of the punk rock scene in the early 70’s playing lead for one of So Cal’s hottest local bands.  Moving to New York he went on to have a storied career in the music business where he worked for Columbia Records for over 33 years.  He is recognized as being instrumental in the careers of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Journey, Santana, Judas Priest, Alice In Chains and many more.  This adventure also brought great musical opportunities including an inspirational guitar lesson from Keith Richards, and a live onstage appearance with Pink Floyd at the London Arena.