Artist: Mojomama Album: We Are One Release 2022 Mojomama’s latest effort We Are One is a clear progression from their last album. The seamless blend of Rock, Blues, Soul, and uncompromising groove makes for a great listen. Self-described as “a result of our cultural realities of the past four years” the band puts it all on display this new record. The album shifts genres and styles across it's entirety, pulling from the undeniable strengths of each of it's members. It’s an album full of musical influences, woven together to produce a roller coaster ride through thirteen tracks. Great vocals, powerful guitar solos, funky bass lines, and clean pocket drumming makes me hope the band finds a well deserved large audience. The album opens up with the title track and first single, "We Are One" which starts with a shuffle back beat and catchy slap bass line, reminiscent of Toto’s “Rosanna”. It is clear when lead singer Jessica Rogalski comes in why she has received the accolades she has, considering she has won “Favorite Female Vocalist” for 2015 and 2018 from the Colorado Blues Society. Track two, "I’m Searching" steps back into the blues, clearly Mojomama’s comfort zone. The band is grooving hard on this track with the funky rhythm section firing hot. As a fan of Albert Collins, I found this one to be one of my favorite tracks on the album. It nails the funky side of the blues, with a very tasteful guitar solo that takes the listener through a "Who's Who" of blues and rock players. The pinch harmonics flirt with Billy Gibbons and I hear licks from Cream's legendary live version of Crossroads. Definitely a rock punch, but still a player that clearly understands the blues. Another stand out from the album is "Point of View". It has a "Black Velvet" feel, a classic blues backdrop, that seems older than time. That groove wasn't invented, but discovered, as if it was there long before drums and guitars were. The band's commitment to the groove swells with confidence and conviction. Strong vocals and a long fade that the drums really start to stretch out on during leaves me wondering what happened after the fade. Did the band play on for another 3 minutes just enjoying the moment? Definitely left me wanting more of what was about to happen! Mojomama's ability to take classic old grooves and breathe fresh air into them without losing the root of what made them classic in the first place is no easy task. As a whole the record feels like a band that grew up listening to 70's blues and southern rock albums. In that era of roots music there was a rock edge, but still a generation closer to the classic blues albums of the 50's and 60's. Somewhere between Johnny Winter, The Allman Brothers and ZZ Top with a modern touch that you would hear on a Tedeschi Trucks Band production. I use those examples as a reference of the attitude of how many ways heavily blues influenced rock music can be interpreted. I feel this set walks the line between 70s blues rock, classic Muscle Shoals and Stax, but with their own Mojomama fingerprints smeared all over it. Quite a mix and quite a record!
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