Think.Feel.Love.Listen [LP] by J.R. Wolfe JR@ColoradoMusicBuzz. com
Jessica Rowand is a stunner. Blessed with good looks and soulful pipes, in concert she is the initial attraction to the band Mojomama. In the studio, she is the band's lyricist, penning thoughtful inspiring words to the grooves of bassist Paul Rogalski's music. Once they agree on the framework of a song, they present it to the rest of Mojomama to add their own instrumental voices to the music.
The results are amazing and quite often, hip-shaking. Doug Carmichael brings a lovely sax tone to the opening "River" and struts on "Blues For You." Keith Wojceichowski knows when to lay back and play chunky rhythm and when to step out on lead guitar. Check out his skills on "For Heaven's Sake." Paul's bass playing is the heart beat - he plays his grooves with the melodic skill of a funky Paul McCartney. Mike Fogerty is from that rare breed of drummers that can lock into a groove with the bass and add just the right color to the rhythms.
The songbook this band has created is
among the strongest on the Colorado sceneand it's tough to pick out just one favorite. That said, " Social Crisis" sends a chill down my spine with every listen and "Take It Or Leave It" has hit single written all over it.
An old adage in the music business says that you have your whole life to prepare for your first album, but only months to prepare for your second. In the case of Mojomama, their first release Drivin' was full of solid musicianship and good songs. MTV picked up on "Unity" and used it prominently on their program Made. Thus, the sophomore curse that follows every great debut: how do you top it? With their second release Think.Feel.Love.Listen, the members of Mojomama have done just that. Fans 16+ can catch them live on Nov. 17th at the Gothic Theatre.
Think, Feel, Love, Listen by Mojomama
The lovely Jessica Rowand has a message to be heard and it's been set to some soulful, hip-shakin' music.
A more appropriate title could not be found. As with some of the greats such as Peter, Paul and Mary or Joni Mitchell, Mojomama seeks to heal the world about us through music. (Though their sound is not to be confused with the above named artists).
In a world of copy cats, Mojomama dares to be original.
Read More CD Reviews
Their music is a powerful blend of soul, blues and rock. Pick up a copy of this CD and learn to "Think, Feel, Love and Listen." Available at Twist and Shout. Visit Mojomama.net for more info and don't miss the CD Release Party at the Bluebird on August 4th at 7 pm.
Mojomama's second album takes listener on a memorable journey
By Brian Muir
Moving, majestic vocals mark the second release from local rock and funk band Mojomama, with lead singer Jessica Rowand unleashing memorable lyrics one hears long after the record is finished. “Think Feel Love Listen” takes listeners on a musical journey through the land of ‘70s R&B to Latin-inspired rock to ‘40s-era blues as Jessica harkens to Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt and Aretha Franklin.
While bass player Paul Rogalski calls himself the composer, these 11 songs were written collectively by the members of Mojomama, a musical mainstay on the Colorado scene for many years. Fiercely independent of typical corporate trappings, Mojomama is totally self-managed and handles all bookings and finances.
Produced by Bill Thomas, “Think Feel Love Listen” will be celebrated during a CD release party at 7 p.m. Friday at the Bluebird Theater in Denver. “From the first band meeting with Bill, it was made very clear that this record was to be our record as much as his record,” notes Rowand. “This relationship has stayed its course throughout the recording process, resulting in an amazing album and an even more confident-sounding band.”
The band also includes Doug Carmichael, contributing some unique horn arrangements, Keith Wojchechski on guitar and Mike Fogerty on percussion. An album highlight features the Praisers of Hope gospel choir in a tribute to New Orleans called “Take It or Leave It.” Mojomama returns to the Little Bear at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11. For more information, visit www.mojomama.net.
By Michael Roberts
Article Published Aug 24, 2006
No doubt about it: Mojomama's Jessica Rowand can belt. Her vocals are steady and strong, and unlike so many of her peers, she resists the temptation to prove the power of her pipes by oversinging.
"Take It or Leave It," with its soulful backing vocals, and the punchy, straightforward "Real Thang" come together nicely for a very simple reason: They're good songs. And when Rowand's given superior tunage, her Mojo's all but unstoppable.
Mojomama’s CD highlights Rowand’s vocals
Think. Feel. Love. Listen.
3 out of 5
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Mojomama’s sophomore album expresses a musical journey of growth that comes to life through the soulful singing of Jessica Rowand. Reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt and Aretha Franklin, Think. Feel. Love. Listen. takes on the sounds of ’70s R&B, Latin-flavored rock and the deep soul of ‘40s blues all at once.
Interview with Jessica Rowand
Denver Message Board
An Interview with Jessica Rowand from Mojomama
1/1/06 by Brice Hancock
I first met Mojomama at The Soiled Dove last year when we played with them as as part of the Road to Red Rocks series. We were basically told that if we could bring a lot of people on a Wednesday we'd get to play Red Rocks. Between the 2 bands we brought somewhere around 170 people which is obviously not easy to do on a Wednesday. Everybody in the band is very nice and they're also great players so I'm really excited to be sponsoring their show this Saturday, January 7th at The D Note w/US Pipe and Bigga DIgga. This is the first show I've been involved with that is of a funk/jazz/jam band nature and I really hope that it's successful so that I can do more. It was wonderful to be able to interview Jessica and I hope that Mojomama has as much success as than they can handle.
tDMB: Who is Mojomama? Who's in the band? What kind of music do you play and when did you start?
Jessica: Mojomama is Jessica Rowand on vocals, Paul Rogalski on bass, Mike Fogerty on drums, Keith Wojciechowski on guitar, and our newest member Doug Carmichael on saxophone. Paul and Jessica started Mojomama in 2003 writing rocking groovy tunes with strong radio friendly hooks. A mix of funk soul and rock influences.
tDMB: Have you guys released any albums?
Jessica: Mojomama’s first release came out in summer of 2004 titled "Drivin". Many tracks have been played on 99.5 the Mountain including Heart and Soul, Confusion, Together with you and Drivin’. Our next album is in the making and we are joining forces with local producer Billy T, who is full of great ideas and excitement about good fresh tracks. The new songs are more introspective and groove based letting each member really shine. We still have some smoking hot blues driven numbers as well. The messages in the music reflects our changing times.
tDMB: Oh cool. We recorded our last full length album Out There with Bill Thomas at Raven Studios in Lafayette, CO. It was really great and he's awesome to work with. We actually tracked on an old Studer board to 2" inch tape and I think going analog helped make the sound warmer.. Do you know if you guys are tracking to 2" tape?
Jessica: I believe we are going to 2" tape,get that warm vibe.We will record bass drums and rhythm guitar tracks live and keep them.
We really want to capture that lively groove and dynamics of the music that can really bring a CD to life. This will also save time and money.
We will go back and do vocals and guitar solos seperately.May even bring in some horns and B3 parts and other extras. We plan to take advantage of the studio capabilities,all within reason of course.No gongs or boys choirs, sorry.
tDMB: I don't know if everyone knows this, but you've actually sang with some great local bands such as Lord of Word, United Dope Front, and Funkiphino. How is Mojomama compared to these other bands?
Jessica: Back in the 90's I sang some backup with L.O.W.. I collaborated with Ben Senterfit from U.D.F on his Soul Wave album and lent my voice in the studio. I was the lead singer for Funkiphino from 99 - 03. In that time I co -wrote their 1st original album Lovin Life. Of course my experience with all these groups lead me to my own creation Mojomama. Paul writes the grooves and chord progressions and I finish with my lyrics and melody. Mojomama is all about telling a story that makes you groove. In comparison I would say I love all music that gets you moving as well as making you think. If we leave the crowd impressed by our talents and emotion for the music then I feel we’ve accomplished our goal.
tDMB: Do you have any thoughts on The Denver Messageboard? Do you think The DMB is a good place to promote shows, do you think it just plain sucks, do you ever even check it out?
Jessica: I think the recent changes made to the DMB for a more positive attitude is great. As musicians we are all in this together and have a common ground to plug shows,exchange ideas and voice our opinions. The DMB serves as a great place to do all this,I scroll through to check up on the scene all the time.
tDMB: Tellme about ths show coming up on January 7th at The D Note. (other bands, the D Note itself, etc.)
Jessica: The D-note is a family run adult playground with everything from great food to live music 7 days a week. This show involves some of Denver’s many great talents. Mojomama opens the show at 8pm.We will be showcasing new songs for the upcoming CD. Bigga Digga will be throwing down their own groove based jazz, rock, funk originals. Us Pipe and the Balls Johnson Dance machine will close the evening with their 20 piece band, sure to hit us all with the funk.
tDMB: You guys had a real good year. I know you played Red Rocks. How was that and what were some other highlights of 2005?
Jessica: Some of the highlights would be playing the Fox Theater opening for members of the Meters"PBS"Porter Stoltz Batiste. Road trippin to South Park and being part of such a cool "musicians" festival was really inspiring. We flew the band to Boston and played a couple of rockin shows. One in Cambridge at the Mideast club and one near paul’s hometown in Hull, talk about a highschool reunion.....We love playing the Walnut room, the Night of Denver Divas with Melissa Ivey and Jill Watkins was outstanding. We love being a part of Denver’s original music scene. We played our last gig for this year at Invesco Field for the Broncos pregame party vs Raiders game on Christmas eve.
What a great way to end 2005.
tDMB: Yeah I was very impressed by The South Park Festival. I remember talking to Paul the morning after Rubber Planet's showcase. How did your showcase go and do you think it helped you guys in anyway even if it was just for the experience of playing a label showcase gig which is obviously very different from a typical bar gig? DId you make it to any of the industry panels?
Jessica: Our showcase went very well,outside on the gazebo stage at noon on Saturday. Fellow musicians were still getting that first cup of coffee in them but we played in front of a lot of the local denver scene people. I think it helped us and it was great to actually meet people and have a one on one conversation and put a face on the name. Paul went to a panel discussion about digital music and it's many directions,lot's of great info. We actually signed the band up on a couple websites thanks to that industry panel.
tDMB: What do you have coming up besides the show this Saturday at The D Note?
Jessica: We will perform live on the radio KRFC 88.9 fm in fort collins on Monday jan 9th. "Live at Lunch " Series at noon. We will be at the Little Bear Saloon in Evergreen on Saturday Jan 14th 4 - 8 pm. Mojomama is taking time off in February to woodshed and perfect the new songs for the next CD. We hope to start laying down tracks in early march. 2006 is going to be a year of fresh new music and direction for us. We look forward to playing more festivals and original showcase gigs all over town.......
Mojoma is playing with US Pipe and the Balls Johnson Dance Machine and Bigga Digga this Saturday January 7th at The D Note (7519 Grandview Avenue in Olde Town Arvada). The show starts at 8:00, $5 cover, 21 and over.
US Pipe and the Balls Johnson Dance Machine
The D Note
Band In The Spotlight Archive
Here is a review of our CD by The Amplifier:
"Drivin’ - Mojomama (self-release)
Geez Louise, there’s so much groove going on with this Colorado bluesy funk-rock foursome that it’s as fast and sexy as the hot rod Chevy on the cover. Led by the soulful funk of bassist Paul Rogalski, Mojomama lays down the groove in various shades of infectiousness, from the cruisin’ feel of the title track to the reggae-ish “Unity” to sultry songs like “Mesmorized” to the let-all-inhibitions-go of “Confusion’” and “Hip Shake.” Over the top of it, singer Jessica Rowland’s white soul is a cool counterpoint to the bubbling instrumental cauldron, although on the ode to the love of rock “Catch the Fire” she burns red hot on the edges of her full-bodied vocals. If your itcher doesn’t twitch listening to Mojomama, check your pulse. "
-- The Amplifier - Click here to read it on their site
Here is a review of Mojomama by Northeast In-Tune:
Thinking of Colorado images of snow capped mountains, sun drenched snow, and skiers fill my mind. Listening to Mojomama , Colorado ’s resident funk blues band, invites images of sweaty skiers shaking their asses in ski town dance halls and local bars all night long....
-- Northeast In-Tune - Click here to read the entire review
By Matt Sebastian, Camera Music Writer
February 3, 2005
The members of Boulder`s funky MojoMama have played with a variety of local acts, from Nina Storey to Funkiphino and Lord of Word and the Disciples of Bass. Yet they all agree they`ve finally found the band they`ve always wanted to be in.
The 2-year-old groove-based R&B group -- featuring vocalist Jessica Rowand, bassist Paul Rogalski, guitarist Britt Heaps and drummer Mike Fogerty -- has just issued its debut album, Drivin`, and rocks the RedFish New Orleans Brewhouse at 9 tonight; call (303) 440-5858 or visit www.redfishbrewhouse.com for more information.
The Daily Camera recently caught up with Rowand:
What was it about playing with Paul that just clicked for you?
"I`ve always written music with either a keyboard player or a guitar player. To me, writing music to a bassline or a groove was challenging and was a whole different inspiration. Paul`s a very melodic bass player. When it comes down to it, he can really strip it down, but he can also embellish the bassline. It was a really fun challenge to create songs to a bassline and groove alone, and then add guitars and drums later. We still do it like that, actually."
How big is the live thing for MojoMama?
"Live performance is very important to us, because we can take the structure of the song and move out from there and ad lib and create even more from there. There`s also the response and the energy that we get from the crowd. That also fuels the fire. ... This band gives us creative freedom. It gives us the opportunity to express all of our influences and create an original, but familiar, sound. We`ve played in bands covering all the genres of music before, and now we just want to be creative and expressive."
Have you been singing all your life?
"Yeah. I`m 33 now. So I think I was 8 years old the first time I sang in front of people. That`s always been my passion and my focus. I never really learned to play an instrument. I`ve always just focused on my voice and writing skills. And right now, I really feel like I`m at the controls, like I really have a true say in what`s being expressed in the songs. There`s a lot of respect from Paul, respect for what I can offer him musically. I just feel a lot freer to really express the emotion of what`s coming out in the music."
The band just released its first album, right? How long has this been in the works?
"We recorded it in April, and then it went into mixdown in the middle of May, and we finally got it pressed in July. These are all the songs that we`ve been playing live, and there are a number of tracks that didn`t make the album, and we`re already writing new music. Recording the songs that we created was really important, because we got to play them for a whole year-and-a-half out in the clubs and really fine tune them. Now it`s allowing us to move forward and continue writing. That`s really the focus of this band -- to keep creating new music."