By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro © September 2016
"Mojomama", the CD, is the third and self titled release from Mojomama, the band. In 2015, the CD was presented the prestigious "Best Self Produced CD" award by the Colorado Blues Society. The disc contains eleven all original tracks with a mix of songs influenced by blues, funk, rock and reggae.
Mojomama consists of Jessica Rogalski on vocals, husband Paul Rogalski on bass, Bob Murnahan on guitars and Paul Christiansen on drums.
Additionally, three very special guests on the project include Janiva Magness on vocals, Anne Harris on violin and Tim Davis on keys.
Musically, "Eternity" is a most interesting track. Adding Ann Harris' skillful violin playing to the very cool reggae vibe the rhythm section has going on, makes the song take on quite a captivating sound. For lack of a better word I guess exotic might be the best way to describe this one.
Before you're halfway through "Tell It Like it Is" you'll be singing along with the chorus line as I'm doing right now....."You've got to tell it, tell it like it is".....
This one's a fun, catchy, pop style, top 40, sing-a-long that's all Jessica. It's easy to tell that she's having as great a time singing the lead and three part harmony vocals as I'm having listening to and singing along with her. Good stuff.
"Be A Legend" is a song about creating the legacy you'll one day leave behind. Not only does it make reference to many musical legends but it includes one singing on it as well. Just as Jessica starts singing about some legendary blues artists, the legendary Janiva Magness joins in and the powerful duo - who each make several switches from lead to backup - turn the song into a vocal smoker. Although the ladies stole the show on this one, the band's doing a heck of a job driving them on.
"Liberation" rocks. The Pauls - that's Paul R. on the bass and Paul C. on the drums - are fueling the pace with some fiercely funky rhythm; Bob's goin' off on some smokin' guitar riffs and Jessica's in the thick of it all with some killer lead and back up vocals. Great one for dancing.
The disc closes with "Night After Night" and when you do slow blues this good, and you do it for seven minutes, you know you've made me a very happy listener. Not only is it the disc's best song but Jessica and Bob are at disc's best on it as well. From her very soft moans and murmurs to the very gruff and powerful crescendos - and everything in between - Jessica's intensely emotional and soulful vocals are absolutely flawless. Talk about belting out the blues, Whoa! Then there's the two and a half minute guitar solo that had me shaking my head in awe. Bob did on his guitar everything that Jess did with her voice. From his slow and very soft notes and chords to his blistering blues guitar licks and back, the man is absolutely masterful. Of course, keeping it all together behind them, Paul R., Paul C. and Tim have the perfect rhythm groove going on. Monster track!
Other tracks on "Mojomama" include: "Lying In The Dark", "Dig Deeper", "Fool For Your Love", "Forbidden Love", "Complicated Melody" and "Love Hangover".