Keeping the blues alive
The blues is not dead according to the band The Mojo Roots. The four piece group from Missouri is dedicated to keeping the blues alive for another generation, and the group isn't ashamed to admit it. The band's approach to the traditional blues song is new and innovative, while still keeping the classic touch.
The band features an impressive lead guitar by Trevor Judkins, Jim Rush’s punchy bass lines and the tightly controlled rhythms of drummer Andy Naugle.
The band’s unique songs, written by vocalist and harp player Jordan Thomas, gives you a beat to groove to and catchy lyrics anyone can connect to.
“What attracts us to the blues is that it’s authentic,” Thomas said. “When you’re playing and you're singing, it’s about your actual emotion.”
Thomas has been playing a variety of instruments since he was 10 years old.
The band began in a small, local grocery store, where both Thomas and Judkins were employed as cashiers. Neither knew they shared a passion for the blues until Judkins saw Thomas singing Delta-style acoustic blues at a coffee shop for a small crowd. From there, the band formed into what it is today.
Shortly after, Andy Naugle — a longtime friend of Thomas and fellow musician — joined and jumped on the drums.
“We started playing together in '06 informally, then formally in '08” Thomas said.
From then, the four began to actively perform in the mid-Missouri area, and in the spring of 2009, The Mojo Roots had its first release: a self-titled EP of five songs written by Thomas. When the original bass player left in December of 2009, bassist Jim Rush took his place without missing a strum.
“Blues is about connecting with people,” Thomas said. “You feed off the crowd and they feed off you.”
In 2010, Mojo Roots is going strong with its newest album Thirteen Shades of Blue, which was released in June. The band’s schedules and updates can be found on its Facebook page. The Mojo Roots will perform Friday at The Blue Note, doors open at 7 p.m. and admission is free.