Under the Influence
The local, New Orleans-inspired four-piede Mojo Gumbo mostly (and wisely) stuck with cover songs from the city that inspired them on their latest album, including "Hey Pocky Way," "Hello Josephine," and "Drinkin' Wine Spo Dee O Dee." But they also write their own stuff — the funky "Second Line Strut," the '60s-sounding "Louisiana Cookin'" and the blues driven, double-entendre song "Love In The Kitchen" are all a lot of fun and will get folks dancing. Guitarist/singer Steve Brown even blends Hendrix with Bourbon Street with "Whatever You Do, while pianist/singer Mike Brown sounds like he visited a particular New Orleans doctor on "Enough is Never Enough." The album ends on a somber note with the ballad "Do It All Again," though "Oh Katrina," a lament about the hurricane by singer-songwriter Anders Osborne, also makes an emotional appeal.
The members of Mojo Gumbo are musical ambassadors who, much like Bloomington's Craig Brenner, are doing essential work in this city. Under the Influence is well worth drinking in. –