Mojomatic performs at Westville Pub, with a new singer, on Mar. 1
Mojomatic, the Asheville-based blues/funk/soul quintet, will appear at The Westville Pub, 777 Haywood Road, West Asheville, on Saturday, March 1. Music begins at 10 p.m.; there is a $4 cover charge.
The March 1 show will mark the Asheville debut of the band’s new singer, Mara Jennings.
For more than a decade, Lee DeVico (guitar) and Bill Chatoney (drums) have been keeping the funky blues alive in the Carolinas, mostly under the name Gas House Mouse. The name change to Mojomatic came after the departure of their sax player/front man in September 2012. With Butch Giusto on keyboards and vocals, and Dave Erickson on bass and vocals, the band soldiered on for another year as a quartet. After a final concert in late November at the Swain County Center For The Arts in Bryson City, NC, and with the 2014 gig calendar bare, the band took time off to ponder potential musical directions.
And then, at Christmas time, the band received an unexpected present: An audition by Jennings, a 23-year-old singer from Forest City, NC. “We were skeptical at first,” says DeVico. “Why would she want to play with a bunch of old guys like us? But she came in, and from note one we were pretty sure we had a winner.” At her first gig with the band, at Wofford College in Spartanburg on Feb. 8, she wowed the audience and her fellow band members. “I still had my doubts before Wofford,” says Giusto. “But she went in there and hit it out of the park.”
The feeling seems to be mutual: My experience with the guys has been wonderful,” says Jennings. “They have really made me feel right at home…like one of the guys…well, sorta. Plus, we sound pretty damned good together!”
“I feel like we’ve been given a new lease on life,” says Erickson. “We’re still the same funky band we always were, but with Mara’s arrival we’re updating our sound and exploring a lot of cool new tunes.”