Hittin The Note Magazine
The stew of Mama's Cookin' defies the band's Gunnison, Colorado origins. Mixing easy blues, ripe jazz, and given a swift stir of hip-hop style, the quartet brews an urban feel from the mountains with enough soul and swagger to change the preconceptions of a place known, more for bluegrass as for skiing. Teaming up in 2001, Zebuel Early (guitar, vocals), Todd Holway (keys, vocals), Steven Labella (bass) and Mike Adamo (drums) mashed up a variety of styles while immersed in Colorado's music scene. Since then, their velvety glide has coalesced, allowing the loose-lipped freestyle skills of Early to skim above a cushion of laid-back funk.
Mama's Cookin's debut release, Let the Record Ride, plays out as the title suggests: a spinning groove pierced only by the needle-sharp ability of each player. Wile tight, the band projects a carefree air to their seamless compositions. The title track is a metropolitan blues with a fuzzy texture, smoothly shifting from chord to chord, lazy yet fortified. "Hollywood" is propped up with a space jazz cane and a side-cocked cap, wile "Sweetness Leaves" bares emotions under a silky sheen. The track entitled "Mr. Continental" features guitarist Brian Jordan from Karl Denson's Tiny Universe on guitar.
For a group of mountain men, Mama's Cookin' defy their origins, brewing up something a little sweeter, a little easier, and little more polished with a well worn, urban rag.