Their “blues is true”
To understand Mighty Mo Rodgers’ music, just tune into a couple lines from “Black Coffee and Cigarettes” – “I bleed blues and rhythm and rock and roll, All that funky stuff that shakes up my soul.” With all original songs written by vocalist Mighty Mo, the Los Angeles band also includes Burleigh Drummond (drums, percussion), Will MacGregor (bass), and Kevin Longden (guitar). Eight additional guest musicians supplement the band’s sound with occasional tastes of sax, flute, Dobro, strings, keyboards, guitar, bass, accordion, harmonica and backup vocals. The album is dedicated to that time (1959-63) and to Route 66 where Blues became Rock ‘n’ Roll.
The lively soul-stirrers pay tribute to the blues, cars, blues, love, blues and women … what more is there? Well, a couple songs (“Tell Me Why” and “The Freddy Fender Song”) recognize the contributions of the band’s musical influences from Chuck Berry to Roy Orbison, John Lee Hooker to B.B. King. Just try to keep a straight face when Mighty Mo, on his rock and roll mission with a petition, asks “You graduate from a high school with numbers? You know that’s sure ‘nough a bummer. Why, there’s no Jerry Lee Lewis High?” I suspect that kids would be lining up for miles to get into that school.
When “God In My Car” cues up, Mighty Mo reminds us to not mess with his radio dial. “If God was ridin’ in my car, He would listen to the blues, Don’t want no country, don’t want no jazz, I play the blues, that is my cosmic gas.” Once we know what’s #1 in Mighty Mo’s book of life, “My Blues, My Car and My Woman” makes a witty statement about his rules and how easily a little love and fun can get those priorities changed. Percussionist Jan Eglen wrote the lyrics for “Light of America” that closes the album in an emotional way with an aching ballad that provides a slightly different canvas for Mighty Mo’s gritty and warmhearted vocals. For some tastefully-rendered can’t shake ‘em or brake ‘em West Coast blues, “Cadillac Jack” lets the world know what’s goin’ on … their mission might be to bring the fishtail back, or it might be to get a high school named for Jerry Lee Lewis. But in the meantime, just enjoy singing along because their “blues is true.” (Joe Ross, Roots Music Review)