With a sound dancing between gutbucket soul, N'awlins grit-down funk and horn fueled Motown pop, Mingo Fishtrap is an anomaly in the contemporary music scene. With each album, the group gravitates closer to the classic sounds that inspired them to learn their craft. What's old is new again; with young audiences flocking to see a live show that lays its musical roots more in 1969 than 2011. And that's just fine with bandleader Roger Blevins, Jr.
"Blues, soul and R&B is the common denominator of pop music. People around the world know that sound- Chess, Stax, Motown, Muscle Shoals - as part of the soundtrack to their lives. I grew up listening to Pops (Blevins' father and Mingo's bassist, Roger, Sr.) play those tunes to every age, race, color and creed. And from what we see, at least, people still need it."
Mingo Fishtrap traces its beginnings to the mid 90s when Blevins and another five of the group's members were attending the University of North Texas' Jazz Studies program. Originally derived as a loose, after-class jam, Mingo covered songs from Otis Redding, Tower of Power, the Neville Brothers and other soul and funk masters with no particular professional ambition.
"Obviously, there wasn't a lot of classic soul being played around campus," says Blevins. "People around the dorms just took to it and the ball started rolling. We were good friends playing music we loved; that's a good recipe."
More than a decade, thousands of shows and countless miles later it's that same delicious soul food that Mingo cooks up. With an inspired, high-energy live show, they engage the audience - persuade them to, sometimes literally, join the band inside the music. With a new 11 song EP, In The Meantime, featuring music from a recent show in Austin, TX as well as some new studio tracks, adding to their catalog of CD releases, Mingo captures a musical conversation, which speaks with reverence about the past and with hope about the future.
Through their time together on the road, Mingo Fishtrap has performed on bills with a wide range of artists: Sting, Blues Traveler, Ozomatli, Galactic, Delbert McClinton, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Little Feat, George Clinton & P-Funk, MOFRO and Jonny Lang among others.
Roger Blevins, Jr.- guitar/vox
Chip Vayenas- drums/bk vox
Dane Farnsworth- organ, keys
Mikel Urdy- Perc./bk vox
Roger Blevins, Sr.- bass
Steve Butts- trumpet/flugelhorn
Dan Bechdolt- tenor & alto sax/bk vox
Motown, Stax, Chess, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, James Brown, Maceo Parker, Anthony Hamilton, John Legend, Soulive, Jamie Lidell, Raphael Saadiq, Earth Wind & Fire, The O'Jays, Aretha Franklin, Tower of Power, Little Feat, Dr. John, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Lettuce, New Orleans funk/soul, Parliament Funkadelic, Average White Band, G. Love and Special Sauce, Professor Longhair, The Meters, Ozomatli, Al Green, Billy Preston, Marvin Gaye, Kool & the Gang, Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh, The Brand New Heavies, Beck, Ben Folds, Prince, New Power Generation, Neville Brothers, D'Angelo, Dave Matthews, Delbert McClinton, James Hunter, Jamiroquai, Galactic, Rufus, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Derek Trucks, Sam Cooke, Jon Cleary and many more.
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