Does Mumbo Jumbo mean anything to you?
Mumbo Jumbo stands out as one of the most popular blues and R&B; acts in town.
Sure, Spokane has a number of excellent blues talents. There’s Too Slim and the Taildraggers, Charlie Butts and the Filter Tips, Chip and the Bushwhackers and many others.
But Mumbo Jumbo is different. The band isn’t as straightforward and is more grounded in the Chicago style of the blues. It even has an infectious three-piece horn section.
But what makes this band particularly special is its accomplished veteran lineup. The following are brief bios of Mumbo Jumbo’s members:
Vocalist and harmonica player Jan Bounds was once a key ingredient in local blues great Cafe Blue. She also played for other Spokane bands, including De Cats (before it became Yo and De Cats), the Barrel House Gang and the Flaming Armadillos.
Guitarist and synthesizer player Pat Barclay has performed several times as a warmup act for B.B. King. He also sat in with Martha and the Vandellas. Most recently, Barclay played for Jazz Conspiracy and Loose Endz.
Bassist and vocalist Rick Smith lived in L.A. until six years ago. There, he achieved moderate success with the bands Gibraltar and Grand Slam.
Drummer Mike Tschirgi lays down the backbone for widely followed local rock band Citizen Swing.
Keyboardist and vocalist Dave Winslow attended the prestigious musical conservatory Berklee College in Boston. Winslow has been a member of the local bands the Capers, Mr. Goodbar and Aurora Mesa.
Trombonist Nim Bjorklund played in the New Deal Rhythm Band in Seattle as well as local groups J.R. Boogie and Barrel House Gang.
Trumpeter Mike Lenke had extensive stints with Lionel Hampton and Buddie Rich. He even played for awhile in a circus band.
Saxophonist Chuck Swanson played with Lenke and Bjorklund in other horn-based bands Cafe Blue, J.R. Boogie and Barrel House gang.
Perhaps you ought to get downtown to Ugly Rumors this weekend and decide for yourself.
Mumbo Jumbo plays at 10 p.m. tonight and Saturday. Sunday, the band will be on the elevated stage at 9:30. You can also catch Mumbo Jumbo Tuesday through Thursday as well as March 27-30.
Elsewhere in the night
Spokane has lost another original music venue.
Yes it’s true, Mother’s Pub has changed hands. Former KZZU employees Daron Howard and Todd Brodrick have bought the club. With the new owners comes a new direction and a new name.
From now on, the downtown night spot will be known as Mother’s Pub and Party Headquarters.
The club’s format has switched to Top-40 dance, with various local DJs spinning music seven nights a week. Eventually, Howard and Brodrick plan to book Top-40 bands to play a few times a month.
So what made Howard and Brodrick go into the nightclub business?
“In radio, we were exposed to it constantly,” said Howard. “It’s kind of an extension of the entertainment industry.”
DJ Ryndog will be at the club tonight, Saturday and Sunday.
Royball, yet another Inland Northwest band to abandon the area for Portland, will be at Outback Jack’s on Saturday with Katie’s Dimples.
The left-of-center rock trio, originally from Lewiston, released its second album, “Barometric,” a few months back. To my ear’s delight, this disc is an enormous improvement from the band’s hook-absent and marginal first album, “Slices.”
Royball’s sound embodies a wide array of sounds, from power-pop (“Bedraggled”) to Pell Mell-style instrumental music (“After Dinner Mint”).
Royball shows a lot of depth on “Barometric,” something it never seemed capable of three years ago. The album is available at most local music stores.
Music starts at 9:30 p.m. The cover is $3.
Vancouver hard rock band Crysis, which plays the Shed tonight and Saturday, wants to score a major record deal in the U.S.
To help the band in this task, Crysis enlisted Seattle producer Don Gilmore (Shoveljerk, Sweet Water, Temple of the Dog and Pearl Jam) to produce the band’s second album.
In its journey to the stars, Crysis might have difficulty breaking through Earth’s atmosphere for a couple of reasons: One, the band is Canadian and Canadian groups rarely find an American audience, although Alanis Morissette might help pave the way for other Canadian musicians to find U.S. success.
Second, Crysis’ brand of mainstream-friendly hard rock is not what’s selling records these days. But that doesn’t mean the band isn’t good at what it does. To its credit, Crysis’ sound has always been embraced in Spokane.
At the moment, the combo has a promotional contract with Jose Cuervo Tequila.
One of the benefits of the deal is that the company paid for a six-song promotional CD for the band, featuring songs from its forthcoming album.
For showtimes and cover charges, call the Shed at 325-2531.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Nightwatch picks Best bets at area clubs: TONIGHT: Mumbo Jumbo at Ugly Rumors, Crysis at the Shed SATURDAY: Mumbo Jumbo at Ugly Rumors, Crysis at the Shed, Royball and Katie’s Dimples at Outback Jack’s SUNDAY: Mumbo Jumbo at Ugly Rumors