Hugely promising band. The dark drama of Mastro’s singing and harp playing and Dave Melton’s guitar recalls the early Paul Butterfield Band, while the recording ambience conjures up the 50’s storefront studios of Chicago. – MOJO
Regular nominees and winners of ‘Best Blues band’ and ‘Best unsigned band’ in various US west coast awards, Johnny Mastro & The Mamas Boys have been described as “edgy”, “gutbucket” and “rooted in the Butterfield/Bloomfield tradition” – all of which accurately sums up this band’s compelling music.
The Black Album is the band’s third CD and the first to be released on an internationally distributed label. This album shows the band to be a superbly tight, hard-edged outfit, led by the vocals and harp playing of Johnny Mastro, a fifteen-year veteran of the US Blues scene. Mastro clearly has a deep love and respect for the Blues of 50’s and 60’s Chicago but without slavishly copying his early inspirations.
The music, much of it written or co-written by Johnny, is recorded with simplicity. The band went into the studio, set up some mikes and played live in two four-hour sessions. This CD is a distillation of those live sessions, raw and natural.
The Mama’s Boys (not to be confused with the Eighties Irish hard rock band of the same name), were originally formed in 1993 at Los Angeles’ oldest blues club, Babe’s & Ricky’s Inn, and named after the club’s owner “Mama” Laura Mae Gross. Playing an average of 250 dates a year in southern California (80,000 at the Long Beach Grand Prix is their largest audience so far), the World now seems set to discover what many Southern Californians have understood for years: Mama’s Boys Kick Ass!!
Mama’s Boys is a US Registered Trademark. The band and its recordings are not connected in any way with The Mamas Boys originating from Ireland.
Johnny Mastro: Vocals, harp
Dave Melton: Guitar, slide guitar (vocals on 10)
Denny Freeman: Rhythm Guitar
Jimmy Goodall: Drums
Jeff Henry: Bass