Winter Park / Live Music: Mojambus – Charisma thats captivating, energy thats boundless
March 28, 2008
Mojambus once again heads up to Grand County to perform its hillbilly rock, upbeat lyrics and danceable grooves. The musicians rocked the house this winter at Pancho & Leftys for the Grand Lake Mardi Gras dance. This time, its massive stage energy and stage presence will fill the Winter Park Pub.Said to be an old-school blues machine, with a new-school, raw vibe, the band and its original music are about hope, being a conscious person, and doing this all through the power of music, said Jason Downing, soul singer and harmonica virtuoso for the band who has written more than 200 songs. Mojambus always has a message of peace … and the funkiest blues around, he said.Other movers and shakers from the band are blues/ flamenco guitarist Jason Jasco Coomes, bassist Greg Foster, and drummer Mike Ray.Foster realized he could play the guitar at 13 and the discovery set the course for the rest of my life. He said anyone who lives their passion is an inspiration to him. His mother had a small classical guitar she bought at a souvenir shop in Mexico and he ended up messing around with it more than she did. When he started guitar lessons, he got his own instrument.The son of a family friend had a drum pad and Ray said he was enthralled by his practice routine, not to mention the attraction I felt to the bebop, surf, and early rock n roll music my mom always had playing around the house. Hes done a few other things, putting his music on the back burner, but says that it feels particularly good nowadays, to be giving it a little larger role in my life.Growing up among eight children in a four-room house, he was always banging on stuff and his parents found a way for him to have a little drum set since he was about 12. Ray said there are many musicians and artists who inspire him, especially sculptors with their 3D sensibilities, and thinks music is similar. Like sculpture, music is created on multiple plains and, in my opinion, cannot be done well, without an egoless devotion to the art of the moment, he said.Jasco loved to listen to instrumental guitar tapes and said he knew he was going to be a musician by the time he was in his early teens. He also gained some of his passion from his family during those formative years; his dad played the acoustic guitar around the house and an uncle played electric guitar in a band. Im inspired by every musician I hear or meet who puts their heart and soul into the craft, he said. He took a year of classical guitar in college and writes instrumental guitar music for his own enjoyment. What makes this group fun, he said, is that we all listen to a lot of different styles and arent afraid to incorporate them in an overall blues matrix. It is a blast to play with these guys because they listen and they arent afraid to take chances. Of all the bands hes been in over the last two decades, Jasco said Mojambus has the best frontman, hands down, of any of them. Jasco said Downing has a charisma that is captivating, and he has energy that seems boundless.Every show I make a point of telling folks that you dont need a lot of money or the government to make this a better world, Downing said. All you need is to share the positive vibrations you get from our music, all music, and use a little more love, kindness, and compassion, and we can help make things better now, for free.Foster said the bands last performance in the county was insane and that they actually ended up writing a new song when they were here. So now were back for more fun, and maybe a song too, he said. Perhaps, if the audience is lucky, theyll play the song that was inspired in Grand County.As for what the future holds for Mojambus, besides a wider fan base and more live performances, the band is currently working on a five-song EP as well as a full-length album this year. They also record the live shows, so people who see them live can buy a recording of that performance the same night.