Mojo Monkeys is a project formed by three in-demand Los Angeles musicians Singer/Drummer David Raven, Bassist Taras Prodaniuk and guitarist Billy Watts. Collectively they’ve logged time in the studio and onstage with such notable artists as: Lucinda Williams Keith Richards, Norah Jones, Dwight Yoakum, Bonnie Raitt, June Carter Cash, Mike Ness, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Dixie Chicks, Geoff Muldaur, John Trudell, Richard Thompson, Jim Lauderdale, Peter Himmelma, Buck Owens, T-Bone Burnett and many, many more.
Blessings and Curses, their 2nd album to date, has already attracted pre-release notice, being played on the well-known Los Angeles radio station KCRW and having several songs already placed on the television hit, “Sons of Anarchy”.
Blessings and Curses keeps the Louisiana blues feel of their first record, Hang (2000) yet adds an eclectic element with the country sounding, “Califonialabama” and a jazz/spoken word number, “Our Curse”. The song “Bodacious” offers a ZZ-top-like classic blues rock feel, while the track “Monkeythumb” winds you back to the swamp as the hoodoo is told, “Go on with your bag of shadows…”
All band members had a hand in the songwriting and there’s a tongue-in-cheek component that reveals itself in some of the songs such as “She’ll be Alright” where Raven sings, “She’s passed out on the floor again in her pink platforms and that purple wig. If she’s a tortured soul, it doesn’t show right now.” A chirpy harmonica starts off the song, “The Mockingbird Song” which pokes fun at the LA live music scene with the lyrics, “There’s a strange bitter bird in my tree, singing songs of sweet irony, ‘bout how he’s lost in LA and paying to play. At least now he’s singing for free.”
The songs of Blessings and Curses are soulful and authentic but there’s also an element of fun and a groove to the songs that make you think these guys wouldn’t mind if you were dancing while they sing of unrequited love and misfortune. The Mojo Monkeys are stellar players, each with personal style that lovingly collides in a unique musical gumbo.
Blessings and Curses was recorded at Honky Tonk Abbey in Los Angeles by Michael Dumas & David Raven (where it was also mixed by Raven), and Mastered by Todd Herfindal at High Point Studios, also in Los Angeles. Additional musicians include: Phil Parlapiano/Hammond organ, Terry Wilson/additional bass and keyboard on “Girl Might Do” , Doug Pettibone/Pedal Steel on “In the Wind”, Lee Thornburg/trumpet on “Our Curse, Marvin Etzione/acoustic guitar, piano & harmonica on “The Mockingbird Song”
They'll be celebrating the release of the album with a party at the Gallery, "Syrup" on Saturday, November 13th in Los Angeles @ 9pm
The public is invited, donations are requested, or you can bring a potluck dish for the food table...the event is BYOB
939 maple avenue los angeles 90015 3rd floor
free parking on the street, or in the lot on wall street between 9th and olympic...also free.
Also: art by marshall roemen
Early Praise for "blessings and curses"
"Oh, yeah! Now, this here be the real get-down fun’n’rollicking good-time boogie woogie rock’n’roll shit, man!"--Jersey Beat
"Settle into the groove and stay a while."--Aiding & Abetting
" An absolutely entertaining and interesting album with plenty of potential discovery."--Hooked on Music