Mojo Dingo are a modern Blues Funk quartet from Adelaide, Australia. The band, made up of Gerrard Allman (vocals, guitar), William Burke (guitar), Stephen McInerney (bass) and Peter Kershaw (drums) have been building their brand and momentum ever since initially getting together over a beer in the Adelaide blues scene. Their highly anticipated self-titled debut album, provides vigorous affirmation—as if any was needed—of the level of sophistication to which Mojo Dingo have progressed since forming. The collaboration between Jarrad Payne (Wizard Tone Studios) and this road-honed band with real muscle, insures the 7 tracks on the album pack as much nuance as power.
Perfectly professional as this all sounds, there’s never too much polish on the album. Even as much as tracks like the rousing opener “Mojo Blues” sound like vintage old school southern fried flavors, the subtle twists and turns in the arrangements render the sounds smooth, fresh and utterly contemporary. The vocals sound equally authentic and unforced, in large part because Gerrard Allman sings with such spontaneity: his evolution as a vocalist is perfectly natural over the course of the entire album.
The guitars, bass and drums on “Make Me Feel This Way” offer a juxtaposition of dense complex arranging, illustrating how seamless Mojo Dingo’s playing style really is. And the unity on display has as much to do with the vivid intelligence of the vocals, as the musicianship and production. The high-stepping parade of the funky rhythm artfully sets the stage for a jaunty swagger that will keep you on your toes for three minutes and twenty three seconds.
Everything is earthy and organic about Mojo Dingo, which is what makes this album such an accurate representation of their collective virtues. Nowhere is that better showcased than on the slamming jive of “Lookin’ Back”. The heated delivery of the guitar and sax solos inspiring the band to heights of near-majestic interplay. Those elements create the initial gateway that leads into deeper waters drawing listeners further into their sound.
The breezy, jazzy and soulful whisper that is “On My Mind” imprints the sensation that Mojo Dingo is as satisfying to admire in close careful listening as abandoned high-kicking groove. These dual reactions is a clear depiction of the versatility and virtuosity at the command of this band. The track really punctuates the smooth and melodic elements of the band. Mojo Dingo’s intentions are clear and the song will certainly be a calling card in a live setting for lovers to groove together.
Mojo Dingo’s performances can be fierce and defined by relentless energy and uncompromised emotion, as it is on “Harder Days”, which comes just after the instrumental “Jump Up”. It captures all of the fire and sophistication that Mojo Dingo are capable of. A finely tuned balance many blues-based bands often struggle with.
Mojo Dingo is at its tightest and funkiest on their cover of the Albert King classic “Born Under A Bad Sign”, originally composed by Booker T Jones. It is a blues revival of the tallest order that will have people dancing until they physically break down. Mojo Dingo works like a well-oiled machine here, powerfully spilling out their magic over the canvas of the track’s duration.
Signed to Paper Rock Scissors Records, I clearly see Mojo Dingo in the tradition of their greatest influences, expressing themselves in time honored musical combinations that are crisp and fresh. This album twists and turns through seven beefy tracks to serve up a uniquely satisfying sojourn of electric blues and funk, delivered through passion and heartfelt musicianship.