Johnny Mastro And Mama’s Boys
Johnny Mastro And Mama’s Boy’s album “Never trust the living” is #1 on the Roots Music Top 50 Louisiana album charts.
Johnny Mastro And Mama’s Boys have been based out of New Orleans for quite a while now, but they formed way out west at the legendary Babe’s And Ricky’s Inn in Los Angeles. It was there that club owner “Mama” Gross encouraged them to forge their own unique sound as long as it stayed true to the roots of the blues. Well, the fellows have done just that. With Johnny on harp and vocals, Smoke on guitar, Dean Zucchero on bass, and Rob Lee on drums, they have just released “Never Trust The Living,” eleven cuts of originals and covers , which were laid down in the summer of 2014 at The Music Shed in New Orleans.
These songs all have a lot in common with the Big Easy, because they forge many elements of blues and rock together for a swampy-yet-futuristic sound. You’d swear that some of these cuts were long-lost gems from the vaults of Jay Miller’s Excello Records, thanks to the echo-laden arrangements. Such is the case with the leadoff cut, the slide-and-harp stomp of “Snake Doctor,” which, for us blues fans, is just what the gris-gris man ordered, climaxing with an outta-this-world slide solo! Next up is the curious case of the girl in the “long white dress,” who’s “on the Whiskey now!” It follows a cool, loping beat with crackling guitar-harp interplay from Smoke and Johnny.
“Don’t Believe” is some sweet slow-blues, while “Walking” has Johnny toeing that line, “straight home to you,” as Smoke rips off one slide run after another. And, the fellows close the set on an interplanetary note, with a mythical tale from 1966, complete with a UFO and “Indrid Cold.” It ends with some killer, frenetic harp and the sound of that spaceship landing!
We had two favorites, too. The band puts an ominous spin on Snooky Pryor’s “Judgement Day,” where you beg “St. Peter, please open the door.” And, for their take on “House Of The Rising Sun,” Johnny begins with a straight read on the harp, before the band kicks into the pyrotechnical stratosphere, then back down to a somber closing as it began.
Back in the day, Jay Miller at Excello or Sam Phillips at Sun would’ve signed these guys at first note. They have a sound all their own, pulling the old-school blues in with enough contemporary spunk to please today’s listeners. Johnny Mastro And Mama’s Boys ride some sho’ nuff fine grooves in “Never Trust The Living.” Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.
Artist: Johnny Mastro And Mama’s Boys