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Lunchtime Music – Johnny & the Mo-Tones – Shake It!

Shake ItSo the soundtrack for the trip back from the New Gretna exist of the Garden State Parkway was the new album Shake It from the Wisconsin based blues group Johnny & the Mo-Tones. The other day in the first listen I thought what great jump blues, songs that really get you moving! Today, as I listened, I classified the music as both jump blues and jazz-blues (if there is such a sub-genre), so when I came home and saw that the leader of the band “piano & keyboard player, songwriter and founder of the MoTones;

John Altenburgh has been recording albums since the late 1980s. Altenburgh’s work includes numerous jazz albums of which three, Generations, Heartland 95 and Legends of Keelerville all found their way into the Jazz charts in the 1990’s

I was not surprised and while the vocals are great on the album, for me, it’s the talent of the assembled musicians that make the album really stand-out! As you listen to the album, on some tracks it’s the organ and guitar that stand out, and on others Johnny’s piano playing takes center stage! But let’s not forget the trumpet and drums, at times, and I even think I heard a bass solo on one track!!

So we know Johnny is the piano, keyboard player, so here are the Mo-Tones – you can read each of their impressive biographies here and then you’ll understand why the music’s so good!!

Johnny and the Mo-tonesChris “Cuda” O’Keefe, lead guitarist
Mitch Viegut – Guitarist, vocalist and song writer
Kevin Moore – Lead Vocalist
Paula Hall – Vocalist and back up percussionist
Bob Kase – Trumpet player
Ryan Korb – Drummer
Bruce Lammers – Bass Player
Dave “Cowbell” Baehr – Percussionist and back up singer

Dino Corvino – City Pages, Central Wisconsin writes:

“In Central Wisconsin music John Altenburgh is like a celestial body. Always there, always beautiful, and perceived as eternal. His band, Johnny and the MoTones, is more like Halley’s Comet. Not always around, but always something music lovers talk about and look forward to, and when they do burn across the night sky, we all turn our heads to look.”

So check them out, as for me I know I’m checking out some of their back catalog!!

Here’s one of the great tracks from the album “ROW ME DOWN THE MUDDY MISSISSIPPI”. The album, by the way, debuted at No 3 on the Roots Music Report Blues Chart this week!