If Country Music is ‘3 chords and the truth’, then The Blues must surely be ‘Life in 12 Bars’.
And that is exactly what this trio gave us today.
With Coojee Timms on drums and backing vocals, and J.B. Lewis, under a soft black cap, on electric bass, Mojo led us through a wide-ranging tour of his life, via many of his own great songs…all nicely punctuated with detours into the land of Blues legends such as Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson (Number 2), Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King and Willie Mabon.
Hailing from Chillingham, in Northern NSW, Michael Robert ‘Mojo’ Webb’s dynamic, ever-on-the-move stage presence and personality, make him every inch The Showman. And he leaves absolutely nothing out there!!
With weeping, squealing guitar riffs, striding piano licks, and a bluesy, Ray Charles-quality, ‘bari-tenor’ voice, he brings dem ole Blues to life. And providing the perfect background for Mojo as he paints his masterpieces, Coojee and J.B. are colourful and clean behind him, and always right in the pocket!!
Now, Mojo has around 40 guitars. Today, he played two, and while he gave us a couple of songs on a ’73 Fender Telecaster, it was his all-time favourite, an Ibanez LR10, (Gibson ES335 lookalike), that he has had since he was 14, which got the biggest work-out.
But the afternoon’s spotlight wasn’t always on Mojo, Coojee and J.B., because towards the end of the second set, Mojo introduced three talented guests.
First up was Benny Gleeson, lead guitarist from Brisbane’s, The Walters, trading licks on the Ibanez with Mojo at the piano, for Johnny Moore‘s 1947 classic, ‘Merry Christmas Baby’.
And then, a Wow moment!! An amazing Brisbane Jazz Club blast from the past, as up stepped Mojo’s dad, Neale Webb, for Bobby Troup’s 1946 evergreen, ‘Route 66’.
Back in the 1970’s, Neale was the singer with BJC’s own, Brisbane Big Band, and other bands. And that is almost 50 years between drinks!! But you wouldn’t know it. He still has it in spades. And it was bleedingly obvious, from where Mojo gets his chops!!
Then a third guest; Lachlan Feng and his dancing fingers joined the band on piano, as Neale gave us Leiber and Stoller’s, ‘Kansas City’.
And there was one final, tasty surprise, when, Coojee, after starting the penultimate song with a drum solo and a driving jungle beat, provided a great, growly, bluesy vocal on Big T Tyler’s 1957,‘King Kong’.
So, thank you, all of you, Mojo Webb Band and guests, for a great Sunday afternoon of cruisy, weepy, slow Blues and powerful, driving, up-tempo Blues.
Thank you for sharing a Sunday stroll through your ‘Life in 12 Bars’…which just happens to be the title of a great documentary about Eric Clapton, of whom Mojo says, ‘I’m a Blues purist. My inspirations include Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Billie Holliday. I don’t listen to Clapton. I listen to the guys that Clapton listens to!!’
Yes, today, a Covid-capacity crowd enjoyed a piece of life in one bar…ours….the well-stocked one, here at the Brisbane Jazz Club.
Come and visit. Soon
Brisbane Jazz Club.