Mondo Mike – Nine Lives Down
Nine Lives Down
Like the famous New Orleans sandwich its name references, Mondo Mike & The Po Boys blend the ingredients of diverse musicians to create a soulful blues-rock chocked with pithy lyrics that fathom the hoary questions of love and life. On their new album, ”Nine Lives Down”, the Po Boys reclaim some of the great traditional brilliance of the southern delta.
Band founder and New Orleans native, Mike Bernos assembled the band four years ago after moving to Jacksonville in the early 2000′s. After several personnel changes, the band produced a sound that caught the attention of the UK-based label, Aardvark Records, who recently signed the group and will distribute their music on its global platforms.
“Like most good bands, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Bernos, referring the band’s diverse members. “Bassist Jeremy Gray and saxophonist Richard Garcia studied in UNF’s Jazz program while keyboardist Cyrus Quaranta is as street wise and intuitive musician as there is,” he said. “Drummer and percussionist Sam Rodriguez is old Chicago-style blues while gospel-trained vocalist, Brittany Wescott, can not only belt it but also turn a note inside-out.”
The band’s first CD is to come out September 22 in conjunction with the release party at Underbelly. The record will feature 10 songs, including the reggae-tinged ballad, “Black & White”, Bernos’ homage to his native city. The song will also appear on WJCT’s 10-year Electro Lounge compilation CD, produced by David Luckin on ChinChin Records.
Bernos said his songs have many influences, including New Orleans style R&B, Motown, reggae and 60s rock. “Once Twice Baby Good Night is a cross between Sam Cook and New Orleans’ R&B queen, Irma Thomas,” he said, “while I’m Gonna Find You, has the dark overtones of the Doors.”
You can hear the album’s funky lead single, “One Shot” here: