Here's what they're saying about Mocombo Records! read about John "Juke" Logan's "Juke Rhythm", "The TRUTH Will ROCK You" the Delgado Brothers "Let's Get Back", and John "Juke" Logan and Doug MacLeod "'Live' As It Gets":

 

John "Juke" Logan
The TRUTH Will ROCK You:

Logan tells stories about what moves us. His gut-wrenching harmonica colors the scenery, as Logan preaches about courage, compassion, caring & livin' in this jungle we call home. His messages hit home with a power that's reinforced by each firey musical statement." -

----SOUTHLAND BLUES (April 2005 issue)

This CD rocks like a house party full of "Wild Childs" & "Designated Drinkers" who won't leave until the walls are torn out & all the furniture is out on the lawn... The blues had a baby & they named it Juke.--Locopelli, SUN RUNNER,(California hi-desert)


JUKE RHYTHM:

In Southern California where every third musician seems to blow blues harp and those with recording contracts tend to make the same album over and over, John Logan is something of a maverick. First, he is less a spiritual descendent of George "Harmonica" Smith than, say, Rod Piazza, Johnny Dyer or the late William Clarke (though Logan did work with Smith), and, second, Logan clearly lives in a musical world wider than others of his generation.--

BLUES REVUE (April, 1999 issue)

His latest disc, Juke Rhythm, isn't defined or confined by the past that was Chicago in the '50s. Instead, the 13-track, 63-minute collection comes off as a wall-sized mural that reflects the Blade Runner sprawl that is Los Angeles these days. Juke Rhythm makes the term "multicultural", as it applies to blues, seem not only possible, but logical -- Logan's harp and keyboards overlay funk, jazz, soul and hip-hop influences that co-exist in the white, black and Cal-Mex neighborhoods of L.A.

The opening track "Love Me Like That" sets a hipster lyrical tone over a decidedly atypical beat from the rhythm combo of bassist Dan Durran and drummer Joe Yuele (John Mayall's Bluesbreakers) with Rick Vito (Fleetwood Mac, Bonnie Raitt) on guitar. Los Lobos' David Hidalgo show up on the R&B-ish "Comb the Streets," only to give way to guitarist Kid Ramos (The Fabulous Thunderbirds), fellow harp man Gary Primich (head-to-head on "Twice Pipes"), guitarist-singer-songwriter Brenda Burns (on spoons, at one point!) and a host of others.

Like its predecessor The Chill (Razor & Tie), this collection could be called wildly eclectic. But Logan's doing more than simply drawing from a variety of influences; he's actually pushing off into directions where few in blues have gone. Think of Juke Rhythm as the right kind of adventure for these dull times.

-Bill Wasserzieher

 

Originally published in SOUTHLAND BLUES, NOVEMBER 1999, VOL.10, NO. 11

John "Juke" Logan
Juke Rhythm
Mocombo Records

John "Juke" Logan has long been one of the sculptors of the West Coast blues sound. On Juke Rhythm, Logan serves up his special blues in fresh and flavorful fashion. Overall, the feel of this record is cool and funky, with a crisp, rich sound quality. The album is jam packed with special guests, including Kid Ramos, David Hildago, Gary Primich, and Brenda Burns. Logan also reunites, on several cuts, his outstanding 1970s era Juke Rhythm Band -- Joe Yuele, Rick Vito and Dan Durran. Staple blues instruments -- harp, guitar, drums, bass, keyboards -- are joined by the exotic, such as the Egyptian azur and African talking drum, care of percussionist Mike Tempo.

Logan visits several different styles of blues-based music on this record. "Love Me Like That," the album opener, is pure, lowdown funk. On "Da' Blues Hip Hop," we're served a rap history of the artists and the music that came before, with a closing monologue by the late Richard "Topanga Dick" Ludwig. "Juke's Twist Palace" and "Comb the Streets" are more straight-ahead dance shuffles. "What's it Gonna Be" and "Lone Wolf" have a jazzy edged, beatnik vibe. "Twice Pipes" featuring Logan and Gary Primich, blowing harp for all their worth, is less cutting contest than it is a tightly woven tapestry. "Lonely Freedom," with Logan solo on piano and harmonica, is a hauntingly sweet ballad.

On the record, Logan demonstrates well his versatility as an artist and composer. The record is adventurous, but offers, at the same time, numbers with a traditional feel that will please the purists. Logan continues to push the blues envelope, keeping the musical form vital and alive. Juke Rhythm is a tasty West Coast gumbo, well worth sampling.

-Linda East Brady

 

JOHN "JUKE" LOGAN REVIEW: TOTALLY ADULT "Blues Corner", June 4, 1999 (by Matthew Lawton)

John "Juke" Logan
Juke Rhythm
Mocombo Records

Since the late-1960's, harmonica mentor John "Juke" Logan has been a busy bluesman: Logan has played with Leon Russell, Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker and Albert Collins; he's featured on the theme of "Roseanne"; performed on "Home Improvement"; and for the past seven years has been hosting the "Friday Night Blues Revue" on KPCC in Los Angeles. Juke Rhythm is a stunning set of 13 original tracks with musical guests that include Kid Ramos (Fabulous Thunderbirds), David Hidalgo & Conrad Lozano (Los Lobos) and Rick Vito (Bonnie Raitt). Logan's singing is smooth and soulful, while his harp playing is unparalleled. Juke Rhythm is a groove-filled blast!

- Matthew Lawton

 

"Chillin' to the Juke Rhythm " by Bliss
( article appeared in the "Pasadena Weekly" March 7, 1999)

John "Juke" Logan
Juke Rhythm
Mocombo Records

Ace harp player Juke Logan has fun spreading the gospel of the blues with help from friends ( Dave Alvin, John Lee Hooker, Los Lobos…)

John "Juke" Logan was one of the first friends I made in L.A., and a central character in scenes that convinced me I'd never leave California. One took place outside a North Hollywood club which had oversold tickets to a show by R&B legends Leon Russell and Edgar Winter; I was there with my friend Katy, who'd known Juke since their '80s days on the road with Leon and New Grass Revival.
When the fire marshal shut down the overcrowded club right before show time,
things got ugly, so we all snuck out back to the band bus. We found Leon already there, kicking back in plush red seats like a white-bearded Buddha with musician pals, including a very mellow and gracious Jessie Ed Davis (just before he died). I listened in wide-eyed wonder as these amazing players laughed and reminisced, sirens and shouts from angry ticket holders forming a distant backdrop. Then somebody said, "Play something." Leon and Juke cocked their eyebrows at each other, talking shorthand before choosing an old railroad blues by Dylan. Juke pulled a harmonica out of his pocket, playing softly behind Leon's sorrowful growl, and a hush fell over us all as we listened, enraptured. The sounds of breaking beer bottles gradually receded and there we were, safe from the maddened crowd, heads nodding to primal blues inside a tour bus under a beautiful summer moon. It was magical. This was life in L.A.!
Flash forward to 1997. Life's been, um, not glamorous, but I'm happily still here and still in love with the blues.
So is Juke Logan. He's been spreading the party-gospel of the blues all his life.
Growing up in the Valley, his chief experience with music was complaining about piano practice. "I'd be like, 'I wanna be out playing ball!" he laughs now. "And my grandmother forced me to sit down and play piano. She said, 'Someday you're gonna thank me, you're gonna make money on this.' I lost interest, then came back to it when I was around 12, when I heard 'Sticks and Stones' by Ray Charles." It's easy to picture him as a teen, cruising the Valley's boulevards in his black, finned Caddie, a pack of cigs bulging out from his rolled-up T-shirt sleeves, Don & Dewey's 'Justine' or Little Walter blasting from radio's KCBA.
Infatuated by Jimmy Reed in high school, he picked up the harmonica-and found his career ticket. Here's a short list of names Juke's supported: Dave Alvin, Blush, The Bonedaddys, Sam Bush, J.J. Cale, Carlene Carter, Albert Collins, Ry Cooder, Robben Ford, John Lee Hooker, Etta James, Los Lobos, Paul Kelly & the Messengers, Richard Marx, Leon Russell, Warrant, Lucinda Williams, Fellow harp masters James Harman, Gary Primich and the late William Clarke have called on Juke's formidable keyboard talens; blues greats like John Mayall have covered his songs. John Lee Hooker's new album, Don't Look Back, kicks off with a remake of "Dimples," on which he's sharply backed by Juke and members of Los Lobos.
But his most important instrument, Juke believes, is his soul. His commercial art degree (from USC) interacts with his natural musical feel when he "illustrates" scenes for countless films, commercials and TV shows (Streets of Fire, Crossroads, Midnight Run, Heathers, Red Rock West, TV's "Home Improvement" and "Roseanne," for its first eight seasons). "More and more composers are like me," Juke comments. "They don't read strict notations, they're using head arrangements, using more free-form pieces. That illustrates the scene a lot more effectively than a big, symphonic orchestra playing."
He shrugs off blues purists who blame TV for commercial blues' devolution into Michelob music: "I look at it as taking the blues into millions and millions of consciousnesses it's no gonna get to otherwise . . . The next time in a record store, they're gonna remember: I like that harmonica music I heard on 'Roseanne' or on that commercial. So they pick up a blues record.
In the late '80's, Juke joined The Allnighters, ex-Blaster Dave Alvin's first band as a solo artist. Alvin says he learned a lot from Juke musically: "you can hum a musical line to him and he'll play it right back at you. He has a nice sort of spatial understanding of what to play and when to play. I thin it's one of the reasons he's such an in-demand studio guy. A lot of musicians only understand licks (but) Juke can listen to a song and hear it in its entirety, what the song's gonna be, where a lot of musicians-myself included a lot of times-will think, 'Where can I play this?' . . . Getting to know Juke and Greg (Leisz, another Allnighter), who basically don't play by rules, opened my brain up."
The next key moment in Juke's career came on the road with guitar god Albert Collins: "Albert sat me down and said, 'Brother Juke, I'm gonna offer you the keyboard job in the Icebreakers-but I want you to turn me down.
You've got a career going (with 'Roseanne,' films).' It was just so fatherly, saying I want you in my band-which was such an honor to begin with-but encouraging me to pursue my own path. I'll never forget that. So I took his advice, and I actually haven't been on the road much since. I have to be careful about leaving town these days-lots of people are waiting in the bushes to take my gigs!"
Those session gigs left his pedal-to-the-metal party days in the dust, and packed his schedule. He's recorded two albums of his own songs, The Chill, a well received gumbo West Coast Blues Review called 'a critical masterpiece' and the best roots release of 1995, and Juke Rhythm, due this summer. 'Chill' is typical, finger-snapping Jukeology-mood words not found in the dictionary; it's an intangible vibe that describes the man and his music; "It's about feel, it's about sensuality, attitude, stuff you can't put down on paper but it's there. It's what makes many things in life special."
A regular on L.A.'s blues circuit, Juke plays Tuesdays at The Derby in Los Feliz with his rocking band 'The Chill Aces,' and forms half of a popular acoustic duo with Doug MacLeod, who says, "Juke plays with the intensity of a little kid. When he gets up on the stage, I've never seen him give less than 100%." Juke's in Pasadena every week, co-hosting KPCC's "Friday Night Blues Review" with Ellen Bloom. A natural storyteller and deejay, he's impatient with the 'void in adventurous material' in contemporary blues. He's a self-proclaimed music sponge who loves "soul-jazz" and "good soulful hip-hop," and plays anything that's "51% or more blues": "It's important to show where the blues lives inside of that stuff, even inside pop. The blues never goes away. (It's) the godfather of so much music."



BIG CITY BLUES
Review by Mark A. Cole

John "Juke" Logan
Juke Rhythm
Mocombo Records


The contempo-blue sound of John "Juke" Logan is pretty well known around the southern California area. With the Mocombo label supporting his work, his harmonica playing, singing, and production skills are fast becoming nationally recognized. This release is a spicy and flavor-filled set of groovin’ blues with Latin and Carib percussion, strong harp melodies, and tight executions.

A host of band members and guests help out here. Logan gives up the vocals and harp, along with tambourine, woxixi, some piano, maracas, organ, bongito, triangle, and the marimba-vibe. Guitarists are Rick Vito, Kid Ramos, Brenda Burns, David Hidalgo, and Glenn Nishida.

Drummers are Richard Innes, Joe Yuele, and Jerry Angel, while bassists include Dan Durran, Gregory Boaz, and Conrad Lozano. Michael Tempo adds the other assorted percussion, and Gary Primich guests for a one-track harp duet with Juke.

John Logan is outside the typical West Coast blues sound, perhaps adopting only the tempos, which tend to be fast, bordering jump and swing. Logan’s sound is unique and a spark of excitement in contemporary blues. That his music is blues cannot be denied; it is, however, a rare and progressive strain that is based on tradition. Hoppin’ beats, shakin’ percussion, bomb harp, and overall strong harmonies on this disc. First-class, top-notch, premiere-run-blues-modern, not for the purists. My highest recommendations!


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DELGADO BROTHERS REVIEW: LIVING BLUES "Short Takes", Jan./Feb. 2000 (by Jim DeKoster [one of the most respected blues-writers])

Let's Get Back
Delgado Brothers
Mocombo Records

The Delgado Brothers' 1987 Hightone debut LP was good enough to earn them something of a cult following but, inexplicably, not a follow-up - until now, that is. This East L.A. band continues to sound somewhere between Los Lobos and Robert Cray, but the intervening years have given their music increased maturity and assurance. Brother Steve, who plays drums and does most of the singing, also had a hand in all the lyrics, which show a keen awareness of such midlife concerns as a good marriage, endangered children and lost parents. The rest of the group - brothers Joe and Bob on guitar and bass and Ray Solis on percussion - is helped out by Michael Thompson's keyboards and producer John "Juke" Logan's harp, as well as cameo appearances by Doug MacLeod and David Hidalgo, among others. This is an excellent release - let's hope we don't have to wait 12 years for the next one this time.

- Jim DeKoster

 

The Delgado Brothers, Let’s Get Back
review from BIG CITY BLUES

Let's Get Back
Delgado Brothers
Mocombo Records

The three Delgado Brothers, Steve, Joe, and Bob, have been pioneers of the southern, Latino, blues-based r & b and pop-rock scene for decades. Returning after a lengthy hiatus, this release presents a more mature ensemble including friends, cousins, and musical soul-mates. The Delgado Brothers sound, on this release, is still loosely based on Latin beats but is very contemporary in its approach. It pushes toward sometimes Louisiana flavors while still retaining strong guitar, hearty rhythms, and breathtaking vocal and horn work.

Drummer and lead and backing vocalist Steve Delgado paces the crew along with Bob Delgado’s in-the-face bass thumps. Joe Delgado pulls down the guitar action and also provides lead and backing vocals. There is a host of friends here also. First and foremost John ‘Juke’ Logan produces and brings his harmonica to the fore when needed. Los Lobos help includes David Hidalgo on guitar, accordion and vocals, and percussionist Victor Bissetti on the timbales on one cut. Michael Thompson is heard on the keyboards, and Doug MacLeod guests on National acoustic guitar. The Texacali Horns blow their hearts with Joe Sublett on sax and Darrell Leonard on trumpet.

This fantastic set is so well produced and beautifully balanced that the resultant musical worth is heightened. The tunes are all originals penned by Steve and/or Joe, including two co-penned with Logan. The Delgado’s music does not easily fit into a category. There’s southern rock, zydeco, Carib, Latino, and strong Delta influences all rolled together. Perhaps "blues-based, classic rockin’ world music" would describe it. Whatever, the Delgado Brothers have it goin’ on—that’s for sure!

—Mark A. Cole



REAL BLUES, June/July ’99

Let's Get Back
Delgado Brothers
Mocombo Records

I feel somewhat embarrassed that it is now June, 1999, and I’m hearing The Delgado Brothers for the very first time. I hear through the grapevine they were great… anyhow, this disc (their second album) is finally on the stereo and I get to hear what the hubbub is all about. First off, score big points as they are signed to Mocombo, John Juke Logan’s label, and Logan co-produced it and contributes fine harp on 3 cuts. Also score points for all the all-star guest appearances by David Hidalgo and Victor Bissetti from Los Lobos and Doug MacLeod. But the major strengths and selling points lie with the fact that these guys (they really are brothers) are exceptional tunesmiths and musicians and singers. Triple threat. All to that the fact that the genre they "occupy" is a hot-blooded mix of blues and Latin R&B with a big spoonful of Mexican/Chicano roots. That of a meaner/leaner Los Lobos and you’ve got a pretty fair assessment in a general way, although their whole message to the masses is about joy and contentment.

Growing up in El Monte in a family of eleven children, the musical influences of the late 1960s/1970s contained a higher dose of blues given the Chicano/low-rider culture and their love of Real Music. Also, L.A. at the time, and right up to the 1980s, boasted a music radio scene that contained a healthy percentage of local talent and hits that could not be heard elsewhere in the country. It’s obvious the Delgados had a very healthy diet of blues, R&B/soul and rock’n roll in their formative years. The Delgado Brothers deal with real hard social issues as well as encouraging us to enjoy life (the right way). Their message is to be responsible for your own actions but also to be your brother’s keeper. Do the right thing at all times and make a difference in this world. A few million people all setting out to have a positive/healthy/productive day makes for a healthy environment, right? After all, we all know by now nobody is going to fix it for us. The Delgado Brothers are the conscience and spokesmen of their culture/neighborhood, and it’s spelled out perfectly in "One For The Children" and "Church of El Monte."

Ultimately, The Delgado Brothers are the children of their parents and their mother and father. God bless them, preached and practiced brotherhood, tolerance, and love. More and more the residents of the urban war-zones are taking matters into their own hands as far as positive social change is concerned, and there is much precedence for The Delgados to follow as far as being instruments/vehicles of positivity. The music is not secondary mind you. After listening to this CD one can hear why so many major music figures are in support of The Delgado Brothers. These guys embrace and espouse all that makes blues/roots music the best there is. There are 6 or 7 tracks that will get heavy airplay on both blues and hip college radio, and if they ever do tour outside of California you must check them out. "The Church Of El Monte" spells it all out. There is a transition going on if you haven’t noticed. The blues is no longer the music of macho bikers, junkies, ex-cons and hipsters. It has become the music of the people and the working class. 5 bottles for a disc that really means something. Great music with a great message.


-Andy Grigg

 

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John ‘Juke’ Logan & Doug MacLeod, Live As It Gets
Review from Big City Blues


John "Juke" Logan and Doug MacLeod are old friends and longtime musical collaborators. Their separate and combined attention to tradition and innovation in the blues is phenomenal. Either artist can fluently cross the line between the old standards and fresher modern approaches. On this particular release, their pairing is for an acoustic set of tradition-based blues.

The tremendous writing skills of both musicians are highlighted by this mix of tunes mostly from MacLeod but also containing two from Logan. They do one cover, "Nosy Neighbors" by Tommy Brown.

MacLeod plays his acoustic guitar with gusto and finesse, and his slide work rings beautifully on the National steel. His guitar style befits Logan’s vocal character and his brilliant notation on the harp. The two musicians complement each other’s acoustic stylings.

These recordings are raw and intense, putting the listener in the front seat at B.B. King’s Blues Club in Universal City, California. The recordings are not edited or mixed, leaving all live crowd and background action intact. Nonetheless, these are explosive live recordings puttin’ ya right there! You’ll dig the thump and grind in MacLeod’s axe approach, then the vocals of both will take your attention, only to be broken by the hypnotic harmonica of Logan. This duo is a total package destined to be remembered as an absolutely dynamic pairing. Mark A. Cole



EASY REEDING (Hohner, Inc.)

Doug MacLeod
Live As It Gets
Mocombo Records
Reviewed by Toni Radler

Pull your chair up for a night of great acoustic blues at B.B. King’s with John Juke Logan on harmonica and his sidekick, Doug MacLeod on guitar. Recorded live at B.B. King’s in Los Angeles, As Live As It Gets is great entertainment, and as the man says, live as it gets. Background noise, audience comments (which Logan calls George-isms) and even feedbacks don’t detract from this CD. Instead, they add to the feeling that you are right there to hear great blues in the making. The audience interaction just adds to the entertainment factor in this CD.

Logan plays a great blues harmonica—almost traditional, because Logan and MacLeod sure aren’t afraid of trying nuances lie a little blues rhyming in cut 2, Hustler. Logan and MacLeod certainly have the credentials to go with the sound—credentials that allow them to experiment and have a good time with the blues. MacLeod, one of the premier blues song writers, worked with George Harmonica Smith, Pee Wee Crayton, Big Mama Thornton, among others, and has had his songs recorded by Albert King, Albert Collins, and son Seals. Logan recorded with J.J. Cale, Etta James, and Leon Russell, among others. His songs are on albums by the Paladins, Gary Primich and John Mayall. To top it all off, their vocals have the velvet, husky sound of traditional blues.

As Live As It Gets is one of three debut release of Logan’s new label, Mocombo Records which has distribution with Ryko. Mocombo Records is dedicated to releasing original, traditional-grounded blues and roots music. Also on the Mocombo Records label is Logan’s CD, Juke Rhythm and the Delgado Brothers’ CD, Let’s Get Back. All have received critical acclaim.

As Live As It Gets is as good as it gets—and as entertaining as it gets—on the blues scene.



L. A. Jazz Times, John "Juke" Logan & Doug MacLeod
"Live" As It Gets"
reviewed by Jim Santella

Recorded before a live audience at B.B. King’s Blues Club on the Universal Citywalk, bluesmen Juke Logan and Doug MacLeod pay their respects to the traditional side of this folk music. The blues lifts your spirits any time gentlemen such as these take the stage. Long time L. A. regulars, both sing and play soulful songs. Logan is the sultry blues harp that colors television’s Roseanne and Home Improvement. MacLeod plays a mean guitar, but its use here is left primarily for holding the duo’s swinging rhythm together.

All but one of the ten songs presented here are their compositions. Tommy Brown’s boogie-woogie "Nosy Neighbors" showcases Logan’s harmonica, which runs fluid and vocal-like. A superb technician, he’s also quite expressive, such as on "High Priced Woman." Several tracks are humorous monologues by MacLeod. One spoken introductory piece is about "Tight White Pants…" while another describes good Southern cooking and introduces "I Want Grease In My Gravy And Fatback In My Beans." Yes, the blues makes you feel good. Highly recommended, these two talented blues veterans keep things thoroughly natural and quite entertaining.

--Jim Santella

 

 

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