The Mojo Gurus
have been a staple of the Tampa Bay music scene for the past decade, made up of four practiced musicians as led by force-of-nature frontman and songwriter Kevin Steele, whose gritty groaning lead vocals rise to commanding howls when he’s not blowing a fiery harmonica. This Saturday, the quartet – rounded out by guitarist Doc Lovett, bassist Vinnie Granese and drummer Sean Doyle (all on support vocals) – present their most recent studio outing at a WMNF-hosted release party.
Fourth full-length Who Asked Ya?
(out Sept. 16 via Red River Entertainment) was finely recorded at Pro Star Studios in St. Petersburg, 13 tracks of jet fuel-powered blues-rooted rock n’ roll seasoned in roots, funk and ‘60s hues. Set opener “Where You Hiding Your Love” was produced by Tommy Henricksen (Alice Cooper, Lou Reed), its big and brash horn-powered hard rock marked by wailing guitar licks and a strong funk-thumping backbeat. “Foolish Boy” and “Hoodoo Man” carry on in this ball-busting vein with crunchy riffs, heavy rhythms and raging harmonica, the latter track a swamp-stomping barroom burner. “Bandito” offers up dusty old west appeal with spaghetti western brass and washes of percussion while “No Damn Good” is an ambling country-twangy ode with traditional cry-in-beer lyrical turns.
The Gurus plan to play cuts off Who Asked Ya?
along old favorites at the release party, and will be joined by a few guests who also played on the record, including former Ian Hunter/Mick Ronson Band keysman Howard Helm and trumpeter Mic Smith.
Mojo Gurus Album Release Party with Rebekah Pulley and the Reluctant Prophets, Sat., Aug. 30, 8 p.m., Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa, $10 in advance/$13 dos, wmnf.org.