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“He who day by day finds out where he is deficient, and who month by month never forgets that in which he has become proficient, may truly be called a lover of learning.”
Jug Head Mob consists of a group of players that are on a quest for musical proficiency. Over the years, each member has been finding his way through the morass of competitive musical thought and theory. But, in the final analysis, we have all come full circle to institute a philosophy of “musical groove” that refuses to conform to the boundaries of any one discipline. Feeling is the name of the game, thus, the heart and soul of each player is exposed for those who care to hear and feel the unique musical dialogue.
Phil Woodring (keys), an adroit funk/hip hop/jazz drummer has shifted his endeavors over to the keys as to expound on his musical vocabulary. Phil not only brings his vintage Fender Rhodes to the game, but also composes a great number of the Jug Head Mob songs. His vision is to bring grooves that are both rhythmically complex, yet sophisticatedly simple. This is a natural outgrowth given the fact that Thelonius Monk and Chick Corea are two musicians that had a profound influence on his keyboard playing. Also, you will often hear Phil’s percussion background shine through as he interjects traditional Afro-cuban bells and drums into the mix.
Stephen Bulman brings both guitar and a splash of vocals to the plate. His voice is gritty and bluesy to say the least! Stephen’s vocals and lyrical styling no doubt remain true to his life experiences. You will hear a plethora of jazz, blues and funk in his guitar playing, however, he holds no strict allegiance to any one style of music. For Stephen, it’s the heart and soul of the guitar that engenders his relentless passion and soulful original feel.
Denis Sluka (bass) offers a deep pocket bass feel that only a solid five string can deliver. Sluka has toured extensively (including Europe), and with that, comes the ability to be pliable in most musical situations. Denis extemporizes freely over the Jug Head Mob creations, which is no doubt a manifestation borrowed from his two main influences: Jaco Pastorius and Tony Levin. Sluka always plays to the songs, but never allows his lines to become tired or perfunctory, indeed, he is the glue that holds the music tightly together.
John Sheppard (trap drummer) and Tyrone Kiernan (congas/bells/African shekere) no doubt bring the world music element to the table. John has an arsenal of musical influences (which includes his hard hitting idols, Buddy Rich, Tony Williams and David Garibaldi) up his sleeve and holds no reservation when expressing his mood through drumming. John combines linear theory and rudimental knowledge with a hard-hitting modern backbeat that is not for the faint of heart! Tyrone saturates the sound with spiritual, Afro-Cuban conga drumming that stays true to its folkloric roots. Being brought deep into the world of Santeria by his teacher (master percussionist Mark Lamson), Ty is able to express traditional rhythms, such as, Rumba Guaguanco, and African 6/8 Bemba. These rhythms work in conjunction with John’s American drumming to twist the rhythmic flow and keep the organic flavor alive. Their combined philosophy is simple: move the mind and body of the individual psyche, through the vehicle of organic drumming…
“Crushing musical snobbery to alter one’s perception of sound”
– Jug Head Mob