With a sound dancing between gutbucket soul, N'awlins grit-down funk and horn- fueled Motown pop, Mingo Fishtrap brings the flavor of 1967 to 2012. What's old is new again; with young audiences flocking to see their live shows, and critics giving rave reviews, Mingo’s inspired, high-energy live show encourages audience participation. The band captures a musical conversation, which speaks with reverence about the past and with hope about the future.
Band founder and lead singer/guitarist Roger Blevins Jr. says, "Blues, soul and R&B is the common denominator of pop music. People around the world know that sound--Chess, Stax, Motown, Muscle Shoals--as part of the soundtrack to their lives. I grew up listening to Pops (Blevins' father and Mingo's bassist, Roger, Sr.) play those tunes to every age, race, color and creed. And it’s clear, from what we see, that people still greatly appreciate it."
Mingo Fishtrap has performed across the country and overseas on bills with a wide range of marquee artists: Sting, Blues Traveler, Ozomatli, Galactic, Delbert McClinton, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Little Feat, George Clinton & P-Funk, MOFRO and Jonny Lang, among others.
Members include Roger Blevins, Jr., lead singer, guitar; Roger Blevins Sr., bass guitar; Chip Vayenas, drums, percussion and vocals; Dane Farnsworth, Hammond B-3 organ, keyboards and vocals; Mikel Urdy, percussion and vocals; Dan Bechdolt, saxophone; Steve Butts, trumpet; and Greg Wilson, baritone saxophone.
Mingo Fishtrap traces its beginnings to the mid 90s when band founder Roger Blevins Jr. and five of the group's members were attending the University of North Texas' Jazz Studies program in Denton, Texas. Originally derived as a loose, after-class jam, Mingo covered songs from Otis Redding, Tower of Power, the Neville Brothers and other soul and funk masters. The band's unique name came about when Blevins arrived at an intersection in Denton where Mingo Road meets Fishtrap Road.
"Obviously, there wasn't a lot of classic soul being played around campus," says Blevins. "People around the dorms just took to it and the ball started rolling. We were good friends playing music we loved; that's a good recipe."
More than a decade (and thousands of shows and countless miles) later, it's that same delicious soul food that Mingo cooks up. Having released a catalog of several CDs and a live concert DVD, Mingo Fishtrap, Live at the Granada, they are recording, and will soon release their third full-length CD.
"If what James Brown supposedly said was true – ‘the one thing that can solve most of our problems is dancing’ - then Mingo Fishtrap has plenty of business to take care of in our nation's capital." -- Zoe Polluck, Washington City Paper
"Ever wonder what the love child of Stevie Wonder, Jamiroquai, and Billy Vera would sound like? [It would sound like] five-time South by Southwest / Austin Music Award winner Mingo Fishtrap: an octopus of tenacious funk." -- What's Going On Here, Playback:stl (St. Louis)
"Masters of music and entertainment, the music was tight, the tunes were big and moving. This is the kind of band that will swallow you with their talent. The music turns and twists, it curls up inside of you, this is a band you cannot ignore." -- Kristina Loye, MTV Online