As with any new album that’s headed for another spin, it’s usually for one of two reasons: the band either had some potential on that first go-around, peaking your general curiosity, or the rarer option where you can’t help but race to start it over. Mingo Fishtrap definitely falls into the latter with their latest album On Time.
For longtime fans, their talent might be old news, but there are many who have never heard the name, and that needs to change quickly! The band has been around almost 20 years now and they’ve been riding a wave lately that has lead to them finding new fans. As with any listener nowadays, there is simply a fire hose-stream of music with only so much you can drink. Occasionally, and unfortunately in my case, bands nowadays can elude the most exploratory of listeners. The album was released this past June, and even if you missed their appearance at Jazz Fest in Rochester, the band is headed back to The Egg in Albany on Oct. 4 and The Club at Water Street in Rochester on Oct. 5. If you’re anywhere in the region, you’re not going to want to miss these shows.
The opener “End of the World” is a feel-good kick-off to the album, despite the tracks name. The dark and sexy side shown throughout the verses strikes the perfect contrast for the upbeat chorus that has an intoxicatingly good melody to it. If this is the entrance, Mingo provides a warm welcome and a full tour of their sound.
For those seeking solid lyrics and a soul-soothing voice, Roger Blevins, Jr. delivers an all-encompassing approach that is as rich in history as it is deep in emotion. The complimentary instrumentation that strikes a balance between providing a solid backbone and touching various genres rounds out the rest of what you’ll hear; you’re going to dig this album. Mingo Fishtrap does a phenomenal job at mixing blues, jazz, soul, and funk into a beautiful array of color and sound. To be blunt, as long as you have some ears and a pulse, this is going to get your foot tapping and put a smile on your face.
Throughout the album, there are incredible displays of musicianship. The solo on “Things Ain’t What They Was” is the first time I’ve heard a hint of Derek Trucks influence performed flawlessly. That tip of the hat also rears its face on “Born Without a Heart”. The vocal depth and emotion in “Silver Lining” pulls at your soul and is immediately in tune to life’s natural rhythm. Everything simply feels right with these guys. The piano solo on “Silver Lining” is another must-hear on this album. In fact, if you’re going to give this band a small taste-test, fast forward to the 3:30 mark and just let it play. The solo closes the song on a stroll that turns into its own entity, complete with a raging attitude and swagger.
Austin, Texas has always been a hotbed for music, raising acts like Willie Nelson and Ciara, to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Janis Joplin, and Nelly. Mingo embraces their eclectic heritage and shares in the talent that their hometown is known for. On Time is exceptional from start to finish and I would strongly recommend you put the fire hose down to take a drink from the deep waters of Mingo’s diverse and refreshing sound.
Mingo Fishtrap is:
Roger Blevins, Jr.- guitar and vocals
Chip Vayenas- drums and backup vocals
Dane Farnsworth- organ and keys
Mikel Urdy- Percussion and backup vocals
Roger Blevins, Sr.- bass
Steve Butts- trumpet and flugelhorn
Dan Bechdolt- tenor/alto sax and backup vocals
Zol Waterhouse – Trombone
Key Tracks: Too Far Gone, Fireproof, Silver Lining