Shakedown Mambo is the latest in a long journey for two wonderfully musical personalities. These guys are steeped in the very roots of American music.
Forged by the coming together of cultural traditions from many countries, including Africa, France, Spain, the Caribbean, Latin America and Native American Indians, some heartfelt new music started simmering in both Louisiana and Mississippi. New Orleans had some of the most fertile ground, breathing life into American Blues, Jazz, Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll.
As all this music grew, it snaked up the backbone of America, along the mighty Mississippi River. It travelled north to Memphis, worked its way over to St. Louis and eventually all the way up to Chicago and even to the east, Detroit, New York and Philadelphia. Then it spread like wildfire, with people all over the nation eagerly embracing one form or another of this new homegrown music.
America finally had musical roots, still young ones, but roots they were, roots that would stand the test of time and support a whole tree of music for the entire world to feel. Roots that had teeth into the very soul of life.
Shakedown Mambo seeks to preserve and extend the legacy of this grand musical tradition and uniquely American art form in the best way possible.
At the heart of the “Mambo” are Rick Solem and Phil Bloch. Their music lives and breathes those rich American roots. We’re talkin’ New Orleans, the Mississippi Delta and on up the river, looking to the left and looking to the right. We’re talkin’ years of playing, writing, arranging, recording and producing music. We’re talkin’ about having a real understanding of where they come from and where they’re goin’. And we’re talkin’ about love, cause there ain’t no way to do this without havin’ the love – for the music, for the journey and for the life.
Rick Solem has a dynamic and inventive keyboard style all his own, yet he can easily and authoritatively illustrate the most subtle differences in the styles of past and present piano masters, from Jelly Roll Morton to Professor Longhair, from Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons to Roosevelt Sykes to Allen Toussaint and Dr. John. He is, all by his very own self, destined to be listed as one of the masters of American roots piano playing.
Phil Bloch is one of the premier American Roots drummers and producers in Los Angeles, with an ongoing schedule of studio and live playing, producing and songwriting. His infectious, New Orleans-influenced grooves are as sought after as his down home shuffles and inventive, song-enlightening percussive orchestrations.
Along the way, these guys have contributed to the music of many others, too. From the rootsy, southern Rhythm & Blues of Terry Evans and Ry Cooder to the tough, gutsy Americana of Dave Alvin, from the supremely soulful grooves of the King of Rock & Soul, Solomon Burke to the elegant rawness of Dave Edmunds, these guys have brought the right stuff. Even film composers such as David Newman and record labels such as Sony and Warner Bros. have benefited from their talents.
These guys bring the party with them and they mean to have fun. Bring your party hats and your dancin’ shoes. Life is about to get real simple.