Friday March 17th - Venue: Sala Gazteszena - 22.30h aprox. 20€ (Single Day Ticket)/ 36€ (Two-Day Ticket)
This Detroit underground soul star will be the first African-American legend to hit the Mojo Workin' stage in 2017.
Spyder was born in West Virginia and raised in Detroit, where he began his musical career singing in several doo-wop and R&B combos. His first opportunity to enter a recording studio came after winning a talent contest at the legendary Apollo Theater in New York, thanks to which he ended up collaborating with groups such as the Stereophonics or The Fabulous Counts. His indisputable vocal talent eventually won him a contract with MGM Records, a label with which he published in 1966 a magnificent version of the song "Stand By Me" in which he perfectly imitated the voices of some of the most important soul singers of the moment. With that record he climbed to number 3 on the Billboard R&B charts and to 12 on the pop charts, which gave his name national and international recognition. Years later he became one of the great figures in the British Northern Soul scene and some of his singles like "You Are Good Enough For Me", "I Can not Make It Anymore" or the "Stand By Me" itself. They became essential in any allnighter of the moment.
Friday March 17th - Venue: Sala Gazteszena - 23.30h aprox. 20€ (Single Day Ticket)/ 35€ (Two-Day Ticket)
The Lost Queen of New Orleans will also perform on Friday's Mojo Workin'. Although coming from Florida and never having lived in New Orleans, the twenty songs that Betty Harris garnered for Allen Toussaint during the 1960s in the Crescent City are an incomparable legacy even in terms of the city's huge heritage of soul music. Since retiring in 1969 at the height of her career, her records have slowly accumulated cult status among DJs, soul fans and music aficionados in general.
Harris was raised in a strictly religious home, her parents were priests and secular music was frowned upon. She began to sing in church and as a teenager she sought out her idol, Big Maybelle, who agreed to take her around as her protege. Harris attributes her impressive vocal power to Maybelle's rigorous training, although her gospel training was already a solid foundation. She recorded her first record in 1962 before entering the sales charts in 1963 with the most successful hit of her career. An extraordinary slower and soulful remake of Solmon Burke's "Cry To Me". She started working with Toussaint in 1965 and the couple produced the very first record in Sansu, Toussaint's newly-started label, "What A Sad Feeling" b / w "I'm Evil Tonight." Toussaint always put special attention and dedication in his jobs with Harris. He was convinced that she had found someone who could really become a star.
Betty Harris has left us a legacy that rivals any of her contemporaries for complexity, imagination and pure soul.
Saturday March 18th - Venue: Sala Gazteszena - 22.30h aprox. 22€ (Single Day Ticket)/ 36€ (Two-day Ticket)
Our love affair with Motown divas is not a secret and this year Brenda Holloway will be the perfect female representative of our favorite label in Detroit. Born in Atascadero, California, it was one of those rare cases that enjoyed an artist privilege on the Berry Gordy label. And it is that Brenda always lived and recorded from Los Angeles and nobody at the label managed to convince her to move to Detroit. This fact endowed her work with a special and unique character in Motown’s musical legacy. On her Motown career she never managed to produce number one hits comparable to some of her labelmates, although but she maintained a good rate of recordings that went on the best selling charts. Her majestic 1964 Motown debut "Every Little Bit Hurts" made her an instant star, and her beguiling encores "I'll Always Love You," "When I'm Gone," "Operator," and "Just Look What You've Done" solidified her position at Hitsville. In 1969 she became one of the first cases in the history of the record industry in which an artist sued for her rights. She managed to win Berry Gordy a lawsuit for the royalties generated by a version of "You've Made Me So Very Happy" which Blood Sweat and Tears brought to number 2 on the charts. A pioneer and an example to follow for African-American artists.
Saturday March 18th - Venue: Sala Gazteszena - 23.30h aprox. 22€ (Single Day Ticket)/ 36€ (Two-day Ticket)
The Contours will bring a perfect finishing touch to our own Mojo Workin R&B and Soul hall of fame. They will close the live performances on Saturday and surely they will dance to the whole room with its unequaled repertoire. The group that originated hits such as "Do You Love Me," "First I Look at the Purse" or "Shake Sherry" had the immense honor that their debut LP was the first LP ever published by Berry Gordy and Motown. In fact, such was the obsession with the band’s potential, that the legendary label owner eventually appropriated the rights to the band's name and consequentially made the original line-up split and replaced with other singers, leaving many of the original line-up recordings unreleased, including their second album.
In the early 1970s Joe Billingslea, the original founder of the band, would once again join the Contours this time away from the clutches of Gordy. In 1987 the group would return to be in everyone's mouth when "Do You Love Me" returned to be an international success thanks to the soundtrack of the film "Dirty Dancing". In fact, the song is one of the few cases in history in which a song has reached the number 1 of the American charts and has been able to repeat the success several decades later without a being released in a remixed format.
Thursday March 17th - venue: Sala Kluba - 20.30h aprox. 5€.
Archie Lee's songs are strongly influenced by his life! Born in Mississippi Archie later moved to Memphis, Tennessee. The bright lights and unique sounds of the city captured his imagination. As a teenager, Archie formed the gospel group, The Marvellous Five performing in and around Memphis, as well as in New Orleans.
The next important step in Archie Lee's career was when he moved to California to join his uncle, the legendary John Lee Hooker. John Lee became Archie's mentor and thought him all about the Blues. Both could often be seen performing together on stage and in the studio.
It was in 1995 when Archie Lee first toured Europe with Carl Wyatt and the Rhythm Kings, during this tour Archie and Carl hit the studio to record their first album “Suicide Blues”. To date Archie released another 4 albums with various artists, each of which gained great success. In winter of 2011 Archie Lee moved to Europe and resides in France ever since.
Wild Boogie Combo was born in 2007 as a duo with Hervé Loison (Guitar / Vocal) and Thierry Sellier (Drums). At the beginning, their repertoire was a mix Blues songs, some energetic Boogies as well as fifties rockabilly styled songs. A repertory where the influences of Bo Diddley, Hasil Adkins, Jerry Lee Lewis or Buddy Holly could be heard.
The band sound evolved deeply into the Blues and in 2012 an album inspired by artists like John Lee Hooker, Dr Ross or Lightnin Hopkins was released. Hervé Loison is Jake Calypso. He had long wanted this band as the other side to the Hillbilly and Rockabilly he plays as Jake Calypso & his Red Hot. Wild Boogie Combo had found their style: Blues Bopper, Country Blues and Gospel.
Friday March 17th - Venue: Sala Gazteszena - 21.30h aprox. 20€ (Single Day Ticket)/ 36€ (Two-Day Ticket)
Formed in late 2012 in Porto by some of the most prominent members of the Portuguese rock'n'roll scene, TT Syndicate have won in this short space a well-deserved fame of being an explosive band live. Their cocktail of musical influences has much of the sound of "big bands", adding to the mix a good dose of classic r&b, early soul and 60's beat in equal parts, to result in an exciting unique sound.
They have 3 released singles and their first LP is about to be released, but it is live where they have forged their befitting reputation. An exquisite stage presence with 7 impeccably dressed musicians, along with an overwhelming attitude that does not lack a sense of humor and self-confidence, are the credentials that we will be presented by TT Syndicate to open the Friday night of this year Mojo Workin'.
On Saturday to start the evening we will have one of the most respected groups playing original Jamaican sounds in the current European scene. Hailing from Barcelona, Soweto are one of those formations that everybody in the scene holds in esteem, not only for the length of their career and their very polished sound, but for the philosophy that they have carried on for more than for 15 years. Honoring a roots rhythm without forgetting where they come from. Jamaican music influenced with the sounds that reached the island in the sixties; black music in short.
With their participation last November at the 1st “One World Ska & Rocksteady Music Festival” in Kingston, they have become the first European group of Ska & Rocksteady to perform in Jamaica.
Soweto will also start 2017 with a new album under their arms, "Turn on the music again", an album in the line of their previous output that will see light of the day in April released by the Madrid label Liquidator Records. Do the ska!
Blas and Iker return to the Mojo Workin ', which we are very happy about. The former performed in the third edition of the festival together with his Junk Express in one of the concerts we remember with more fondly and the latter has been the official guitarist of the festival band in two editions. This time they will put an end to a 96-hour black music marathon in the best imaginable way, with a vermouth-time concert full of traditional blues that could have come straight from the Appalachian region of the United States.
Their recently released first album, "Heartbreaking Men", contains eight original tracks that faithfully reflect their musical skills and character, has recently seen the light of his first album. Piris had already demonstrated his genius as a guitarist, singer and composer in his works "My Time" (2012) and "Do It Yourself" (2014), bringing a vision and a sound of his own to the Blues scene. Picón has expressed his voice and harmonica in more than a dozen albums that reveal his personal sense of music, always looking for the essence and avoiding the imitations. With a repertoire composed of suggestive versions and original songs, they will offer us a dynamic and stimulating spectacle, destined to dynamite the prejudices of those who still think "blues is boring".