“New Glatitude” – A Review of Mojo Collins’ New Album
New Glatitude – Mojo Collins Latest Album Highlights Music and Skill
Over his career Mojo Collins has probably played just about every kind of music there is: psychedelic, rock, jazz, blues, you name it. In a career spanning 65 years, there are examples of Mojo playing playing it all, and playing it really well.
He wandered far and wide gaining experience and musical knowledge, but eventually, his love for where it all started came full circle brought him home. He learned to play sitting at his daddy’s knees in North Carolina and what he learned was the blues.
That is what he plays now.
But what sets him apart from just about every other blues artist is his understanding that the blues is way more than three chords repeated over and over again. What he knows is that the blues can be an intricate and complex style of music that incorporates elements of jazz, maybe a little swing and a touch of rock.
The understanding of what makes the blues such a powerful form of music is what creates the genius of his newest recording New Glatitude.
From the first notes of the title track there is no doubt this is an album worth listening to, and listening to more than once.
The guitar work is crisp, clean and matches the music perfectly. Recorded in New Orleans, Mojo was able to bring some remarkably talented musicians to work with him, and the arrangements highlight some excellent saxophone work and rhythms that emphasize where the songs are going. The result is music that is at once challenging but easy on the ears.
Mojo has a a few hundred songs to his credit. Because of that, over the years he’s become a lyricist of considerable skill and his ability to turn a phrase adds to the appeal of the songs.
“I got a brand new glatitude,” he sings. “I’m feeling almost brand new…”
Although the songs come from Collins’ blues roots, they are not pure blues. Rather, the songs are a blending of styles, so a song like “When Love Gets a Hold On You” has a little bit of a swing era jazz feel to it.
The lyrics also recall the feeling of swing era phrases, creating images as they recount the story of
“There ain’t nothin’ a mortal human being can do
When love gets a hold on you…”
The songs Collins writes showcase his talent on the guitar. His style is so smooth and effortless, and the quality of what he is playing enhances the overall arrangement of the piece.
There are two instrumental compositions on the release that demonstrate the versatility and skill of his guitar work.
Raynor Shine—which is undoubtedly a tribute to his grandson, pro surfer Bo Raynor—is a beautiful, lyrical ballad featuring Mojo on acoustic guitar.
In Cajun Funk, the band is rocking out and Mojo is in the lead, his guitar wailing through a wawa pedal. It’s a song that gets toes tapping and muscles twitching ready to dance.
He wraps up the recording with Blue Eyes Crying, a wonderful cross between blues and swing. It’s a love song, but a love song with a bit of a twist and reminder of Mojo Collin’s roots.
“When I’ve done you wrong and
It turns into a blues song
And those blue eyes start to cry.”