There are so few bands today that can capture your mind, your heart and your imagination all at once in what would appear to be a simple song. To do it several times in one release, well that will take a type of magic, I suppose. In this case, it just took some Blacktop Mojo.
Formed in the fall of 2012, vocalist Matt James teamed up with drummer Nathan Gillis and a demo and hit the road. 5 years later they found themselves opening up for one of the biggest 80s rock bands in Bon Jovi just last month in Dallas, TX.
Starting off “Where the Wind Blows”, their brand new release, is the title track and right off the bat you’re introduced to the strength and power of Matt’s voice. By the time we get to Burn the Ships, this party has definitely started. You’re rockin, you’re into it, horns up several times by now and you’re beginning to get into this band you decided to take a chance on.
This Blacktop Mojo.
The complexities of the life behind the music you’re listening to can get lost at times. You wind up fitting your life into that song, or that song into your life. But some songs just reach out and pull you into their story and you see it unfold before your eyes. “Prodigal” is nothing short of amazing and something any dreamer can relate to. In this story we go from the lonely boy down a dirt path to Icarus references in a natural stride of emotional progressions with a refusal to give up on our own chosen roads.
Shadows on the Wall is yet another direction for the band. Slow and deliberate and with a sense of purpose is the best way to describe it. In fact, each song shows another side of the band that finds its core in a gritty rock and roll style with powerful vocals that narrate the story so well.
Dog on a Leash has a sense of old west southern outlaw from start to finish and the start of the song? Classic.
Speaking of “classic”, the job Matt James does on Aerosmith’s Dream On is spot on
Wrapping up this incredible release from a strong up and coming band is a simple acoustic song called Underneath. By now a few simple facts of this band should be very clear. Honest gritty emotional storytelling with an edge of experiences thrown in we can all relate to. Underneath is no different. I could spend the evening telling you how I feel about it but that’s not nearly as important as how *you* will feel when done listening to a breath of fresh air that still somehow carries memories.
Blacktop Mojo, people.
Matt James – Vocals
Nathan Gillis – Drums
Ryan Kiefer – Lead Guitar
Kenneth Irwin – Rhythm Guitar
Matt Curtis – Bass