Photos and Review by Jeff Palmucci
There was a whole bunch of mojo at Off the Rails in Worcester last Friday, where Blacktop Mojo and openers Ten Ton Mojo put on a show.
Off the Rails is new, smaller venue located near the DCU center and a couple of blocks away from the Palladium. It is split between a southern inspired restaurant on one side, and that night at least, a southern inspired rock show on the other.
This was my first time shooting there, and although I didn’t try the food, the music hall had a pretty nice setup to it. A pretty large bar along the back complimented a roped off seating area on the left side of the stage and a large general admission area.
Ten Ton Mojo started off the night, and really impressed. From their opening chord, the New York-based band brought a certain intensity and energy to the stage that captivated the crowd. Their heavy guitar riffs and raw, soulful vocals were reminiscent of classic hard rock, but with a modern twist that kept things fresh and exciting. The crowd clearly appreciated their unique sound, as they received a raucous applause after each song. Their new EP “Rebel Heart Gypsy Soul” has just been released, and if you want a sample, you should definitely give “Easy Come Easy Go” a listen.
After a short intermission, it was time for the headliner of the night: Blacktop Mojo. This Texas-based band has been creating quite a buzz with their unique blend of rock, country, and blues, and it was clear why as soon as they took the stage. Lead singer Matt James had a commanding presence, his powerful vocals filling the room and captivating the audience. He was backed by some extremely talented musicians, with Chuck Wepfer and Malcolm Booher handling the guitar duties, Matt Curtis on the bass, and Nathan Gillis pounding away on the drums.
They definitely had a bunch of local fans that night. These lovely ladies were huge fans, seeing them several times. “And, he pronounces Worcester right!” they pointed out. No small feat for a band from Texas.
One highlight of the night was when Matt took to the stage solo on guitar for a rendition of “House of the Rising Sun.” The band joined in after a few verses, adding a heavy, bluesy undertone that gave the classic song a new life. It was a mesmerizing moment that showcased Blacktop Mojo’s musical versatility and talent.
For anyone who loves a blend of rock and blues, with a heavy dose of southern influence, Blacktop Mojo is a must-see. If you didn’t catch them at Off the Rails, make sure to keep an eye out for their next tour dates. You won’t be disappointed.