Founded in 2012 and hailing from Palestine, TX Blacktop Mojo are out touring across the US and they recently made a stop at El Corazon in Seattle. The band is currently on tour in support of their latest release, Burn the Ships.
Blacktop Mojo is made up of Matt James (vocals), Nathan Gillis (drums), Ryan Kiefer (lead guitar), Matt Curtis (bass) and Chuck Wepfer (guitar) and they brand themselves as a hard-driving Southern Rock band with a fiery blend of post-grunge, classic rock and metal.
“We come from a small town where there’s not a heck of a lot to do” explained James when describing their hometown. “We would spend our time on the back roads – we would go out to the middle of nowhere, drink beer and whiskey, crank the music and basically kill time. Since we come from small town, though we are a rock band, we would have to play gigs in country bars to help get our name out there and get recognized. We covered a good amount of country tunes, and we’d throw in originals in the mix. We slowly built up a following, which allowed us all to quit our jobs, allowed us to focus on writing and recording, as well as getting out and play more shows.” James also went on to say, “If it weren’t for Blacktop Mojo, I would have probably finished up school and became a doctor”.
“Plus, the great thing about being able to get out and tour, is that we probably would have never been able to travel around the country. We get to check out new cities and make new friends” continued James. “The only drawback is being away from our loved ones”.
Though it was a thin crowd, the band played as if they were playing is a sold out arena. The band wanted to make sure that everyone got their money’s worth, and judging by the reaction of those who made their way to the venue, Blacktop Mojo succeeded by putting on a solid and stellar performance.
Getting their set started with the title track of their latest, Burn the Ship, the band proceeded to deliver close to ninety minutes of great rock and roll. “Trouble on the Rise”, “Sweat” and “Open Road” went over well with members of the audience fist pumping and singing along with James, who’s voice is phenomenal and sounds incredible live. Kiefer, Curtis and Wepfer were in constant motion, making their way from one side of the stage to the other.
With a sensational acoustic version of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight”, James and Curtis had everyone in the audience join them at the front of the stage to join in by singing the chorus along with James. The band went back to getting heavy and got to rocking out by performing “Pyromaniac”, “Where the Wind Blows” and “Shadows”. The band finished out their set with an awesome rendition of “Dream On” by Aerosmith. “We have always loved this song and we thought doing a cover of Dream On would be a fun challenge” James went on to say regarding Blacktop Mojo’s decision to record the class Aerosmith song. “We wanted to put some material out to give our fans something as they waited for us to put out our new record. Lots of people have been loving our version of Dream On and the video has a ton of views on YouTube.”
In support was Locust Grove, a high energy rock band which call Oklahoma City as their home. They are made up of Zain Smith (guitar / vocals), Vincent Charles Lindstrom (guitar), Quentin Williams (bass) and Joey Mandigo (drums) and the put on a close to an hour long set that was fire from beginning to end.
Burn The Ships
Trouble of the Rise
In the Air (Phil Collins cover)
Where the Wind Blows
It Won’t Last
Dream On (Aerosmith cover)
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