"If you're looking for that metaphorical blues pot o' gold at the end of your rainbow, then you can call off that search right now, kick back and get rich off the spoils thrown down by Brisbane's Mojo Webb. To use a cliché, Webb would have to be one of Queensland's, and also Australia's, best kept secrets. For 15 years, the 32-year-old Webb has been the purveyor of some of the sharpest blues, both electric and acoustic, solo and with a band, that you'll see coming out of this country. And not only on guitar, but harmonica, drums and sax too, overlaid with a vocal reminiscent of Delta bluesmen of old. Let it be said right here, Mojo got the flow flow."
THE BURDEN ALBUM REVIEWS
"Brisbane has never been renowned for spawning quality blues artists, but Mojo Webb's The Burden could change all that. From the blistering opening riff of 'A Man Like Me' to the swinging horns of closer 'The Butterfly', The Burden features some of the most authentic sounding blues tracks composed anywhere in recent times. Webb showcases his aptitude on bass, drums, sax and harmonica, but really shines with his wailing guitar and voice that ranges from the most gut-wrenching of screams, as heard in the title track, to the oddly sweet croon of 'Two'.
While 14 tracks may seem like something of a marathon, Webb has used a diverse enough range of blues styles to keep the sound interesting throughout the record. For example, 'Telephone Blues' has all the grit of a T Model Ford song, while 'The Butterfly' hints at the sound of a less indulgent Ornette Coleman.
As far as blues records go, this is just about as good as it gets.
In fact, it almost soothes the pain of the loss of so many blues greats
over the past year. But who would've thought a record this good would
come from a 32-year-old skinny white guy from Brisbane?"
"Scintillating one-man show...There's more to blues than 12 bars of whining. Even when it's as old school as Mojo Webb, there's room for jazz, funk, and bluegrass. Your stereo's not distorting - just his signature overdriven vocal that could give Ray Charles a run for his money.
On the title track you here him howling at the Devil, Blind-Boys-style. A Man Like Me has a killer slide with enough variation to keep interest. Varying it up with a funkier groove and more relaxed singing on Two, a back-up chorus created nice texture here.
Playing everything on this warm and dirty 14-tracker including saxophone, guitar, harmonica, bass and drums, Mojo also wrote, arranged, recorded, mixed, and produced the whole damn thing. Butterfly is a classy instrumental jazz number with more of Webb's saxophone and guitar work... Tones-ville. Whisky anyone?"
22 Nov 2005
" A riveting, well focussed, mature and self-assured debut from this amazing talent. Mojo Webb's grainy yet soaring vocals will rip your heart out and tear it to shreds, but you won't even notice, 'cause the rest of your body will still be boogyin' to the fattest blues grooves an iPod/CD/mp3 player can hold.
And of course he's even better live. More than a decade of below-the-radar gigs from Australia to London and Thailand have prepared Mojo for his assault on the Oz Roots music scene. Audience reaction so far suggests the public is now eager and ready to embrace the World of Mojo Webb. Take a hit yourself and see if you're up to it."
'Nothin But The Blues'
National Community Radio Network
"This is a recording that needs to be heard not just State wide but World wide... You will be transported to a world of passion, emotive depth, astonishment, awe and sheer joy..."
The Newsletter of the Blues Association of South East Queensland Inc.
" We've been waiting a long, long time for this album. For years we've been traipsing down to the Pineapple Hotel on a Friday night to groove to the Mojo magic, only to go home empty-handed. And we've needed something to sustain us when Mojo has been in Thailand for months on end, perfecting his craft and entertaining the locals. Finally, The Burden is here - fourteen songs, all original and every lick, note and vocal performed by Mojo himself!
Mojo first came to the attention of Brisbane punters when he took up the post of guitarist for Buzz and the Blues Band in 1992, a spot he filled for six years. Though his work with Buzz was impressive by any standard, it's as front man he really came into his own. When you're there at a performance, you have to wonder how one performer can be so impossibly talented as a singer, guitarist and harp player. He pours bittersweet emotion in every note and he fills the stage with the intensity of its expression. Listen to the album and you also learn he's quite a sax player, bassist and drummer, too!
Without a shadow of a doubt, The Burden has been well worth the wait. These songs are well-crafted and intelligent with a groove too deep to jump over. And of course Mojo's musicianship is consummate (on every instrument). Most musicians attain a certain proficiency on just one. Mojo has nailed them all. The harp warbles, crackles and wails through the album. You'd be hard-pressed to find Mojo's equal on this instrument anywhere in the country. And that voice, where the hell does that come from? Passionate, poignant and exquisitely emotive. If I could write as well as Mojo could sing, this would be one kick-arse review!
The album opens with the rollicking A Man Like Me and the album doesn't let up until finished some fifty minutes later. Right Away is another favourite but really, there are no duds here. This album is rare in that in some ways it's very traditional blues but Mojo has really taken it somewhere. It's really old and really new all at the same time. Mojo has been a serious student of the blues but he's no imitator. All that and the album looks good too "
A publication of the Blues Association of South East Queensland
25 Nov 2005