How would you like your mojo, if you could have it made to order? Scrambled, over-easy, maybe poached … what about green?
Just as green eggs don’t sound strange in the imaginary world of Dr. Seuss—in the musical world of local outfit Mojo Green, that’s also the unconventional color of choice, used to describe the band’s inherent instrumental sexiness.
So while traditionally you might think of your mojo coming in, say, a warmer hue, when singer Jenes Carter prances onstage and grabs the mic in a little black dress and sky high heels showcasing her Olympian-toned legs, and asks that very question of you, don’t be afraid to think outside the box for the answer. Of course, she’ll gladly fill in the blank herself if you get shy: “Green!”
With an unconventional name, comes an unconventional line-up. The current members, who’ve been a staple on the Reno jam scene for four years, are about as eclectic as they come, in both musical preferences and style. There are no costumes—no coordinated dance moves. Just a shared love of music and what it means to each individually.
“It’s church,” says drummer Frank Fletcher, a.k.a. Fletch. “It’s therapy. It’s my bliss.”
For guitarist and founder Tim Bain, it’s always been about the dream. “I was a guitar player with a vision of horn-driven funk,” he says of his inspiration for starting Mojo, which, despite going through a few line-up changes, has never been known by any other name—and they all agree the current arrangement smells the sweetest.
“We pull from each other,” says Carter of their chemistry.
“We build each other up and help one another grow as musicians,” Bain says.
And grow they have, not only in skill, but in member count and audience accessibility as well. In the first two years of the band, there were no vocals, no lead singer, just a couple of guys with instruments jamming it out.
But what the band was rocking instrumentally, particularly its solid horn section provided by Trevor Hollingsworth, a.k.a. “T-Rex,” Monty Adams, and Kevin Thomas, it was lacking in its namesake sex appeal. Where was the mojo?
“Once we met Jenes, it was all over.” Bain concedes of an Earth Day performance during which Carter joined the band onstage for some impromptu free styling.
“We had to find someone who could feel the mojo!” Thomas says, of Carter, whose innate ability to channel some green was undeniable.
“They lured me in,” Carter agrees with a grin.
Jenes brought to the mix a soulful R&B vocal strength, accompanied by spitfire energy and sashaying hips that get even the older members of the audience swaying back and forth. Her presence pulls the crowd to the stage like bees to honey.
“That’s the first instrument people are inclined to,” bassist and back-up vocalist Trevor Rice says of the power of vocals.
With the member count continually rising, one might worry there are a few too many cooks in the kitchen, particularly when it comes to the songwriting process and getting everyone’s input in the pot. But this is where the band’s complimentary mojo once again comes into play.
“There’s creative freedom, [but] with seven members writing music, we always try everything out.” Bain says.
As for what gets to stick? Let’s just say, the mojo rules.
“If you play it and you get a rush,” Carter says. “[Then] we drop it like it’s hot.”