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Mojomama members reflect on 20 years of rockin’

The Longmont group released its seventh album "We Are One" this summer

Members of Mojomama, from left, Bob Murnahan, Jessica Rogalski, Colin Brown and Paul Rogalski, perform at Nissi’s in Lafayette in May. (Gretchen Troop — Courtesy Photo)
Members of Mojomama, from left, Bob Murnahan, Jessica Rogalski, Colin Brown and Paul Rogalski, perform at Nissi’s in Lafayette in May. (Gretchen Troop — Courtesy Photo)
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For two decades, Mojomama has been rocking venues throughout the Front Range with scorching sets melding blues, funk, soul and unadulterated rock.

Jessica and Paul Rogalski, of Mojomama, perform at eTown Hall in Boulder in February 2019. (Michael Mark/Courtesy photo)
Jessica and Paul Rogalski, of Mojomama, perform at eTown Hall in Boulder in February 2019. (Michael Mark — Courtesy Photo)

The Longmont-based quartet — formed by married couple Paul and Jessica Rogalski — has put out seven original albums since 2002 and has managed to rack up a number of awards.

From lead singer Jessica Rogalski taking home the title of Colorado Blues Society’s Favorite Female Vocalist two times to the group earning the honor of Best Band in 2018, the accolades continue to roll in.

The band’s latest release, “We Are One,” is a 12-track collection of spine-tingling grooves, infectious basslines, fierce drumming and tight musicianship all set ablaze by Jessica Rogalski’s thunderous vocals.

Jessica Rogalski and drummer Colin Brown, of Mojomama, perform at the Spring Walkabout in Longmont in April 2022. (Dona Laurita/Courtesy photo)
Jessica Rogalski and drummer Colin Brown, of Mojomama, perform at the Spring Walkabout in Longmont in April. (Dona Laurita — Courtesy Photo)

When not playing gigs, The Rogalskis can be found sharing the love of music with students. The couple teaches lessons out of their studio, Mojo’s Music Academy, at 350 Terry St. in Longmont.

We caught up with Paul and Jessica Rogalski to find out more about their musical journey, who they long to share the stage with and what Colorado venue they hope to one day book.

Kalene McCort: When you and Jessica formed Mojomama in 2002, did you ever imagine the band would have such staying power and make music for 20 years?

Paul Rogalski: To be honest, I knew Jessica was the right one to make music with, and we both had a lot of ideas to share with each other. It feels great realizing we’ve been making music together for 20 years, and I still love what we are doing.

KM: You have such a powerhouse voice. What age did you feel the call to sing, and who were some female artists you admired growing up?

Jessica Rogalski, of Mojomama, belts out a song during the Spring Walkabout, in Longmont, in April 2022. (Dona Laurita/Courtesy photo)
Jessica Rogalski, of Mojomama, belts out a song during the Spring Walkabout, in Longmont, in April 2022. (Dona Laurita/Courtesy photo)

Jessica Rogalski: I started taking voice lessons when I was in first grade. I studied private lessons throughout my entire life. My first professional band was an all-female rock band in college called London Underground. My parents encouraged my love of music. I also played violin and piano, but singing was always my strong suit.

At home, the stereo was always on. I grew up listening to ‘70s folk rock of Crosby, Stills and Nash; the Eagles; Joni Mitchell and the Beatles. I really loved the female rockers like Ann Wilson of Heart and Pat Benatar as a teenager. The blues introduced me to Koko Taylor and Bonnie Raitt and Aretha Franklin. I became a vocal instructor and music teacher hoping to pass on my love for music and performing. My husband and bandmate Paul and I own Mojo’s Music Academy, in Longmont, since 2007. Music is our life.

Jessica and Paul Rogalski, of Mojomama, perform at Nissi's in Lafayette in May 2022. (Gretchen Troop/Courtesy photo)
Jessica and Paul Rogalski, of Mojomama, perform at Nissi’s in Lafayette in May. (Gretchen Troop — Courtesy Photo)

KM: I’m enjoying the latest album. What would you say inspired many of the tracks on “We Are One,” and do you both work together during the songwriting process?

PR: Over the lockdown, I was watching music documentaries and became inspired to write some tunes in the flavor of the artist. There is a ZZ Top-inspired tune as well as a Stanley-Clarke-meets-Pink-Floyd vibe in there as well.

A lot of times, I will lay down a bass and drum idea and see if Jessica finds it inspiring to sing over. Then it also runs the other way as she will come in with a chord progression, melody and lyrics, and I help strengthen the groove of the song. So, yes, we definitely work together on the process.

KM: I know you’ve shared the stage with Susan Tedeschi, but are there any other musicians you’d like to have the opportunity to collaborate with?

JR: I would love to collaborate with Susan again, also Daniel Nicole and Samantha Fish are some favorites on the blues scene. It was such an honor to sing with my friend Susan Tedeschi back in 2009 just before they formed Tedeschi Trucks Band. She is such an inspiring artist and is trailblazing for the rest of us. Her career is so long and storied, Tedeschi Trucks Band is at the pinnacle of success today. She and Paul have been friends since 1985 back in the Boston area where they grew up.

I have collaborated with awarding-winning blues artists like Janiva Magness in 2019. Before the pandemic I was booking the Women UP festival featuring Mojomama, Janiva Magness and my local favorites Kerry Pastine and Cass Clayton Band. We played the Brighton Armory and a sold-out show at eTown Hall in Boulder on February 28, 2020. Little did we know that (the coronavirus pandemic) would bring our music careers to a screeching halt. However, the gigs are flowing now —and in retrospect, it is a viable and interesting idea I plan to continue into the future.

Mojomama rocks out at The Elks Lodge, in Longmont, during The Spring Walkabout in April 2022. Mojomama is one of a dozen acts performing at the free Rhythm on the River festival in Longmont, taking place Friday and Saturday. Mojomama takes the Grove Stage, on Saturday, at 7 p.m. (Dona Laurita/Courtesy photo)
Mojomama rocks out at the Elks Lodge in Longmont during the Spring Walkabout in April. Mojomama is one of a dozen acts performing at the free Rhythm on the River festival in Longmont, taking place Friday and Saturday. Mojomama takes the Grove Stage at 7 p.m. Saturday. (Dona Laurita — Courtesy Photo)

KM: Any future goals you’d like to see take shape for Mojomama in the near future?

PR: I would love to see Mojomama get to that next level of opening for national acts at the larger venues around Colorado. Possibly get connected to a management company that can help us achieve these goals. I’ve done everything myself up till this point. I really want to play at Red Rocks


Mojomama’s upcoming shows:

Aug. 6, 6 p.m., Dacono Music and Spirits Festival, Centennial Field in DaconoAug. 13, 5 p.m., Left Hand Brewing Beer Garden in LongmontAug. 20, 6 p.m., HogaBluesa in AllensparkAug. 26, 7 p.m., The Loveland Foundry Outdoor Concert Series in Downtown LovelandSept. 3, 6:30 p.m., Oskar Blues in Longmont, (outside stage)Sept. 10, 8 p.m., The Press in Steamboat SpringsOct. 1, Blues on the Mesa, at Gold Hill Mesa Community Center in Colorado SpringsOct. 7, 7 p.m., The Wheel House in NiwotDec. 3, 6 p.m. Bootstrap Brewing Company in Longmont

 

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