Friday, May 16, 2014

Mo' Mojo to radiate positivity at Hessler Street Fair

The Hessler Street Fair kicks off in University Circle this Saturday and Sunday. The fair, founded in 1969, has attracted body artists, drum circlers and positive vibes since its revival in 1995. Nineteen bands are expected to play this year, including the zydeco-cajun-blues outfit Mo’ Mojo. Frontwoman Jen Maurer spoke to us about how, on Sunday at 6:30, the band will jam in front of the sea of long hair and dresses for the first time in a few years. “I think we’re going to be the full eight band,” she says. “Eight members and quite a variety of instruments with fiddle and horns and rubboard and triangle and accordions and whatnot.”

CM: How did you guys come together?

JM: Well the band’s been together since ’95 in one formation or another, and everybody’s come differently. One of the guitar players, his dad was in the band, and now he’s in the band. And another guy caught my eye because he was dancing at one of our shows with my mother, and I thought that was really sweet so he ended up in the band. And another girl—her husband was in the band, and when they got divorced she stayed with the band when he left the band.

CM: You played the Hessler Street Fair before. What was that experience like?

JM: Oh, it was fun. Hessler’s a party. No doubt about it. Crazy party. It’s awesome.

CM: Do you know Carlos Jones? [Jones and his P.L.U.S. Band headline Sunday night at 7:30.]

JM: Yeah. I subbed in his band on bass. His guitar player, Dan, has been a sub for us before. Now we actually share a drummer. If there’s one frontman in all of Cleveland I think that I admire the most, it’s probably Carlos.

CM: So you released an album in 2010 and another one in 2012?

JM: We actually have one—I would say it’s about 70 percent done—that we’re hoping to do sometime this summer. Possibly we’re going to call it We All Got The Same. We like to have positive and fun songs, and so “We All Got The Same” kind of encapsulates the same sort of spirit as “Together In Love We Drown,” which is our second album—just that “we’re all connected” kind of thing.

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