Band eases you onto the roller coaster |

Band eases you onto the roller coaster

Autumn Phillips
° Mama's Cookin' ° 10 p.m. today and Saturday ° The Tugboat Grill & Pub in Ski Time Square ° $5 ° 879-7070

The album starts off with the sound of a needle dropping onto a record. The record starts to a pop and crackle, and a slide guitar rolls into the mix. The next thing you expect is the sound of an old man singing the blues. Instead, you’re immediately reminded that you aren’t listening to a record at all. You are listening to a CD that was released last summer by a bunch of young guys from Gunnison.

The first track eases you into Mama’s Cookin’ with some delta blues, but by the end of the record, the band has taken you on a roller coaster ride of musical genres — one minute hip-hop, another minute disco, the next minute a late-night, fire-breathing drum circle.

° Mama’s Cookin’ ° 10 p.m. today and Saturday ° The Tugboat Grill & Pub in Ski Time Square ° $5 ° 879-7070

The mix is the brainchild of a band of Western State College jazz program grads, led by singer and guitarist Zeb Early.

Early is the smooth-voiced disc jockey of Crested Butte’s Monday night radio show, “Five Gallon Bucket of Blues.” (The show airs at 6:30 p.m. and can be streamed over the Internet on

“Being a deejay, I have access to so many different styles of music,” Early said. “It helps out with the band. We’re all influenced by so many different styles of music, and we’re conscious of how we let our set list flow.”

You will find yourself moving from blues to a freestyle hip-hop piece via some lounge music.

People who frequent the local music scene may remember Mama’s Cookin’ from gigs it played at Mahogany Ridge or from a free show it played last summer at Slopeside.

Its live shows are dance-oriented, mixing a list of mostly original songs with covers of songs by Led Zeppelin, The Diggable Planets, Stevie Wonder and The Meters.

“We just try to rock the show,” Early said. “We try to keep the crowd engaged. We have our own sound that’s a fusion of different styles. We’ll have a hip-hop beat with a funky clavinet keyboard that’s reminiscent of Stevie Wonder, and I’ll sing my own lyrics over that.

“I think it’s original. We’re not trying to sound like something. We just do what feels comfortable.”

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