Celebrate Mardi Gras in Steamboat with New Orleans funk ensemble Brother Joscephus and the Love Revolution | SteamboatToday.com

Celebrate Mardi Gras in Steamboat with New Orleans funk ensemble Brother Joscephus and the Love Revolution

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — At a Brother Joscephus and the Love Revolution show, a musical revival ensues.

Equipped with gumbo rhythms, rock and old school funk, this charismatic band is rooted in the New Orleans music scene — one that knows how to celebrate Mardi Gras true to tradition.

On Saturday, the 12-piece band will take the stage in Gondola Square at 3 p.m. to headline the Steamboat Mardi Gras festival as part of this winter's Rock the Boat Concert Series lineup

David Mendelsohn, aka Brother Joscephus himself, and Dean Fransen, known as Dean Dawg, started the group in 2007 as an international music collective and have performed with more than 200 musicians all over the world. They bring an energetic horns section to create a half-party, half-parade spectacle with colored lights and dancers.

Whether covering disco oldies like "Good Time" or hits like "Mr. Blue Sky," the ensemble is known for bringing together people of all ages to "laissez les bons temps rouler," the Cajun French phrase meaning "Let the good times roll."

Earlier this week, Explore Steamboat caught up with Mendelsohn as the group prepares for its Steamboat appearance.

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Explore Steamboat: How did you get into this style of music?

David Mendelsohn: The original concept of the band was formed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival checking out the Gospel Tent. Having never really been exposed to that music in a live setting, I thought it would be cool to capture the spirit and sound of that music but eschew the religious message that was always linked to it. "Secular Gospel" seemed like a good idea. From there, my co-founder Dean Fransen and I took the ball and ran with it. And voila, the Love Revolution was born.


ES: Had you always wanted to be a musician? Who or what inspired you to become a musician?

DM: I grew up in the '70s and '80s listening to the great classic rock groups like the Beatles, Elton John and Billy Joel. My parents weren't musical at all, but my brother and I used to sing along and harmonize to the music from an early age. I picked up guitar when I was about 12 years old, and it's been a lifelong journey ever since.


ES: What do you hope to accomplish through your music? What is the takeaway messages that you hope transcend to the audiences through the music?

DM: We do have a very clear message that we've been preaching since the beginning. The tenets of the secular gospel movement is captured best in our song, "Revolution of Love" from our 2013 release of the same name. "Let's accept that we're different, forget the wars our fathers made, keep a sense of humor, do something kind every day." If the whole world can start with that, I think we'd be a lot better off than where we are now.


ES: What do you think it is about your live show that makes it memorable and unique and resonate with people so much?

DM: Our live show has always been very interactive, very upbeat, very high energy. We want people to feel like it's Fat Tuesday of Mardi Gras every time they see BroJo.


ES: What's unique about music or bands that originated from New Orleans? Music from there just seems like it has its own distinct sound.

DM: New Orleans is one of the most unique places in the world. Where else in the world can you have a legitimate influential genre for both music and food that's associated with just a city? It's always been a melting pot for European, American, French and Caribbean cultures. The result is an undeniably unique gumbo of influences of historical significance. Spreading New Orleans music and honoring its authenticity is something we take great joy and pride in.


ES: Do you have a favorite venue or memory of a show you played?

DM: Our first trip outside of New York City when we were a young band was to New Orleans for Jazz Fest in 2009. Bought a van, drove 25 hours straight, holed up at a little spot on the eastern edge of the French Quarter, and we played 13 shows in 12 days, set up anywhere we could and I sang myself completely hoarse. Amazing memories.

If you go…

What: Rock the Boat Concert Series: Brother Joscephus and the Love Revolution

When: 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10

Where: Steamboat Stage in Gondola Square