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    Winner in 3 separate categories of The JEA AWARDS for BEST BLUES BAND, BEST BLUES VOCALIST & BEST ENTERTAINERS for three years running Mojo Phoenix is a band that is fully dedicated to the tradition of the Blues while bringing to it their own individual personality and style. They cover a broad range of tunes within the genre, from rockin' Chicago-style Blues, boogie and shuffles to wailin' torch songs. Although they continue to respect and perform the classics when requested, much of their material is original and/or carefully chosen to reflect their unique persona. They seek to perform a repertoire that is different than what the average “Blues” band offers. This often includes songs that are playful, slightly naughty, humorous or all three. The individual members are fully integrated into a cooperative unit that regularly achieves a sound greater than the sum of its parts. They obviously enjoy playing together and this engenders a good feeling that invests both the music and the enjoyment level of the audience. They have developed a following of very dedicated fans and their continued enthusiasm indicates that their greatest work is still ahead of them. Lead singer/keyboardist/harmonica player Cindy Hayden knows how to engage an audience and makes them feel like they are part of the show. The band has been very well received throughout mid-Michigan in major Blues clubs such as: Jambalayas (Lansing), Snickkers On Main (Battlecreek), Memphis Smoke (Royale Oak), The Tap Room (Ypsilanti), Dino's (Dearborn), The Jackson Brewery (Jackson) and The Green Door (Lansing). They were a notable highpoint of several Old Town Blues Festivals in Lansing, rocked the 2010 Kalamazoo Blues Festival and have just released their ninth self-produced CD. 2010 has seen the band limiting the number of appearances at smaller venues because of outside projects but they really have tightened the group sound more than ever and raised the intensity of their LIVE performances to a new level. If you haven't seen them in a while, do yourself a favor and check out The Mojo Phoenix Blues Band

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Lead singer Cindy Hayden , sometimes referred to as the Dominatrix of the Blues, drives her band relentlessly, forcing them to play in all kinds of bizarre situations for practically no pay at all. She arrives in style cruising up in the famously luxurious Mojo Phoenix Tour Bus while the rest of the band straggles along behind using whatever means they can manage; even (ughh!) public transport!!. Each unfortunate member of her band lives in near-poverty conditions and dreads the inevitable moment when they'll receive "The Look" while performing at some backwoods voodoo sacrifice or dog fight. Even her audience seems to attend her concerts out of some perceived threat - perhaps the fear of a visit from her Mojo goon squad in the dead of night.

Regardless, her shows are lively affairs that are well-received by the press and unsuspecting public. She makes it all seem like fun and games, but just below the deceivingly warm exterior lies a heart and mind of a synchopathic blues woman. It's been rumored that her wonderful singing voice and fiery harp playing were gained as a result of some secret "deal" with a mysterious horned stranger. Her apparent good nature and pleasant demeanor allow her to glide through life without a care despite her malevalent nature and shriveled heart. Without her, the band would dissipate like an awful but slowly fading nightmare. But the unholy truth is Cindy Hayden is Mojo Phoenix and there's nothing you or anyone can do to help.

Leslie Drake , master of the "unvoiced chord" and the vacant stare has played "air guitar" for years with various ghost bands, and now that someone has, foolishly, loaned him an real instrument to hold, he is more convincing than ever. He struts and spins across the stage as though he has some business there, his cape flaring out behind him. He strums, beats and hammers his stringless guitar into submission, while dancing to the beat of some unheard and and truly horrific drummer. He is, reportedly, saving money to buy a set of strings one day, which is a source of some consternation for his bandmates. Believing, each time, that he will actually be paid, he projects a sense of optimism that is unsettling for his more seasoned rhythm section cohorts. He spins, he leaps, he stumbles and eventually crashes, to the delight of his one fan (known only as "Mom"). At the end of his solos, he always manages to step (or fall) on the applause switch and an invisible crowd goes mad with wave after wave of canned (yet somehow anemic) adoration. Mojo Phoenix is fortunate that Leslie can get weekend passes and join their performances. He helps to deflect a small portion of the humiliation from his colleagues and is thus a most welcome member.

    Drummer Mike Huizenga is a farce to be reckoned with on stage as he uses all five limbs independently, often playing an unrelated song with each one. A major event at any Mojo performance is the frightening moment that Mike's restraints are removed by his heavily insured handlers, and he staggers onto the bandstand. Any technique is only hinted at as he disengages all conscious thought and head-butts the music right in the vitals. Only in the business for the free drink tickets and complimentary meals, Mike still manages to intimidate each of his fellow Mojo members with his full out, take-no-prisoners assault on the music. Oblivious to the rest of the band, he's a whirling dervish that shows no mercy as he smashes his way into the hearts of mocking adolescent fans.

    Tom Fuller plays the bass, and quite wonderfully, too. His fingers fly over the fretboard with the deft skill of a..... well, a washroom attendant. To his credit he doesn't waste tears bemoaning the fact that life has led him down the success ladder to this most lowly position. His immense talent would doubtless be better suited to performing in the finest concert halls or fronting the grandest symphonic orchestras. This self-sacrificing saintly man makes even the simplest bass lines sound like impossible feats of complexity, yet all-the-while never betrays his long suffering. Only the merest quiver of a noble and perfectly formed lip, gives him away.

By the way, "Tom Fuller" is, of course, a stage name which he uses because his real name is so utterly plain: Styles Bitchly.

Nevertheless, here is a man who could have achieved anything had life not dealt him such a terrible hand. If only someone had taken the time to show him how to tune the damn bass.

    This, then, is Mojo Phoenix ... It's not just a band. It's a gig.
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