Como Mamas (USA)
Sisters Angelia Taylor and Della Daniels have been singing with their friend Ester Mae Smith since they were all children in the Mt. Mariah Baptist Church in Como, Mississippi. If the name of that town sounds familiar—and given Como’s population of less than 1500 people, it probably doesn’t—it’s likely because of the quiet impact that Como has made on music history: Mississippi Fred McDowell grew up nearby, Luther Perkins of Johnny Cash’s Tennessee Two called it home, and Jimbo Mathus of Squirrel Nut Zippers has run a studio there since 2007.
Angelia, Della, and Ester – who go by The Como Mamas – are the latest group to hail from the small town forty-five miles south of Memphis, but unlike their predecessors, their music careers feel largely accidental. Back in 2006, Daptone Records set up shop at Mt. Mariah and recorded anyone who came along. The Como Mamas made such a strong impression on the resulting compilation, 2008’s Como Now: The Voices of Panola County, Mississippi, that in 2013 they ended up cutting an entire album of gospel songs for the New York label, the acapella Get an Understanding. When their label invited them to sing at the Daptone Super Soul Revue in December of 2015, they stuck around for a week and laid down an album at Daptone’s House of Soul in Brooklyn. The result is Move Upstairs, a heavy set of grooving, shaking gospel. “We get so happy in spite of all our toils and cares,” they sing, and every word of that line rings true.
Ester Mae Smith – vocals
Della Daniels – vocals
Angelia Taylor – vocals
Jake Fussel – guitar
Wallace Lester – drums
Joanna Knitter Blues&Folk Connection (PL)
– live broadcast on Polish Radio Three in Jan Chojnacki’s show “Bielszy odcień bluesa”
Blues & Folk Connection is a project that draws from the traditions of American music of the early 20th century, however, it does not avoid searching among more contemporary sounds. The band consists of musicians of diametrically different personalities that come from various music cultures: rooted in blues drummer Piotr Góra, jazz bassist Adam Żuchowski, versatile pianist Artur Jurek, and slide guitarist Krzysztof Paul directing the band towards rock. All those personalities are tied together by the band’s leader and vocalist Joanna Knitter.
The band’s first album “Cruel, cruel world” was well-received by fans and music journalists (3rd place in the Blues Album of the Year poll conducted by “Twój Blues” magazine). In 2017 they published their second record, “Hard, hard times”, consisting exclusively of their own songs, this time closer to blues-rock. It has also received excellent reviews in the press. Blues & Folk Connection received several awards at various festivals, including the 1st prize at the Blues Alive festival in the Czech Republic or the 1st prize at the Rawa Blues festival.
Joanna Knitter – vocals
Adam Żuchowski – double bass
Piotr Góra – drums
Artur Jurek – keyboard, accordion
Krzysztof Paul – guitars