2008-03-27+28: Mojo Buford & Doug McMinn

Stadthalle F + Reigen, Vienna, Austria

On March 27 and 28 2008 one of Muddy Waters‘ best harp players, George “Mojo“ Buford, was in Vienna, playing two performances at the Vienna Blues Spring together with his drummer and friend, Doug McMinn. Doug is a son of “Papa“ Don McMinn, a famous bluesman from Memphis, Tennessee, who already played and recorded with Memphis Slim and many other blues greats.  Mojo Buford himself played with Muddy Waters in the early 60s and 70s, and also with James Cotton, another former harmonica player of the Muddy Waters Blues Band. Mojo has removed from Chicago a long time ago and lives now in Minneapolis.


The first day at Stadthalle Irene and me were so lucky having been invited backstage because of our participation in aquainting Mojo and Doug to the host and another little support in communication. I have Mojo’s  debut album “The Exciting Harmonica Sound Of Mojo Buford“ from the Folk Art Label in my collection (see also “Really Rare Records“!) and I was told it has been more than 30 years Mojo held a copy of this LP in hands. He was really moved and Doug photographed all of the covers we had with us and he gave us some really great CDs and a DVD from his studio work with Mojo and his family. Doug’s brother, Rome, is playing bass and his Dad – ok, see above! Doug is also producer and runs his own company, he is working with some really fabulous musicians, but that’s another story.


At this first performance Doug and Mojo only played three songs, together with the Mojo Blues Band. I was struck that the MBB couldn’t really establish a real relationship during this short co-operation, there was lack of time, maybe. Anyway, I think there was a great respect on both sides and the audience loved it both evenings.  Other artists appearing this evening were Steve Gardner (see “Interviews“ and the store), Big Jay McNeely, “the honkin‘ sax”, as well as the following acts Kim Wilson (with his Thunderbirds) and Johnny Copeland’s daughter Shemekia, who both rocked the place.
The next day at the Reigen brought again the Mojo Blues Band on stage. It’s not matter of this report but let me say here this: the MBB is an absolutely top band in Chicago Blues and definitely on a par with anything and everything. Of course the Blues was invented a) in the USA and b) by black people but there is no use in hiding their light under a bushel. The MBB plays Blues on the highest standard, is successful and also admired in the USA and other Blues-related places.


But getting back to the concert: like the first evening also Doug McMinn, Mojo, and Steve Gardner entered the stage in different line-ups. Especially with Steve’s humor the audience was very happy with and all musicians loved the performance, so it became a Blues happening finished with a common session. There were four harp-playing musicians on stage: Steve Gardner, Mojo, Erik Trauner from the MBB and also Doug McMinn alternately blew their souls out with their harps, backed by a fantastic band, Siggi Fassl (voc, gui), Didi Mattersberger (dr), Charlie Furthner (p), and Herfried Knapp on bass.


Songs played: Last Night (Little Walter+Paul Butterfield), Got My Mojo Working, Wee Baby Blues (P.Johnson/Big Joe Turner), Woke Up This Morning (B.B. King), Baby What You Want Me To Do (Jimmy Reed), amongst a few other songs.