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Chenango Sessions presents Mulebone
June 28, 2019 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Mulebone is a musical partnership comprised of multi-instrumentalist, John Ragusa and roots music specialist, Hugh Pool. The grist for their mill is traditional blues. Together, Mulebone has recorded four critically lauded albums and achieved American Music Awards Top 100 with all but one. Their latest offering Keep on Movin earned the distinction of being the only independent release in the A.M.A. Top 40 for 5 weeks in 2015. Along with playing live and TV appearances, they won “Blues artist of the year” recognitions at radio stations from Seattle, Washington, to Red Bank, New Jersey, and Hugh Pool was inducted into the New York Blues Hall of Fame in 2016. Any given week may find them playing clubs in NYC or entertaining at private parties thrown by David Rockefeller, Bruce Wasserstein and list of other East Coast residents who are enthusiastic about bringing these boys in for a party by road, sea or air.
Together in Mulebone, Hugh and John play slide guitar boogies, one-chord trance riffs a la Howlin Wolf, the uptempo rags of Reverend Gary Davis, and country blues of all shapes and colors. Sometimes they play close to the source, almost as if tracing the image, and at other moments, they re-examine the source, float above it, take a new look as one understanding their home from a distant land.
Unlike most “blues” ensembles, Mulebone dispatches with the essence of that which defines the genre as known by the masses – a rhythm section of bass and drums. Imagine a blues collective minus a bass line cobbled from Willie Dixon, coupled with a pounding back beat. Proclaims Pool: “A duo is very sympathetic to an audience! People tell me ‘God damn, that’s a lot of music coming out of just the two of you. Our sound is backwoods and fairly primitive. But it’s deep, and it’s fresh. There’s a lot of athleticism in what we do.”Tom Semioli, No Depression
John Ragusa can play anything he can put his lips on…wait a minute….did I say that out loud? In Mulebone, John plays conch shell, Jews harp, cornet, all manner of flutes, tin whistle, and chimes in on the harmony vocals. He is member of Beth Nielsen Chapman‘s group as well as his own John Ragusa outfit, and plays regularly in conjunction with Deepak Chopra‘s speaking engagements. Amongst dozens of studio credits are contemporary jazz greats Joe Taylor, Jeremy Wall, and world music icon Tom Zé.
Hugh says, “One time we were in Lexington, Kentucky sitting at an outdoor cafe and John played me a bunch of melodies sliding a straw up and down in a cup of ice water”…you get the drift.
Hugh Pool plays guitars, harmonica, boot board and sings, all with a mouth full of whiskey and a giant heart. He has played his brand of blues in clubs and at festivals from Jakarta, Indonesia to North Cape, Norway; From Vienna, Austria to Ottawa, Ontario, and has been critically lauded by the New York Times, New York Press, the Village Voice, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Blues Revue Magazine…the list goes on.
He is also a noted recordist and producer who has worked on hundreds of records at his Williamsburg, Brooklyn studio, Excello Recording including sessions with Taj Mahal, Debbie Harry, Marshall Crenshaw, and even Molly Ringwald.
The Chenango Sessions, hosted by Andru Bemis, is a weekly, one-hour nationally syndicated radio program which primarily features world-class musicians playing in intimate spaces—living rooms, galleries, and listening rooms—for small, enthusiastic audiences around Binghamton, New York. Audiences and artists are encouraged to interact, and the spirit of the live show is preserved in the radio program and recordings.
Due to the intimate nature of the venues, not all Chenango Sessions are open to the public. If no address is listed, it’s probably a show in a private home. But don’t let that stop you! To attend a private session, you can subscribe to our periodic email newsletter, check the performer’s website, or get details from an acquaintance, family member, or other guest.
100% of audience donations go directly to the artists. To ensure a seat for you at the performance, and so we know how many folks to expect, we encourage you to make your donation in advance by clicking the yellow “Reserve Your Seats!” button above. Guests without advance reservations may donate—cash or check only—when they arrive, and will be seated according to availability. Reasonably well-behaved kiddos and babies are always welcome.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Music starts at 7:30 p.m. and will continue until 9 p.m. or so. Feel free to stay and visit after the performance, and don’t be afraid to arrive late or leave early if your schedule requires it.
If you have questions or would like more information, contact Andru.
We’re looking forward to seeing you at the show!