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Jun 23 / Josh

Mr. Mojo Rising

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What do you call a supremely talented, cool-as-cat, multi-instrumentally masterful musician whose favorite songs are from 1965 but was born in 1995? Apparently Mojo, or “Mojo” Myles Mancuso to be more precise. This 14 year-old guitar wunderkind and crepe chef to boot, is the soul of an old-time, whiskey-swiggin’ delta blues-man trapped inside a high school kid’s body.  At just 14 years of age, however, Myles’ tasty chops are just beginning to simmer.  I sat down with Myles and his family band before they got cookin’ on stage.

Myles’ top influences as a musician include Albert Collins, Derek Trucks, Stevie Ray Vaughn and John Mayer (his blues work, at least) amongst many other greats of the American blues tradition.  His culinary abilities however, extend only slightly passed the griddle and spatula- if he’s not scrambling eggs or flipping a grilled cheese, he’s searching the Internet for his next experimental crepe recipe.  Favorites include anything with bananas and brown sugar; a passion sparked one night after a show at New York City’s Sullivan Hall when he and his band mates (father Nick Mancuso on drums, Sherpa Bruce Wolfeil on bass) stuffed themselves at the Creperie at 135 Ludlow St.

“My worst meal ever,” he explains, “was at BB King’s Blues Club.  They load everything up with extra grease…maybe its so that BB himself would enjoy it!”  On the other end of the gig-meal spectrum is the story of the 2009 Sarasota Blues Festival where the Mojo Myles Band indulged in grilled alligator.  When I asked Myles what it tasted like, he said, “like snake…which tastes like chicken.”

Myles’ ritualistic pre-show meal is a Chipotle Chicken Panini and a bowl of Broccoli and Cheddar soup at Panera Bread.  Other favorites include sushi from Tokyo Express (best in Duchess County) as well as Serafina and the Olive Garden.  “But if I were going to the electric chair tomorrow morning,” Myles laughs, “I’d have the Lobster Ravioli with Portabella Sauce at Cena 2000 in Newburgh, NY.”

In an effort to get a really clear picture of what makes Myles who he is, I made a few inquiries; Here are his answers:

The Band or The Food?

Meatloaf- The Band

Phish  – The Food

Cream – The Band

Eminem- The Food

Red Hot Chili Peppers- The Band

Black Eyed Peas- The Food

String Cheese Incident- The Band

Ice T- The Food

Favorite Song About Food?

Albert Collins- “Don’t Go Reachin’ ‘Cross My Plate”

Your Dream Band?

Mojo Myles Mancuso- Guitar and Vocals

Steve Jordan- Drums

Jaco Pastorius- Bass

Dr. John- Piano

Neil Evans- Organ

Warren Haynes- Guitar

Susan Tedeschi- Lead Vocals

All in all, Myles is a one-of-a-kind talent.  He is a humble and eager young man who will leave his mark on blues, soul and funk music for many years to come.  Some day in the near future he’ll be selling out the world’s most prestigious venues and we’ll be saying, “I remember seeing him play (and dive head first into a bucket of Crawfish!) at The Bayou.”

Check out Mojo’s site and see show dates, videos, and other stuff you couldn’t do when you were 14.

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