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Index of Artists

MonkeyJunk

Biography:

MONKEYJUNK:
A GENEROUS HELPING OF SWAMP RHYTHM AND BLUES, SOUL BOOGIE AND BEDROOM FUNK MARK THE BAND'S STONY PLAIN RECORDS DEBUT

Frequently asked questions (three musicians speak up):

Where's the band from, and when did it start?
Ottawa, Ontario – Canada's capital city. And it began on a casual basis to play some Sunday gigs, back in the Spring of 2008.

Who's in the band?
Steve Marriner (vocals, harmonica, keyboards, guitar), Tony D (lead guitar), Matt Sobb (drums).

What, no bass?
No. Hound Dog Taylor didn't have a bass player. And Little Walter often didn't as well.

Where the heck did you get the name from?
A chance remark Son House made. "I'm talkin' 'bout the blues. I ain't talkin' about monkey junk," he said. We love Mr. House, and we get his point, but the word stuck with us. And we use it as one word: MonkeyJunk, with a capital J in the middle.

How do you describe your music?
Swamp R&B. Soul boogie. Deep blues. Oh, yes, and bedroom funk. Dark sometimes, rockin' at others. You can dance. Does that tell the story?

So what's the band's history?
All three of us started out as players on the Ottawa blues scene. Played solo gigs, played with a dozen different bands between us, met up over beers years and years ago. Ottawa's got a really supportive blues scene. It started out informally between Tony and Steve. Then Matt got told he was in the band, whether he knew it or not. Between us, we've got almost 60 years of combined
experience.

How did the breakthrough happen?
Six months after we started, we were nominated for a Maple Blues Award for best new artist. Well, we were new — we hadn't released a record yet. Then, in February 2009, we represented Ottawa at the International Blues Challenge. All those killer bands from Poland and Croatia and Australia and France and who knows where else —and, of course, from all over the States and Canada. And when
the smoke cleared on Beale Street we had placed third overall. We were staggered.

When did you release your first record?
We put out an independent CD called Tiger in Your Tank in April 2009. People liked it; CBC Radio in Canada played it a lot; Dan Aykroyd's House of Blues Radio Hour named one of the tunes, "Small Time Evil" as "blues breaker of the week" six months later – well, he would, wouldn't he? He's Canadian too. And we got airplay reports from all over Europe, and even South America.

Did you tour?
Did we ever! We played nearly a dozen major festivals all over the country. We put a lot of miles on the van — and then we played the Blues sur Seine festival in France.

Did all that work pay off for you?
Sure did. We got nominated for six awards at the Maple Blues Awards the next year. Heck — we won five of them, too. Electric Act of the Year. Entertainer of the Year. Tony won for Guitar Player of the Year, and Steve took the prize as Vocalist of the Year and Harmonica Player of the Year. And a month later we won Best Blues Artist at the Canadian Independent Music Awards. It's almost embarrassing to list who we beat out for that one! Then the CD got nominated for the 2010 Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut; we won that and got to perform at the awards show finale. Phew! Later we found out we were only the second Canadians to win a Blues Music Award — Jeff Healey won an award last year.

So, d'you want to talk about your new record?
Well, of course. It's on Stony Plain, which is a Canadian label with real clout internationally — people will be able to get it in the U.S., Australia, Japan and just about everywhere else. In Europe and the UK it'll be on the Dixie Frog label and they're really excited about it.

Any plans for the near future?
We do. Get in the van. Tour. Get back to Europe. Play big festivals. Crack into the American market. And, most important, play our asses off, all the time, every night.

All Frequencies

All Frequencies
SPCD 1366
Genre: Blues
Released: 24 September 2013

"The Sultans of Swamp" - William Shatner

For their second Stony Plain release enjoy catchier choruses, shorter instrumental breaks and a "heavier" sound.

  1. You Make A Mess (3:13)
  2. Right From Wrong (3:35)
  3. Why Are People Like That? (3:57)
  4. Je Nah Say Kwah (2:52)
  5. Sirens In The Night (3:53)
  6. Yearnin' For Yesterday (3:30)
  7. Once Had Wings (5:16)
  8. What I Got To Give (4:20)
  9. Say What? (4:01)
  10. Swank (7:13)

Reviews:

Elmore
By Mark Uricheck

"Canadian garage/soul trio Monkeyjunk has a sound that falls somewhere indiscriminately between the slop-barrage of Thickfreakness-era Black Keys and the sinuous R&B of the Ohio Players’ Honey....Set apart from the current pack of Hill Country-inspired blues trios by its knack for freewheelin’ soul, Monkeyjunk is an exciting name in an often stagnant niche scene."

To Behold

To Behold
SPCD 1356
Genre: Blues
Released: 21 June 2011
  1. Mother's Crying (Listen to mp3 clip) (04:36)
    * free full length download *
  2. You're Gonna Change (Or I'm Gonna Leave) (03:35)
  3. Right Now (04:12)
  4. Let Her Down (04:57)
  5. With These Hands (03:48)
  6. You Don't Know (03:41)
  7. While You Are Mine (06:05)
  8. Running In The Rain (02:44)
  9. All About You (05:04)
  10. The Marrinator (05:11)

Reviews:

Maverick Magazine
By Eric Thom
****
Their infectious blues-based gumbo features some of the best harmoica, guitar and big-bottomed rhythm you've ever heard.