Cookin’ with soul in Vail |

Cookin’ with soul in Vail

Caramie Schnellcschnell@vaildaily.comVail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyMama's Cookin' started in Gunnison in 2001 though the band is now based in Lake Tahoe, Calif. They return to Colorado for a 10-day tour with a stop at Sandbar Sports Grill in West Vail Tuesday night.

If youre concerned that Mamas Cookin, a band whose sound is best described as Delta blues blended with soul, rock and even hip hop elements, isnt Irish-sounding enough for a St. Patricks Day show, think again. We were pretty much put on this planet to rock the Sandbar on St. Paddys Day, said Zebuel Early, lead singer and guitarist for the band. We dont know any Irish songs per say, but we will be partially fueled by Jameson for the event. Well try to get in touch with our Irish side that way. … Were more than qualified for the job.The band performs at Sandbar in West Vail tonight at 10 p.m. Fort Collins-based reggae band Dubskin will open.Plus, were playing with a really awesome reggae band and the reggae flag has one stripe of green in it, so take that for what its worth as well, Early said. Dick Dime, talent buyer and manager of the Sandbar, calls Mamas Cookin the best party band to play the Sandbar so far this year.Interestingly, even though (Mamas Cookin) have somewhat of a jam groove, the songs themselves are extremely strong, coherent and soulful, Dime said in an e-mail. So yeah, they are not an Irish Band and although Celtic music is always a good time on St. Paddys Day, if not somewhat predictable/clich, a band like Mamas Cookin, though less traditional an offering, will inspire a red-hot dancing affair.The band Early (guitar, vocals), Eric Matlock (keys), Mike Adamo (drums) and Steve LaBellas (bass) combines slide guitar and a tight rhythm section that carries the sound with Earlys sincere, soulful lyrics.

The band got their start in Gunnison in 2001. While the bands name is a reference to the good Southern home-cooked eats Early grew up on in Memphis, its also a throwback to an earlier time.In the Bebop era, that was how you said music was really hot like in John Coltranes day, you said, oh thats cookin, Early said. And also if you see a hot lady walking down the street, you say Ah, shes cookin!These days the band is based in Lake Tahoe, Calif. They made the move for a few reasons, none of which include giving up on Colorado, Early clarified in a phone interview he gave while en route to Breckenridge for a show last week. The band is spending 10 days in Colorado, performing in cities and mountain towns across the state.We wanted a change, Early said about the move. We wanted to be closer to San Francisco, break into a new scene and learn some new sh–.The change has been a good one. Listening to funk, soul and Afro beat bands in San Fran has inspired the band to experiment with new sounds and learn new musical styles. And really the vibe in Tahoe isnt much different from Colorado, Early pointed out. Because of that the band still feels connected to Colorado and fans must still feel connected to them, Early said, considering they draw big audiences when they tour here. We were (in Colorado) for so long I think we really developed a name for ourselves, especially in the mountain towns, Early said.

Early, who writes most of the songs for the band, said he wrote the bands latest song at 5 a.m. after watching a slew of DJs perform. I threw on a record and just the beat inspired the song, pretty much, he said. I was also inspired by the Beatles song Come Together, because its really non sequitur and it doesnt make much sense. I was like What the hell is Paul talking about?Likewise, he said, this song is a bunch of random lyrics that go together in a meter and rhythm … the lyrics are all random but all kind of relate to a train.Early said his recent fascination with trains comes from the plethora of old blues songs that reference them. You know, old blues songs about baby coming back on a train or getting on a train and getting out of town, he said. High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or

What: Mamas Cookin, with opening band Dubskin, a Fort Collins based reggae bandWhere: Sandbar Sports Grill, West VailWhen: 10 p.m., TuesdayCost: $8More information: Call 970-476-4314

Ive been listening to this band Orgone from L.A. and Ive been rocking a lot of Sam & Dave, old school stacks artists. They wrote Im a Soul Man, and I Thank You, that ZZ Top covered. … Thats what Im most into right now.

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