Eagle County musician Jonny Mogambo’s new CD is his best | VailDaily.com

Eagle County musician Jonny Mogambo’s new CD is his best

Local musician Jonny Mogambo heads out on tour, right after Wednesday's CD release party at Garfinkel's in Lionshead.

Jonny Mogambo’s best just got better.

The local legend is releasing a greatest hits compilation, “Best Of … So Far.” A CD release party takes place Wednesday tonight at Garfinkel’s.

There’s a new tune, a re-recorded tune, and a lot of music you’ve loved for years.

The average CD can hold 80 minutes of music. “Best Of … So Far” has 18 songs.

“You get a lot for your money,” said the musician, whose real name is Jon Linder.

“Best Of … So Far” is a compilation of great stuff from his first five CDs, he said.

They were his CDs, so he had the last word in this labor of love.

“I went back and listened to everything, so it wasn’t just a matter of picking songs people liked. Some of it was the material. Some of it was the recording,” Linder said.

There was this 1996 recording of Magic Moon they did on an 8 track reel-to-reel machine. They had microphones all over the room and an entire string section in the studio. It sounds amazing.

There wasn’t a time in his life when Linder wasn’t surrounded by music. His grandmother and mom were professional singers on the Breakfast Club, in Chicago, the longest running syndicated radio show anywhere.

After college in Boulder he wanted to give music a try full time, so he did. The Spin Doctors, Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews and others were making the rounds at that time.

In 1992 he got a call from Garfinkel’s and landed in Vail.

Like most of us, he figured he’d stay a while then hit the road again.

Unlike most of us, he has the best of both worlds. He plays winters in Vail and tours nationally the rest of the year.

He’s headed to Clarksdale, Mississippi, birthplace of Muddy Waters – whose real name is McKinley Morganfield. Morgan Freeman has a club down there and asked Linder to come on down. The list of greats who’ve played there is never-ending – Eric Clapton, Keith Richards – the list goes on and on as they make their way to the Crossroads to pay tribute to Muddy Waters … and play some blues.

Linder had a band in middle school and high school. In college in Boulder he played a couple nights a week and earned enough money to pay his room and board.

He keeps pretty good company. There’s bass player Bill Rich from the Taj Mahal band. They played together for six years when Taj was not touring with his three-piece band.

Dan Schwindt (Kyle Hollingsworth Trio, The Motet) appears on bass and guitar; Kyle Comerford (Sally Taylor band, The Reejers) on drums. He wandered off to Los Angeles to try his hand in the metal scene and now he’s back. Andrew Vogt is on saxophone.

“I called the best people I could think of and we used to hop town to town. We’d play six or seven days in a row, staying with friends and skiing. We were living large,” Linder said, smiling at the memory.

They can play anything because they’ve played everything with everyone – James Taylor, Los Lobos, Jimmy Buffet, Edwin McCain, Jefferson Starship, The Violent Femmes to Everclear, Junior Walker, Greg Khin, John Caffery (Beaver Brown Band), Guster and Snoop Dogg.

“We play about 100 days a year as a band and I play about 120 days solo gigs,” Linder said. “These guys know where I’m going and what I’m doing before I do.”

When they finish the ski season they hit the road for stops including Cocoa Beach, Fla.; Chicago; Lincoln, Neb,; northern Michigan, Toronto Canada and all over Colorado.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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