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ROAD TRIP!! Dr. Mambo's Combo--Minneapolis

Rocket Man 2

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Several of us older musos were lamenting the days of "road trips" to hear fresh music, so we decided it was high time to start doing some of the joy-giving things we used to do--(a lot!)--so, it was time for, a ROAD TRIP!


So, six of us got into a van and drove several hours to Bunker's, a bar in Minneapolis, to see DR. MAMBO'S COMBO. This band has been playing at Bunker's for twenty-three years, every Monday night. They play primarily funk, and they play it very well. Four and five part harmonies were impeccable. And the sound was pretty well dialed-in.


There are still three or four original members, and they have a slew of extras that are almost regular players with the band. Basically, the musicians are a bunch of really good players who play with other national acts, but who, when in town, stop down at Bunker's on a Monday night to play with this large group of really good players. There were up to nine players on-stage at a time, with no horn section. And they didn't get in each-other's way. Wow, what a good time!


Were we impressed? OH, YEAH!


The band:

Michael Bland, drums (Prince)

Billy Franze, guitar (Johnny Lang bassist)

Margaret Cox, vocals ("Funkytown", LIPPS,Inc.)

GSHARP, vocals (Prince)

Mark Lickteig, vocals & frontman;(Mick Sterling) & exc. B3 man

"Jelly Bean" Johnson, guitar (Prince)

Yohannes Tona, bassist (Berkley grad, amazing bassist)

Bill Brown, Hammond & keys


(Apparently, these guys have played with all kinds of big names. This is just what I heard in conversation while at the bar.)


CHECK THESE GUYS OUT. You can get an idea of them at:





Check out the adjoining YouTube addresses.




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I've had the pleasure of listening to some of these players for over 30 years. (Bland + Tona aren't that old but they are as good as it gets.)
"The Doomer allows the player to do things beyond which are possible without the accessory."
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There should be some recent YouTube footage of Michael Bland leading Nick Jonas'(?!) new band. . .the Administration. Also on board are some other ex-Prince associates, including an excellent keyboard player, Tommy Barbarella. On bass is Nick Jonas' (and Andrew WK and Switchfoot. . .) producer John Fields, a former Minneapolis resident.
"The Doomer allows the player to do things beyond which are possible without the accessory."
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