September 16, 2009

Live Review: Mama's Cookin'

Crystal Bay Casino
Lake Tahoe, NV
Sept. 10, 2009

Mama's Cookin', a Lake Tahoe-based quartet (via Colorado), took over the stage for a G. Love aftershow in one of the North Shore's premier venues. Frontman Zebuel Early's charismatic presence intensified the energy of an already keyed-up crowd. Inspired by artists like the Black Keys and Led Zeppelin, the band played various hits from their self-titled album honing in on their rock influenced edge.

The lure of Mama's Cookin' is their ability to seamlessly weave hypnotic hip-hop beats, blues-laden guitar riffs, and funked-out bass lines. Their performance was yet another magnetic example of their polished sound throwdown. Zeb's lyrical delivery rolled with a syncopated cadence, wrapping around Mike Adamo's axial drum beats. Throughout the set Eric Matlock's soulful keys provided the perfect parry to Steve LaBelle's funk-implosive bass tones. Hot and heavy blues emerged when Zeb unleashed his gritty guitar-playing skills, transporting the crowd to the Deep South where squirrel hunting and moonshine are alive and well.

If sweating bodies pulsing in a sultry, party atmosphere is a turn off, then a Mama's Cookin' show is the wrong place to be. This band's live performances are a shot of adrenalin – movement is not required but is sure hard to repress.

Review and photo by Tanya Fuller

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