Vin Mott brings Austin-based Blues back to New Jersey from Texas – And he’s back for a July Reckless performance!”
I met Vin when he was playing in New Jersey with the Bob Lanza Band. They played many memorable shows for the Foundation, including one of the best Long Branch Festival headliners we ever had, backing blues legend Trudy Lynn. Vin left Jersey prior to the pandemic for a true music city, Austin, Texas. The move seems to have been a good one for him, not only becoming part of the musical community but meeting and marrying his wife Kathryn there.
Blues Omerta, his second offering of original music since relocating, was preceded by the EP, Blues In Quarantine. Omerta is the code of silence practiced by the Mafia, a curious title for a CD filled with blues music and a jacket which depicts the burning of Skip James’ picture. Vin handles all the vocals, harmonica, guitar and drums while Jack Stanton plays pedal steel guitar and Steve Kirsty is on bass. The CD begins with a short harmonica driven workout called “Doctor’s Orders,” and is a great display of Vin’s versatility on the instrument. On “The Saint of All Killers,” he’s joined by Steve on bass with the song showcasing his vocal and song writing talents. “Firewood” picks up the pace with what I imagine from the lyrics, was a dance with the devil, punctuated with a fine harp solo. “I Got To Get Myself To Austin” must be what Vin was singing on his way down, and based on the lyrics he has definitely found the home of his dreams.
Some great old blues style guitar that would make Skip James proud, opens “She Ain’t From Mississippi.” The plaintive wail of the “Mississippi Saxophone” places this tune as squarely from the Delta, right down to “the mud up in her veins.” “The Jalopy Stomp” is one minute and forty six seconds of knee slapping harmonica, replete with musical “whoops” that can’t help but put a smile on your face. “Sarah” sounds like it was recorded live and they could have been sitting around my living room from the intimate sound of this recording. “Whiskey Winds” is an ode to leaving home on a journey of the singer to find his true calling and making his father proud, with his old friend whisky to ease the trip. A “woe is me” tale that makes for a barrel house style of blues, “Ain’t Got Nothin” is Vin and his harp singing about all the things he doesn’t have and doesn’t need. Another up-tempo tune, “Born To Be A Loser” is a song where the music is contrary to the lyrics and the band cooks throughout this tune. “Dance of the Wolf Spider” is a minor key instrumental gem that starts with a drum pattern which leads into some spooky guitar that gives this a real swampy feel, which just sounds great. “Sugar Cane” has a great acoustic guitar rhythm with a terrific harp that weaves in and out of the song for its nearly four and a half intense minutes. The disc ends with “Brother Robert,” and some fine pedal steel playing by Jack, which is a perfect complement to song.
“Blues Omerta is a fine effort by someone who has found his home and his groove in Austin. Go to www.vinmott.com for more information and check him out live when he returns to the local area in late July with a stop at Reckless Steamy Nights on July 28th.