Mambo Sauce – the electric-red mystery concoction that is a staple comfort and must-have of Washington, DC, has found itself a namesake, and a sound. Mambo Sauce (the band) brings to life a tapestry of unparallel musicianship. Although their sound is...
Mambo Sauce – the electric-red mystery concoction that is a staple comfort and must-have of Washington, DC, has found itself a namesake, and a sound. Mambo Sauce (the band) brings to life a tapestry of unparallel musicianship. Although their sound is oft described as mystical, it is undisputed by their vast array of loyal fans that this coveted band looks, feels and sounds like pure, unadulterated music. Jawn Murray, Entertainment Reporter with the Tom Joyner Morning Show and columnist with AOL Black Voices called the group’s sound “the quintessential savior the industry needs to return authenticity, quality and pure rhythm to music.” Mambo Sauce delivers a fresh fusion of old-Soul (think Marvin Gaye), new school Hip-Hop, cross-bred with Rock and the deep and thick percussions of Go-Go, the indigenous sound of DC.
Mambo Sauce’s high-energy live performance typically begins with the melodic chords of Grammy nominated musical director and keyboardist, Christian “Chris” Wright. He is solo until joined by the powerful rhythms of a true phenomenon – rightfully coined the heartbeat of the band, drummer Patricia “Twink” Little. Then bassist, Khari Pratt, alerts the crowd of his dramatic presence, roaring and thumbing along the bass strings, and producing deep sounds that infiltrate the listener’s soul. Percussionist Jermaine “Pep” Cole then raps hard on the congas and timbales, stamping the true stylistic link between Mambo Sauce and Go-Go music. Lead vocalist Alfred “Black Boo” Duncan next takes the mic proving that he is not only one of the most talented and creative lyricist of his time, but that his unique vocal abilities add rawness to the Band. The ingredient of Mambo Sauce is only complete when the soulful and tantalizing vocals of lead vocalist Joi “JC” Carter are blended in the mix.
It soon becomes obvious that each member of the Band is a virtuoso in their own right --hand-picked for their breadth of talent, creativity and musicianship. Mambo Sauce’s undeniable chemistry is portrayed through impeccable sound as they woo their audience with original songs such as “No Sleep”, “Sweet Baby” and “Things Will Get Better.” Mambo Sauce’s listeners become one with their music; as the socially conscious lyrics and penetrating rhythms brings the crowd to the very edge of the stage, begging and chanting for more. As hailed in the Richmond Times Dispatch in 2008 by Kathryn Stewart, Mambo Sauce’s “music forces you to move. Not just nod your head or tap your feet, the electrifying sound takes over your body,”
Each year since their formation in 2005, Mambo Sauce climbs closer and closer to taking the music industry by storm – alerting the world that they are the groundbreaking incarnation of a new music realm. In 2007 they garnered the 93.9 WKYS award for Best Current Song (“Miracles”) and Band of the Year. In 2008 “Welcome to DC” hit the Billboard Charts as one of the Hot 100 Hip-Hop/R&B Singles, followed by the release of its signature video directed by Tabi Bonney that was in rotation on BETJ, MTV, and VH1 Soul. They were honored in 2009 with two DMV EMA awards for Best Go-Go Band and Best Band, Duo or Group, and with a WAMMIE (Washington (DC) Area Music Awards) for best Go-Go Duo or Group. Mambo Sauce’s extensive list of credits also includes performing at some of DC, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, North Carolina and Ohio’s finest venues, and sharing the stage with national artists such as Soldiers of Jah Army (“SOJA”), Nas, Fertile Ground, Gym Class Heroes, Reel Big Fish, Young Jock, Keisha Cole, The Game, The Clipse, Deadprez, Toots and the Maytels, Damien Marley, Trey Songz, J. Holiday, Lil’ Kim, and O.A.R., to name a few.
Mambo Sauce and their company, Mambo Sauce Entertainment, LLC, is not only a band; they are a brand and a movement. Their endeavors include infiltrating the international music market and expanding their talents into other entertainment genres. Mambo Sauce’s zeal and passion for music is only matched by their commitment to community service. They use the “Mambo Sauce” brand to speak out against prevailing societal issues such as the world AIDS epidemic, homelessness, child soldiers in Africa, and domestic violence; and to mentor and educate young people.
Mambo Sauce’s much anticipated debut album befittingly entitled “The Recipe”, will be released this summer. For those who are still uncertain as to what is Mambo Sauce, “The Recipe” will undoubtedly unveil the ingredients of a true masterpiece.
DC Group Mambo Sauce Brings Positive Vibes to Go-G by ASHLEY STONEY ASHLEY STONEYContributing WriterPublished: Wednesday, November 12, 2008Updated: Wednesday, November 12, 2008There is not much you would expect traveling down a paved, quiet road in Bowie at 9 p.m....
Bowie band set to release first CD by John Burgess Everett Thursday, April 9 2009Mambo Sauce ready to build on success of first WammieEasing into the hit single "Miracles," Alfred "Black Boo" Duncan stops abruptly.He demands the crowd at Whitlow's on...
DC Group Mambo Sauce Brings Positive Vibes to Go-G by ASHLEY STONEY ASHLEY STONEY
Published: Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Updated: Wednesday, November 12, 2008
There is not much you would expect traveling down a paved, quiet road in Bowie at 9 p.m. on a Wednesday night. But in one particular driveway is six or seven cars and SUV's outside of a brick, single-family home.
There's some music playing from the back of the house. A guy appears to the left, casually dressed in a standard white tee and jeans. "Oh no, not the house, don't ring the doorbell," he smiles "We're back here.
He introduces his self as Black Boo, the lead vocalist for Mambo Sauce, a 5-year-old Washington, D.C. based band fusing a mixture of Go-Go, R&B, Rock, Latino, and Alternative genres to create a unique new sound of music.
In a small crimson red shed with white panels, off to the rear right of the house is lead guitarist Drew in the midst of cracking jokes, and doing covers of Lil' Wayne's "Tie My Hands" and D'Angelo's "You're My Lady," while the band members laugh along with his renditions. Practice is winding down.
Drew is the lead guitarist, the lighthearted member who keeps the humor. Black Boo is the male vocalist who keeps things in order and running smoothly. J.C. Jones is the newest addition to the group, as the female vocalist. She is a Baltimore native who attended Howard.
Khari is the bass guitarist, who founded the classic Go-Go band Northeast Groovers when he was 15 years old. Pep is the percussionist, who's slightly quiet, yet his drums speak volumes. Twink is the drummer, the only female instrument player with a youthful face, covered in square, black personality frames, and Chris a.k.a. "Keybo", the keyboard player.
With such a bold, in-your-face name like "Mambo Sauce," inspired by the popular sauce served in DC carryouts, one would think that Mambo Sauce is another Go-Go band. Wrong.
[Our Music] is not local. It's beyond DC. Its vibe is more diverse," Jones said. "We don't play other people's music. We cross more boundaries than the average Go-Go band. The repertoire is open and that's what separates us"
There is a formula for their success. While the music still has a sound that remains true to its native DC roots, there is a hook, there is a chorus, there is originality, and those factors are clear distinctions between them and other Go-Go bands that they are compared with.
You have to go to a Go-Go," Drew said. "You have to experience it."
They want to break away from the unfortunate stigma that surrounds Go-Go. They do not play at a specific venue weekly, like most bands. They also want to break away from the criticism of violence that Go-Go receives. After five years of working as a group there has never been a fight.
Go-Go is our foundation, but we're out here to make our sound national. If it were up to Go-Go, we wouldn't do [what we're doing]", Black Boo said in response to criticism that the music is too positive and not as strong of the percussion thrived, song-covering sound that the Go-Go represents.
Our music is so diverse, because we all came through different paths musically," Black Boo said.
Mambo Sauce is already gaining national recognition. Last year, their video for "Welcome to DC" aired on MTV networks, including the popular MTV Jams and VH1 Soul.
We want to be A-status celebs," Twink said. They're well on their way.
Bowie band set to release first CD by John Burgess Everett Thursday, April 9 2009
Mambo Sauce ready to build on success of first Wammie
Easing into the hit single "Miracles," Alfred "Black Boo" Duncan stops abruptly.
He demands the crowd at Whitlow's on Wilson in Arlington, Va., comes to the front. Greeted with a tepid response, Black Boo shrugs.
It doesn't matter, because y'all will be up here at the end of the night," he says.
Minutes later, the floor is packed, the audience engaging in a call-and-response with Black Boo and Joi "JC" Carter. It is safe to say that Mambo Sauce leaves this gig with some new fans.
The six-piece band, based in Bowie, is poised for national success. After charting "Miracles" and "Welcome to D.C." in 2007, the go-go/rock/hip-hop/hard-to-describe outfit drops its debut album, "The Recipe," this summer. The band won the Washington Area Music Association's 2008 Wammie award for best go-go duo/group.
We will be multi-millionaires, traveling the world. It's going to happen," Black Boo says, his band mates nodding in approval.
The band, composed of lyricists Black Boo and JC, bassist Khari Pratt, drummer Patricia "Twink" Little, keyboardist/musical director Christopher Wright and percussionist Jermaine "Pep" Cole, is gathered next to the Whitlow's stage before its show.
I feel a tour coming on," JC says.
But without an album to support, touring is tough. They can't just take off around the country. Members have responsibilities, mortgages, jobs.
Yeah, five of us have full-time jobs," Black Boo says. "It's a lot of sacrifice.
The hardship fuels the band. Mambo Sauce sounds crisp with smooth transitions. Between sets, the band hawks T-shirts — just part of growing an audience.
So is the Internet. Wright says it puts "all bands on a level playing field." That expands the band's reach, but makes releasing music difficult.
On Mambo Sauce's MySpace page, there are four versions of "Welcome to D.C.", a song celebrating the whole metropolitan area. Someone unfamiliar with Mambo Sauce might assume the band has one song.
Nah, we are two-hit wonders," Pratt jokes, referring to "Miracles." Then, more seriously, "We were trying not to take any songs off the album" [and put them online].
The last thing Mambo Sauce wants is to start over after an album leak. So the remixes stay.
It's a hot song," JC says. "It would be one thing if it was a bad song.
Thousands of MySpace plays back her up. People aren't sick of it yet.
‘Not what they think we are'
The band's name derives from orange goo slathered on D.C. takeout food. Black Boo says you don't know what it is, you just know it's good.
You put us in a box … go-go would be one thing," he says. "There's so much other stuff in the box.
We're different, we're not what they think we are," JC offers.
The music is not traditional go-go. Mambo Sauce doesn't play covers and its song structures are diverse. Members respect go-go godfather Chuck Brown but draw influence "from the heart," not other bands. Subsequently, the band is subject to criticism.
We embrace the hate," Pep says. "If they're not talking, it's a problem.
There's a lot to talk about. During one song, Black Boo laughingly goads Pep into harmonizing. He doesn't disappoint; the percussionist sings well. Pratt is a go-go staple: he got his start with the classic Northeast Groovers. Wright produced the Grammy-nominated Ludacris and T.I. song "Wish You Would".
Even with talent, success is never a given. Pratt is only half-joking when warning members not to divulge plans of future success to employers: he wants to make sure he has a job tomorrow.
Mambo Sauce - The Recipe Album Review by okayplayer.com - Marcus Moore Mambo Sauce
(Mambo Sauce Ent. : 2009)
Posted on 09/23/2009
I was fully prepared to type some elaborate introduction about how Mambo Sauce is not just a go go band, and how its long-awaited debut album, The Recipe is truly an evolution of the DMV’s most noteworthy brand of music. While I believe those statements are true, I felt the need to be brutally honest: Mambo Sauce’s The Recipe is the best album I’ve heard all year. Point blank. Period. Although the LP is deeply rooted in go go, it’s much more inclusive than that, as Mambo Sauce successfully blends soul, salsa, hip-hop and rock-n-roll into its melting pot of sound. What cooks up is a delectable portion of musical nourishment, suitable for listeners of all kinds and light years beyond the standard click-clack of yesterday’s go go.
Go Go music has been used sporadically by others and has not caught on nationally. E.U., known mainly for its song “Da Butt,” experienced some mainstream exposure in the 1980s. Jill Scott utilized the sound on the single, “It’s Love,” from her debut album, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds, Vol. 1. Most recently, The Roots fused go go with hip-hop on the single, “Rising Up,” from its last year’s Rising Down album. That song included Wale, a rising star from the DMV region who has blended go go into some of his work. With The Recipe, Mambo Sauce aims to make the music universal. But don’t just take my word for it. “We saturate all forms of music in this go go foundation, and we make it all original, what a hell of a creation,” Mambo Sauce vocalist Black Boo says on “Letter to Go Go,” the album’s intro.
The Recipe continues with the high energy “Welcome To D.C.,” which serves as a musical tour guide for those unfamiliar with the city’s history. On this song, Black rhymes about D.C.’s fashion (Madness hats), “or how the city re-named cigarettes ‘jacks,’ or how, even the mayor had a run-in with crack, but we all kept it real and we voted him back.” The fervor continues on electric guitar-tinged “Long Time Coming,” where Black and vocalist Joi “JC” Carter sing about surviving life’s obstacles and moving past negativity.
The pace slows somewhat on the sincere and heartfelt, “Things Will Get Better,” which features DMV native Deangelo Redman from Diddy’s “Making the Band” show. This track is about staying the course when life gets rough. On “Work,” punctuated by the full-fledged go go jam session at the end of the track, Black weighs a potential relationship against advancing his career.
“No Sleep” is the album’s centerpiece, in my opinion. From musical director Chris Wright’s first tap of the keys to Jermaine “Pep” Cole and Patricia “Twink” Little’s percussion, this song is hard-edged rock with the message of hustling until you have nothing left to give. “Sweet Baby” is a dedication to the world’s single mothers. The Recipe never lags, and by album’s end, Mambo Sauce hits hard with the “Welcome to D.C. Remix,” which features Wale, Tabi Bonney, Don Choo and Big G.
Although Mambo Sauce has generated a definite buzz in the DMV, The Recipe has the potential to catapult the group to worldwide commercial appeal. Go go has always been specific to the District, but it seems that Mambo Sauce is trying hard to break the music out of its regional shell. Either way, the group has prepared a delicious treat, and The Recipe has the right recipe for success.
Washington Post: Live Last Night: Mambo Sauce by SARAH GODFREY Mambo Sauce has played nearly every music venue, festival, and cultural event in the D.C. area. The go-go fusion band has a Billboard charting single in "Welcome to D.C.," and an enthusiastic fan base throughout the area -- and beyond. The one thing Mambo Sauce doesn't have just yet? An album.
While some go-go bands go years (or forever) without producing a studio album, Mambo Sauce has been working on one, and the people seem ready to receive it. The band's show at Left Bank on Saturday, like all of its shows lately, only built anticipation for the project.
(Read the rest of the review after the jump.)
Mambo Sauce -- which, like the chicken-wing condiment it takes its name from, is a mix of many different things (go-go, hip-hop, R&B, rock) -- is overflowing with talented musicians and prime original material. Alfred "Black Boo" Duncan is currently one of the city's best rappers, and new singer Joi "J.C." Carter (who replaced female vocalist Yendy Brown) complements him well. Bassist Khari Pratt, guitarist Drew White and keyboardist Chris Wright elegantly glide over smacks from conga player Jermaine "Pep" Cole and drummer Patricia "Twink" Little.
The band may be known for the hits "Miracles" and "Welcome to D.C," but its repertoire is much deeper. "Sweet Baby" is a soft ode to single mothers, "We Run This (Go)" is several minutes of fiery trash talk about the band's dominance, and "Damn Joe," with its slinky bassline, is an undeniable party anthem.
Mambo Sauce didn't give a release date for its album during the show, but the group did make one thing clear: When it does finally drop, it'll crank.
Gazette.net: Mambo Sauce wins a Wammie! by Ken Sain At least four Prince George's County musicians or bands won categories at the 23rd Washington Area Music Awards ceremony Sunday.
Tommy Lepson of College Park won his 12th overall Wammie, this one as top blues/traditional male R&B vocalist. Raheem DeVaughn of Beltsville won in the urban recording category for his "Love Behind the Melody.
Mambo Sauce of Bowie won the top go-go duo or group category. And Mike Surratt of Lanham earned a Wammie as the best world music vocalist in the region.
Two other Prince George's County go-go bands were nominated in the category Mambo Sauce won, giving the county half of the nominees. What? Band of Temple Hills and TCB of Suitland were also nominated in that category.
Other county musicians known to be nominated were The Chromatics of Greenbelt for best a cappella group; Janine Wilson of Hyattsville for best roots rock vocalist; Rick and Audrey of Hyattsville for best children's artist solo/duo/group; Wale of Largo had two nominations for best rap/hip-hop rapper and recording; Anamer Castrello of Riverdale for best classical vocal soloist; and Tia Dae of Suitland for best urban vocalist.
Surratt was also nominated with his group, The ECB, for best big band/swing group and big band swing recording. Lepson was nominated with his group, The Tommy Lepson Band, for blues/traditional R&B duo or group.
Washington Post: Trying to Make a Go-Go of It by Chris Richards Band Believes Genre Can Cross D.C. Line
By Chris Richards
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, January 4, 2009; M01
The members of Mambo Sauce look dazed -- but not from the flurries of camera-phone flashes, the grueling world tours or the Sharpie fumes that waft during marathon autograph sessions. That stuff hasn't happened yet. And after a band spends an entire year on the cusp of fulfilling an increasingly elusive "yet," eyeballs start glazing over.
Washington's most ambitious go-go troupe has just finished one of three weekly rehearsals held in a windowless shed behind the Bowie home of bassist Khari Pratt. Hunched over on folding chairs, milk crates and amplifiers, the musicians cast deep stares into the floor while lead vocalist Alfred "Black Boo" Duncan refuses to sit.
Go-go can be as big, if not bigger, than hip-hop," he declares, as if arguing with phantom detractors. "Go-go is the most energetic music out there. You can't name a go-go song that doesn't make you want to get up and dance." His band mates remain seated but summon a collective nod.
Since forming in 2003, Mambo Sauce has held to its mission: Bring go-go to the masses or bust. Some might call it mission impossible. The sound of Washington's indigenous, hyper-percussive funk music has cast a spell over our city's eardrums for decades, but for various reasons has created only momentary flickers on the national stage. Mambo Sauce set out to change that, abandoning the genre's business model and grafting radio-ready hooks to go-go's contagious, conga-laden pulse -- all with the aim of pushing this staunchly local sound into the unpredictable currents of the mainstream.
On New Year's Eve 2007, those dreams didn't seem far from becoming reality. The group was enjoying an opening slot for Chuck Brown at the 9:30 club after months of dominating local airwaves with two wildly catchy singles, "Miracles" and "Welcome to D.C." The latter single managed to sneak onto Billboard's Hot 100 Hip-Hop/R&B singles chart in late January; the song's video would appear on VH1 Soul in July. But as the band hunkered down to finish its debut album, members began wrestling for control with Mambo Sauce manager and founder Malachai Johns. "You want say-so in your future," Duncan explains. "Especially if you've given up so many years in your life to do this.
It was Johns who conceived the idea of an all-original go-go band (cover tunes dominate the repertoires of most go-go acts), but as he's quick to point out: "The idea was much vaster than just an original band. Every single person was handpicked for their look, their temperament. The idea was to create a national artist.
Eventually, it came down to control," he says, "and they started to feel like 'This is our band, not yours,' so rather than make a bad situation worse, I just decided to move on." The two parties finally parted ways in October. Johns began managing new artists, while the members of Mambo Sauce held on to their day jobs as their debut album slept in cold storage, incomplete and with no label deal in sight.
The setbacks haven't kept Mambo Sauce from the stage, the one place where it's practically guaranteed to win new fans. In November at Bedrock, a nightclub in downtown Baltimore, you'd never mistake the seven-piece band for the zombie-eyed musicians at rehearsal the week before.
Drummer Patricia "Twink" Little and percussionist Jermaine "Pep" Cole are slapping out righteous cadences while Pratt slides gooey notes up and down the fret board of his bass. Andrew "Drew" White wails on his guitar as if channeling the superpowers of Prince. During the rousing set-opener "Miracles," vocalist Joi "J.C." Carter belts out a chorus that asks, "Do you believe in miracles? Maybe we can change the world." It's an apt credo for a band trying not only to survive but to thrive.
When 'Miracles' hit, that's when we knew we had something special," says Cole, recalling the summer of 2007 when local stations WPGC and WKYS put it in regular rotation. Soon, Mambo Sauce seemed to be cranking over the city's airwaves twice every hour. The folks at Verizon Center followed suit and started blasting "Welcome to D.C." over the PA during last season's Wizards home games. (Currently, there aren't any Mambo Sauce tunes in rotation at Verizon Center and, as Pratt and Duncan are quick to note, the Wiz are in the tank.)
The group's success only seemed instantaneous. Formed over five years ago, the band took its name from a local condiment -- that translucent orange goop drizzled over french fries and chicken at neighborhood carryouts. All veteran players in the go-go scene, the musicians felt stifled by their experiences and were eager to take a new approach to the music they loved. Musically, that meant adding rock and Latin flourishes to the mix. Businesswise, it meant a complete overhaul.
The local celebrity thing kinda got old to me," says Pratt, who made his name in the '90s playing bass for the legendary Northeast Groovers. "I want to get out there and get the real money, the real fame.
The first step was to ditch the methodology that the group believed had kept so many go-go bands tethered to Washington.
We decided to do our business the same way a national band would do theirs," Duncan says. "A national artist would record original music. A national artist wouldn't play every week at the same location. A national artist would make sure the quality of the music they were putting out was at a high level. A national artist wouldn't put out PA tapes and be selling their product every week. All of this was planned from the drop.
The band isn't the first go-go group to swing for the fences. Go-go progenitor Chuck Brown had a national presence in the late '70s, and E.U. scored a hit with "Da Butt" in the late '80s, but go-go's popular appeal has never compared with the fevered adoration it received from Washingtonians.
Rather than feeling like pop outsiders, the go-go scene prided itself on being a community of insiders, with some factions growing skeptical of anyone trying to let the secret out.
We're talking about a culture that was created in spite of what was happening nationally," says Kevin "Kato" Hammond, founder of the influential go-go Web site Take Me Out to the Go-Go. "The pond here is so small, when you leave for your 15 minutes, your spot may be gone when you try to come back. . . . When E.U. came back after signing to [the Virgin label], they almost didn't have a home to come to.
Fortunately (and unfortunately) for Mambo Sauce, the climate today couldn't be more different. The group's goals have been clear since Day 1, so the band doesn't face the threat of losing local fans. But it's trying to charm a record industry on the verge of collapse. The situation has turned Mambo Sauce's next logical step into a death-defying leap: releasing its debut album.
The band has been recording at Baltimore's Wrightway Studios for more than a year and, according to Duncan, the record is "about 80 percent finished.
Otherwise, the musicians remain button-lipped about the album's future, waiting to see if certain managerial partnerships coalesce in time to expedite a proper release. "We're not doing this for a record deal," Duncan is quick to point out. "We're doing this to develop the brand. We just want to achieve national success whether it be through a major label or a distribution deal.
So after trying to resuscitate its dream from a 365-day coma, will Mambo Sauce finally break in 2009? Win or lose, Hammond thinks the group's fate will deliver the final verdict on go-go's crossover potential: "If it don't work for them, you're really not going to see bands try to go national anymore.
That's a lot of weight on the group's shoulders, but onstage in Baltimore, the musicians seem weightless. Carter unleashes big notes with an even bigger smile while Duncan's dance tutorials soon have the flat-footed crowd grooving in lockstep. If Mambo Sauce's mission is to get go-go out of the District, they've done it tonight -- even if it's only a 40-minute drive up the BW Parkway.
During "We Run This," a particularly forceful tune, "Keybo" Chris Wright punches out an electronic beat on his synthesizer made to resemble the minimal "snap" tracks popularized by so many Atlanta rap stars. Suddenly, Cole and Little come bursting into the mix with a hallmark go-go beat. Carter and Duncan deliver the hook in unison: "We run this town, we run this city. . . . Now watch us go!
This might be the year they finally get there.