Dancing in the stew: Mumbo Gumbo returns to Carson City

Mumbo Gumbo performs in Carson City this Saturday at the Levitt AMP Concert Series.

Mumbo Gumbo performs in Carson City this Saturday at the Levitt AMP Concert Series.

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Put on your dancing shoes and jump into the music of Mumbo Gumbo on Saturday. The Levitt AMP concerts wrap up after the Brewery Arts Center postponed the event due to smoke from the Caldor Fire.
The Northern California band considers the Carson Valley and Tahoe region part of their home. Radio station KTHX out of Reno helped build their fanbase with plenty of radio airtime and they’ve been playing shows in the area since the ’90s
“We love playing up there. We’ve always had a good following up there,” said Bill Fairfield, a founding member of the band. “We have a lot of fans up there.”
The seven-piece band celebrated 30 years in 2020 and they’ve stuck together with a consistent lineup. The band’s main feature are the two vocalists, Tracy Walton (also on sax) and Chris Webster (guitar).
“Not many bands have two good female front singers,” Fairfield said. “That’s the sound of Gumbo; always harmonizing and trading off leads.”
Mikey Palmer plays bass, Jon Wood plays guitar and Rick Lotter is on the drumkit.
“Rick is a top drummer and top teacher in Sacramento,” Fairfield said. “He knows a lot of styles and rhythms and when you add it all up, that’s what we’re known for.”
Steve Stizzo plays keys and accordion, and Darius Babazadeh plays the saxophone.
Fairfield said Mumbo Gumbo’s music blends several genres.
“Like the name Mumbo Gumbo, you can call it a big stew, a big gumbo,” Fairfield said. “Our style is dumping all these styles into the gumbo.”
There’s sounds of Americana: rock, soul, swing, zydeco, country, afro-pop; and influences of swing music from Gulf Coast Texas and funky sounds from New Orleans.
“It’s a good live show and we love it when people are up and dancing and having a good time,” Fairfield said. “Our goal is to have a good time and have a good evening.”
The band has released 10 albums over the years, so they have plenty of material to choose from. Fairfield said the band is always working on new material and toward another album. They don’t have any dates set for any new releases, so he said the band is working on getting through their gigs before they focus on that.
Mumbo Gumbo opened the first Levitt AMP Concert Series in 2016, and Fairfield said he’s loved watching the BAC grow over the years.
“We really support them and they always do a great production job so we like playing for them,” he said. “And we like playing for the Carson City fans, too. We haven’t been there in a few years.”

WHAT: Mumbo Gumbo with opening band Moons of Jupiter at Brewery Art Center’s Levitt AMP Concert Series
WHERE: The Change Companies Stage, 449 W. King St. at the Brewery Arts Center
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11
MORE INFO: www.mumbogumbo.com; breweryarts.org


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