Mosley and Johnson Band to headline Friday of RiverFest

Hill Country Blues continues to be a mainstay in New Albany and blues musicians still play the music strongly on stages everywhere.

Audience members will have a chance to listen to blues music by listening and dancing to The Mosley and Johnson Band, with special guests, the Muscle Shoals Horns on Sept. 21, 2012 at Tallahatchie RiverFest.

Sam Mosley, lead singer of The Mosley and Johnson Band, is a resident of New Albany and he said he always looks forward to playing to fans at home, especially during Tallahatchie RiverFest.

Blues legends Sam Mosley and Bob Johnson made a name for themselves with their prolific songwriting, singing, and guitar playing.

The duo performed together for 31 years and ended up also writing songs for many of the blues’ top artists.

As Mosley and Johnson, the team recorded several albums of blues and southern soul in the 1980s and ‘90s for the Muscle Shoals Sound and Malaco labels, but found a more lucrative niche as songwriters for Malaco artists Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Bland, Little Milton, and others. They recorded their first album, Mississippi Mud, on their own Sabo label in 1971, as Sam and Bob & the Soulmen. They also recorded in the 1970s for Polydor under the name “Mojoba,” before becoming the “The Mosley & Johnson Band.”

Mosley said that the band is working on a few new numbers this year.

Some of the fan favorites that the band will play will be “Rock Me,” and “Slide On,” a song in which the band received its first gold record for producing and songwriting.

“Down Home Blues” is another fan favorite and is a song that was recorded by ZZ Hill.

“People like to hear a good variety of rhythm and blues when they come to one of our shows. We always like to play at home when we can and let the people here hear our music,” said Mosley.

Mosley said the first time he ever heard an electric guitar was when he went to listen to another local blues great, Leon Pinson, in New Albany.

“My dad and my uncles were also inspirations to me,” Mosley said. “They played ‘20s and ‘30s minstrel music, mainly the guitar, banjo, and mandolin, and my brother Jamie played the piano. They all inspired me.

 “My inspiration has always been here in the South, in this city, in this state. I still love being a part of it as when we first started and still love to share that with other people,” said Mosley.

Albums will be available for purchase at the event. The band plans to have a new album released late spring or early summer next year.

The Muscle Shoals Horns is an American horn section, based in Muscle Shoals, Ala. 

 The members are Harrison Calloway on trumpet, Harvey Thompson on saxophone and flute, Charles Rose on trombone, and Ronnie Eades on baritone saxophone.