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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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By Julie Garisto
Published December 18, 2007
Gurus with mojo: Doc Lovett, guitar and vocals; Vinnie Granese, bass and vocals; Mark Busto drums; and original Roxx Gang member and founder Kevin Steele on lead vocals. Steele answers questions by e-mail.
Putting the rawk back into rock: "Over the years rock 'n' roll has mutated into an awful lot of subgenres," Steele laments. "It is my opinion that a lot of bands have forgotten the spirit in which rock 'n' roll was originally intended. The Mojo Gurus are here to remind you. 'Be bop al lula,' may not be the most profound words ever written, but they move ya. That's rock 'n' roll. ... We've tried to incorporate elements of blues, psychedelic, country, glam ('70s) and even a little soul ... and present it in a way that moves people. I think we've brought back kind of a rock 'n' roll revue mentality to our live performances that I feel is in very short supply in this immediate area."
Most recent album: Shakin' in the Barn, produced by Jack Douglas (New York Dolls, John Lennon), was released by Empire Musicwerks and distributed worldwide by Universal Records.
New CD: Let's Get Lit, recorded at Prostar Recording Studio in St. Petersburg, with Jody Gray engineering, mixing and co-producing. "I think it is by far our best record yet," Steele says.
New tunes:Bucket O' Blood, "kind of a Stonesy, Route 66ish, rave-up"; and I Can't Stand to Hear That Song Again, "a Southern Rock barnburner that features Howard Helm (Ian Hunter Band) on keyboards.
Show closer: Who's Been Drivin' My Cadillac? Their most popular tune, it's available at MojoGurus.com .
Your brother's company manages you? "We are all represented by a great management team, headed by my brother Brett Steele, who has managed me since my days as a young buck in Roxx Gang."
Other names they know: "I've been credited for the discovery of Buddy Moody but it was more like a rediscovery. ... He's a great country blues singer and picker and a real gentleman and I'm a better person for knowing him. Buddy guests on fiddle on two tracks of our new record and will be playing with us at the Ringside this Friday night. ... Dexter Romweber and I are old friends. We actually grew up together in Venice, Fla. ... His big brother and I got arrested together a couple of times - nothin' serious, just pot. Dexter is a real natural; that boy has a vision and every once in a while we (his listening audience) are lucky enough to be let in on it."
Hear 'em: 9 p.m. Friday with Blind Buddy Moody and Stand Back, at Ringside Cafe, 2742 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. Cost $5. (727) 894-8465.