Achilles Wheel
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Achilles Wheel

| Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Jam




"Achilles Wheel Insight Interview"

Insight: Achilles Wheel
Hosted By: David Watts Barton
A daily, in-depth interview program providing context and background to the issues that face our region. -

"Achilles Wheel needs a break to keep rolling"

By Mike Roberts
From page B2 | July 25, 2012 | 5 Comments
“Kissing builds up your mouth!”

Baby boomers of a certain aesthetic recognize the Woodstock aphorism, famously uttered between stage announcements by counterculture clown Wavy Gravy during the watershed 1969 music festival and captured on the movie soundtrack that might have ultimately shaped the aesthetic more than the event itself.

The ageless hippie issued his famous oral fitness advice again last month during a series of spontaneous monologues from the main stage at the Kate Wolf music festival in Laytonville.

The gentle audience, a mix of dreadlocked 20-something jam-banders, graying Woodstock-era folkies and the vast Woodstock-movie generation in between, were respectful, soaking up the between-set banter like so much sun screen.

The festival’s midday acts leaned toward the singer-songwriter genre, a tacit recognition of the festival’s dearly loved namesake. The appreciative multitude hung on each minor chord.

In an innovative lineup twist, a smaller stage at the back of the main meadow hosted less proven, more adventurous acts between main stage sets in the afternoons. When the final chord echoed from the front of the meadow, the first note from the small stage was struck.

Sun-saturated festivarians wandered back to hear the band if it sounded interesting, but more often than not, sought shade, sustenance, or buried their nose in a Kindle from the comfort of their low back chair.

Achilles Wheel

One such set found Placerville’s own Jonny “Mojo” Flores front and center on the back stage, surrounded by yet-another group of his seemingly endless collaborators, this one called “Achilles Wheel.”

To his left stood Paul Kamm, a long-time fixture at the Kate Wolf Festival in a different capacity. Kamm and his wife Eleanore MacDonald are a “modern folk duo” known for stellar songwriting, intricate harmonies and life-affirming lyrics.

To Flores’ right stood the band’s newest member, bass player Shelby Snow, beneath a pinch-front, rolled-brim cowboy hat which he described as an homage to founding Grateful Dead member Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, but might be more familiar to post-Woodstockers atop Kenny Chesney’s cranium.

Kamm recently described Snow’s style as “colorful, aggressive and experimental.”

Belying convention, Snow plays in and around the root notes, said Kamm. “He creates this incredible energy that drives the rhythm section.”

The back of the stage was dominated by two full drum kits, manned by long-time collaborators Mark McCartney and Gary Campus.

Kamm described the tandem as complementary, McCartney, a skilled jazz-fusion rock drummer staying closer to home, “in the pocket,” in percussion parlance, freeing Campus to work the edges as a colorist.

The resulting “massive primal sound,” is “intense, complex and just plain loud, a great foundation to build on,” said Kamm.

Achilles Wheel’s festival performance was the highest profile gig of the band’s brief existence, and Kamm admitted being worried that the big sound might be too grand a divergence from the more delicate work he was known for, or worse still, that the band’s recently restructured harmonies might crumble during this formative and critical stage.

Read the entire article at: - Mountain Democrat


Achilles Wheel, Thirteen Hours, released 2011, available now: and
Thirteen Hours is also available in download format at CD Baby.



Achilles Wheel, based in the foothills of Northern California’s Sierra Nevada, is a high energy
Roots and World music/Rock and Roll jam band, featuring award winning original material
played on numerous stringed instruments and a whole truck load of drums. In the wake of their
breakout performance at the 2012 Kate Wolf Music Festival, the band has been burning up stages
all across California and is poised to travel much further in the coming year.
The fiery epicenter of Achilles Wheel’s sound is Jonny Mojo on lead guitar and vocals,
surrounded by Paul Kamm and Shelby Snow on rhythm, bass and vocals, and Gary Campus and
Mark McCartney on drums and vocals. Their debut CD, ’13 Hours’ was recorded at the historic
Nevada Theater in Nevada City in, well...13 hours, since the band believes so strongly in the
chemistry of it’s live performances. AW’s follow up to 13 hours will be out this winter since the
groups songwriters, Paul, Jonny and Shelby have been busy and inspired by this new project, and
the bands live shows feature a lot of fresh new material.
And as original songs go, Achilles Wheel’s are some of the most accessible around and will stay
with you long after the excitement of the show is over. These writers have been acknowledged
by many of the biggest music festivals in the country including Kerrville, Telluride and Rocky
Mtn. Folk. Most recently Achilles Wheel was a finalist with their song ‘Got A Tattoo’ in the
‘Race to TRI’ song contest, which many on the West Coast will recognize as a premier audio/
video production studio run by Bob Weir.
So if you love to dance and celebrate life, come see an Achilles Wheel show and make a joyful
noise. We’ll be waiting...
Paul Kamm - Guitar / Lead Vocals
Paul Kamm is best known as a singer/songwriter, having won awards from the prestigious Kerrville, Telluride and Rocky Mtn. music festivals as part of the internationally recognized modern folk duo, Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald. . At home in large venues like the Strawberry, Kerrville or Kate Wolf music festivals, a late night ‘in the round’ tribute to Woody Guthrie with folks they greatly admire like Jackson Browne, Eliza Gilkyson, Steve Earle and Jimmy Lafave, or in the small intimate setting of a living room house concert, Paul and Eleanore sing with the same voice. One that is personal and unguarded… a voice draped in stark and ethereal harmonies that are as welcoming as the crackling warmth of a fire. Since 1987 Paul and Eleanore have independently produced 9 albums of original music, receiving critical acclaim from all of the various trade reviewers worldwide. Music from these CDs are played on NPR, Community, College and Public radio stations the world over as well as on internet and satellite radio. They’ve been featured in Sing Out! Magazine, Air America, Democracy Now!... ’Josephine’, from the CD ‘Fool’s Paradise’, was used at a multimedia event in 2002, commemorating the events of 9/11/2001 at Ground Zero in NYC. They’ve been seen on PBS performing on a few episodes of the ‘California Heartland’ series, and have had their song ‘Calling on Love’ used in a PBS ‘Visionaries’ segment. Most recently their song, ‘The Dark Seed’ is to be featured in a upcoming documentary film by Aaron Lucich, ‘We Are What We Eat’, and their rendition of Kate Wolf’s song ‘Unfinished Life’ is included on Nina Gerber’s latest CD ‘Good Music With Good People…Live at the Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival’. This folk and roots tradition has run a parallel course over 30 years with his involvement with Rock and Roll and World music, and Paul is well known as one of the most energetic and hard driving rhythm guitarists you’ll ever see, as well as a powerful singer and songwriter in these genres.

Jonny "Mojo" Flores - Guitar / Lead Vocals
Coming from Northern California's Sierra Nevada foothills, Jonny has created quite a name in his local area. Jonny has been noted in the Mountain Democrat as “Placerville's hardest working musician – hands down.” Performing at many venues, Mojo plays at local wineries, cafes, and bars. In addition to local venues, Mojo has also performed at festivals including the Summer Solstice Music Festival, American River Music Festival, Hangtown Halloween Ball, and the Northern California Blues Festival. Jonny Mojo has also opened for acts such as Elvin Bishop, Roy Rogers, Joe Craven, Dan Crary, and Izabella; and has co-billed music festivals with artists such as Jackie Greene, Bill Kreutzmann, Scott Law, Melvin Seals/JGB, and Railroad Earth. With a foundation in blues, Jonny Mojo transcends genres blending rock, folk, fusion, bluegrass, jam band styles and more. What really shines through in a performance is his heart
felt passion for music.