Mo' Kauffey

Mo' Kauffey

BandPopSinger/Songwriter

I play in the hallway between the folk and the blues. I write songs and I adapt others songs to my style, and make them my own. My style is very smooth and rhythmical My delivery has a very laid back energy to it.

Biography

In the eight years since Mo’ Kauffey became the stage name for Gary Wickizer he has gone from someone known by few to a widely known, much respected, and loved artist throughout Colorado, Florida, Southern Ontario, Michigan, and points in between. He has released five full CDs during that time, with number six due to be released December 2008. He has polished his persona into a highly entertaining show, with a laid-back smooth style, full of humour whether performing solo or joined by any number of sidemen he has attracted. He performs anywhere from coffeehouses to festivals, stating, “I like the intimate crowds, but love the energy of a larger crowd!”.

“I got interested in music as a child, hearing the early rock and pop my older sisters would play on their phonographs. I took accordion lessons in grade school and had an ability to play ‘by ear’. It was at this time I first thought of having a band. The Accordion didn’t last too long and I ended up getting a guitar - hey, The Beatles were just starting to make waves - and I started teaching myself to play and learning songs. This was coming into the early 70’s when acoustic music was really popular. About this time I heard some acoustic blues “Sonny Boy Williamson” and Sonny Terry” it really caught my ear, but thought it was an old dead art form. I then heard “Hot Tuna” and John Mayall’s “Turning Point” and I veered in that direction.
I was blessed by not sounding like anyone in particular, so I had no easy path to develop, but rather sang and played the music trying to sound like me.”

Mo’ was happy to jam with friends at parties and get togethers for many years, not wanting to commercialize his music, but just have fun with it. His first professional gig was in 1976, and at about this time he formed the Last Blast Band, (without drums), and they rehearsed a lot, but played out just once, and on that outing they won the local Gong Show. The band broke up soon after that, and Mo’ did not do any more gigs until he moved to Florida in 1979 and discovered the local music scene which centered at the “Stuffed Pepper”.

“This place was alive with music every night, blues jams, acoustic jams, bands, there was nothing like this in Pueblo, Colorado, my home town, it was great, and I dived in with both feet. I grew a lot as a musician during this time, but still did not pursue it as a vocation. Moving back to Colorado in ’83, I started wanting to do more gigging and did a few with “Little Juke” as the Cosmic Radiators.”

Mo’ then formed the Singing Painters, a great but poor band, with Mitchell Maroney on guitar and Donovan McNeilly on bass. In 1989 he joined up with Bryan Richie and Donovan and called themselves the “Del Rio Trio” and performed at a little club in Pueblo. In 1991 Mo’ joined what was to become the Moonriders and they worked at gigging for about a year. Mo’ eventually left and began doing some solo gigs.

“I had a steady Monday night gig that started out solo and would invite folks to sit in; we always ended up the night with a full band on stage. Many of these guys would return weekly to enjoy the spontaneous music we would create. Then is when the enigma of my music really began. You see, musicians like to join in with me because the groove and space in my music is inviting in a free way, that ends up with the sum being more than the separate parts, to have the sum be more than the equal parts.

And that brings us to the present, or “when you get to the bottom go back to the top…….of the slide.”

Lyrics

Charlie Hates the Blues

Written By: G. Wickizer

Got up this morning, put on clothes again

Went to the kitchen, had coffee and then

Telephone rang, bank’s on the line

Said you owe us money, bring it in by nine.

(Chorus)

One thing’s for certain, you know it’s true,

Ain't no doubt about it,…………Charlie hates the blues.

Went to the car, saw the broken glass

Tried to start it, had no gas

The radio’s broken, won’t make a sound

Got out saw four flat tires, clear to the ground.

(Chorus)

Back in the house woman’s putting me down

Says she’s tired of me actin’ like a clown

If I don’t straighten up, quit messin’ around

I’ll be sorry, cause she gonna leave this town.

(Chorus)

Down to the bus, the bus was late

Got to my job, they had locked the gate

Sign said he that lost done hesitate

I said ---- Man-----ain’t that great?

(Chorus)

Discography

"Whatcha Gonna Do" 2003
"Pirates of the Airwaves" 2002
Mo' and Les “Headin’ South/Sno-Flakes” 2002
“4-Corners Mo’” 2001.
"Just Mo' " 2000

Set List

Set list
Shows range from a one-hour set/show to 4/ 45-minute sets in a full night.
With about 400 songs in his repertoire it would be quite a task to list them all here.
But depending on the crowd a “Mo’ show” can go any number of directions always peppering the sets with his originals.
He does have favorites that seem to be included in shows more often than and they include:
Blues:
I Get the Blues when it Rains/ Trad.
Big Boss Man /Jimmy Reed
Can’t Hold Out /Elmore James
Spoonful/ Willie Dixon
She Caught the Katy/ Taj Mahal
Fan It/ Lightning Hopkins
Know You Rider/ Trad. (Hot Tuna)
Magnolia/ J.J. Cale

Roots:
All Around the World/ Trad
Railroad Work Song/ Trad.
House of the Rising Sun/ Trad./Leadbelly
What Do You do with A drunken Sailor/ Trad.
The Weight/ The Band

Up on Cripple Creek/ the Band
Sixteen Tons/ Merle Travis

Country:
Jambalaya/ Hank Williams
I’m so Lonesome I Could Cry/ Hank Williams
Long Black Veil/ Johnny Cash
Night Life/ Willie Nelso