Mojo Workout

Mojo Workout

by Paul Revere & the Raiders


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Though this is to the Raiders later, greater catalog what With the Beatles is to Revolver, it's another piece of hard evidence that the Pacific Northwest was the tough, balls-out, kicking-and-screaming early-'60s rock & roll region of America. Again, long before and right through the onslaught of the British Invasion, these guys and their bill-sharers were stomping out the '50s-model R&B so hard, it was a wonder they weren't black like the inspirations they covered. Yet, as it turns out, Mojo Workout is one of only three known live recordings that documents the band's early, mostly covers, wild-party sets, and its sound is impeccable. It was done at a free concert, in 1964, within their new label's (Columbia) Hollywood studios for the express purpose of caging the Raiders infamous live beast. (Yet the tapes sat in a vault for 37 years!) These five guys clearly fed off an audience, and though there's still plenty of drive in the young Raiders' studio work -- see the whole of disc two for the evidence of that -- you can feel the charge they got in their natural habitat, being egged on by a crowd. Unbridled frontman Mark Lindsay asks over and over, before each song, "Is everybody ready!!!," as if for another rocket launch. The songs and riffs of Ray Charles, Richard Berry, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Aaron Neville, Isley Brothers, Huey "Piano" Smith & the Clowns, Jerry Lee Lewis, Coasters, James Brown, Olympics, and Jessie Hill mix with the occasional similar-styled original to make the kids dance along with the Raiders' noted high-kick stage dance steps. Just listen and you can hear the band's charismatic power and the smoke they put into a clutch of great material, known and obscure.

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