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December 02, 1999 - Image 41

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-12-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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boys' funk gains attention

It's easy to get your
arts event in The
Li, the mos
widely ra

reference on


'y Jo'''Schultz
For the Daily
All across the country, others
realize the reputation University of
Michigan students carry with them
- a reputation for working hard.
Then there are those who play hard.
Some students like to end a week of
studying by winding back on their
couches and throwing a movie in the
Others? Well, some people like to
dance all night, smile and sing, and
just plain get funky. That's where the
local band That's My Mama comes
into the picture.
That's My Mama is a four-piece
band, originally formed here on
campus two years ago. "Jon (Ratner,
the bassist) and I played together in
high school, and we'd been planning
on forming a band when we got to
Michigan," said drummer David
By the second semester of their
freshman year, they had hooked up
with Adam Kotok, the lead guitarist,
and Josh Eckhaus, former keyboard
player. By the end of the school
year, they were developing a repu-
tation for blowing the roof off fra-
ternity houses, like the gone yet not
forgotten Phi Delta Theta. With the
rep came . a battalion of devoted
local fans.
"Yeah," Ratner said, "we started.
off covering anything from James
Brown to Phish. but we've pretty
much erased Phish from the reper-
toire, moving on to more obscure
and funkier (material), like

And funk is their full-time goal
when playing bars like Rick's and
Touchdown's. At those times, the
majority of the patrons are a virtual
That's My Mama cult - up on their
feet, dancing, and sometimes even
singing along with Ratner, who is
also That's My Mama's lead vocal-
"I can't seem to choose which is
better; Jon's bass playing, or his
sweet vocals," said business school
junior (and That's My Mama devo-
tee) B.J. Hock-
Eckhaus left That's My
the band last Mama
April, but he Rick's
was swiftly Saturday at 10 p.m.
succeeded by
the dread-
locked wonder,
Paul Cox, who
has no com-
p!aints. "I
knew playing
with these
guys would be wild, and it's lived up
my expectations," said Cox. "What
makes it so much fun is just how
much we feed off the energy of our
fans. The more they get into the
music, the better we play, and the
more fun we have doing it."
Cox pointed out he tries to add his
own unique musical idiosyncrasies
to bunch together with every note.
"It's nearly impossible not to watch
his hands when he solos. He really
just blows my mind sometimes

Call the
weekend Editors
at 7"

watching him rock," said Jodi
Tepper, an LSA junior and Mama
Along with the pervasive funk,
That's My Mama's eclectic array of
musical influences includes names
such as Joe Zawinul, Bob Dylan,
and George Porter.
"We cover artists anywhere from
the Funky Meters to Stevie Wonder
and the Grateful Dead, but we also
have several original tunes," said
Schwartz. Ever since That's My
Mama received great reactions for
the handful of original songs they
have unleashed live, they have
resolved to produce many more,
some of which are now reportedly in
the making.
When listening to Schwartz on
the drums, it is easy to tell he is
holding his own in the rock drum-
ming department, but he was actual-
ly schooled as a jazz drummer. He
brings the band a combination of
energetic funk with his own creative
rock mote.
That's iy Mama also has a ten-
dency to add extras to their live
music, trying to surprise the bar
crowd every show. Two horn players
have paid them a few visits this
"Our most exciting and memo-
rable nights have been when the
horns play with us," said Ratner. In
addition, even a harmonica plaver,
Thomas Goss (no relation), has
made a special guest appearaiice.
Goss might be more recognizable to
students for sharing his tunes with
them in the Diag.
That's My Mama is targeting an
audience whose idea of fun is listen-
ing to talented musicians, who enjoy
good company or just want io get
down. Those who think they fill dhe
bill can find That's My Mama play-
ing at Rick's on Saturday, Dec. 4, or
at Touchdown Cafe next Thursday,
Dec. 9th.
Cover) this Saturday's s11w at
Rick's is $3. You must be 21 and
have legal ID. If you have questions,
call Rick s American Cafe at (734)


You are cordially invited to a celebration of life
as Aids Awareness Week 1999
"Dancing Under the Stars"
featuring Camp Heartland
and other special guests
Saturday, December 4, 1999 8:00
Michigan Union Ballroom
Tickets $10, available at MUTO, 763-TKTS
All proceeds o to benefit Camp Heartland
Sponsored by UAC and We Can Help

gold bond
332 Maynard
(Across from Nickels Arcade)

Formal Attire

Refreshments will be served


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