Sweethearts get the blues at Peery's
By LINDA EAST BRADY
Standard-Examiner staff firstname.lastname@example.org
With four-plus decades of playing under his belt, Salt Lake Valley musician/songwriter Randy Mundy has played all kinds of styles. But in the end, he always returns to the blues.
He brings the latest incarnation of his music to Peery's Egyptian Theater on Saturday. The Mundy Mourning Blue Band, an 11-piece outfit made up of top-flight musicians from the Utah and Salt Lake valleys, will play its first-ever show in Ogden, part of a dinner-and-music evening to celebrate Valentine's Day.
Blues and Valentine's Day might seem strange bedfellows at first consideration, but Mundy said that, with his particular brand of blues, no one will leave the night down in the dumps.
"Even when I do write a blues tune that might be considered a downer subject-wise, I go for the humor, go more tongue-in-cheek," Mundy said. "That is the way I approach writing the sadder songs. I am just not a very negative person."
Mundy was a young musician when The British Invasion hit America's music scene with the arrival of the Beatles. Bands like The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds -- groups that had cut their teeth on American blues records brought over by sailors to England's port cities -- followed, reintroducing America to its own native music.
"The thing about blues music -- I think more people like it than realize they do," said Mundy. "Most rock, one way or another, was influenced by it."
Mundy was born and raised in Kansas. After high school, he went on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Soon after returning, he landed in Kansas City and started a band under his own name, playing blues and country, rock and country swing.
"We got play on the radio there and had some regional successes. And then I moved to Utah for a few years, where I met my wife."
She had a strong country flavor to her singing, so Mundy adapted his songwriting style to suit her voice.
"We pursued that -- went to L.A. for five years, and then Nashville for a while, and then back to Kansas City for 10 years."
The Mundys returned to Utah about four years ago, when Mundy's mother-in-law needed care.
"She was elderly and needed us and there wasn't anything keeping us in Kansas, so here we came."
Big Utah blues
Mundy had a blues project about halfway done when he arrived back in Utah.
"I needed some tracks filled, so I looked up some musicians I knew out here. Pretty soon, I had enough tracks for a couple of CDs."
Mundy's blues band is healthy in size -- 11 members strong.
"It is a big-sounding small blues band," quips Mundy. "We have horns, keyboards, including some digital stuff like midi horns and strings ... background vocals and that sort of thing."
As for playing a show meant to celebrate a day of love, Mundy said his band members know just what to do to please the crowd.
"We are just going to do our typical show, our usual mix of humor and music. And sure, there are love songs and that -- the I-can't-live-without-you things. I think that people will enjoy, and see themselves, in the music."
Listen to "I Love You Blues"