If a music writer was to offer up a perfect tagline to describe the music of The Mood Kings, it would go something like: “an appealing blend of the Americana roots-rock sound with strong melodic sensibilities”.
However, if you asked The Mood Kings to describe their music, they would say throw the entire rock catalog from the late 60s through late 80s in a 9x11 pan, add generous helpings of Dylan, Waits, and Petty. Bake at NIN degrees for 45 min. Take out, top off with Sly and Prince. Cut into Andre the Giant portions. Garnish with Springsteen. Pairs nicely with a Sanford and Son marathon. Also good reheated.
Their debut album “The Wonder of It All” will be released June 15th. This collection documents the journey of Mark Schwarze (drums), Herman Ospina (guitar/vocals) and Joey Townsend (bass/vocals) as they played in several bands, building families, fighting addictions, reveling in subsequent recoveries, and building connections in all areas of life. These experiences led to songs that tell the stories of lives lived with regret, purpose, resilience, and vigor.
Fours years ago, when they walked off the stage of their 25th year reunion show of the band they started in their teens, Schwarze, Ospina, and Townsend looked at each other and contemplated why it took so long to play music together again. This “one night only” reunion led to 3 long-time friends reconnecting in a way that was unplanned and unexpected. Starting out simply as “catching up”, it quickly turned into conversations of music, songs, and artists they now loved, and a surprising realization they were all in similar places in their lives. It didn’t take long for a guitar to come out, a melody to be sung, and a song to be created. Their goal: to enjoy playing music together again. As the friendships were reborn, so were the jam sessions that turned into songwriting weekends. Before they knew it, they had some new songs. And a new band... The Mood Kings.
Working as a trio in the writing and recording process, the band fills out their unique sound with additional musicians in the live arena. Eschewing traditional labels of their music, they have also made conscious efforts to play small theatres, festivals, and performing arts venues that attract fans that come for the music. “We are interested in our audience, and we want them to be interested in us”, says Schwarze. “Our hope is that we make connections with our music.”
The Mood King’s “The Wonder of It All” is the album you want on road trips where you throw the map out the window and simply enjoy the drive - letting the road rise with the next song. It makes you take the long way home to see where the music goes next. At the next turn, you’ll find quiet reflection with songs like "This American Life" or “Texarkana” and exhuberent energy with the hooky rhythm of songs like "Loretta" and “Last Wishes”.
The album will be released June 15, 2018 and will be available in retail stores and through mail at CD Baby as well as available for download at all digital outlets. To promote the release, the band will be doing a three cities, three shows, three nights promotion this summer: Boone, NC on July 13, Lumberton on July 14, and Charlotte on July 15.
For more information and tickets to the shows, visit www.themoodkings.com.