Formed almost twelve years ago, The Mojo Stars quickly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. With deep roots in the blues and soul combined with a rock driven edge, this multi-talented band has been collecting a large following, starting from their debut performance at one of the closing nights of Vancouver’s 2006 Jazz Festival, to their upcoming tour in 2018.
Started in 2006 by singer and front man Randy Clarke and guitarist Mark Rankin, the band’s first year saw them playing at local clubs, pubs, casinos and private events. In 2009, they recorded their first CD, Devil’s Advocate, a collection of ten original songs penned by Clarke and Rankin. The CD received massive airplay being featured on blues programs in Canada, the US and Europe, including being the new spotlight artist on Canadian Brent Zwicker’s show, At The Crossroads. The disc was also in regular rotation on the US’s Tony Steidler Dennison’s podcast, The Roadhouse, which has a listenership of over 10,000. The CD has also received the highest rating possible from John Vermilyea’s famed blues website, Blues Underground Network. Locally, the band had four songs featured in the Vancouver Province’s Playlist section in 2009/2010, which with an online/print weekly readership of 920,000, enabled them to reach an even greater audience.
The end of 2012 saw the inclusion of new members; Lee Oliphant on Bass, former Long John Baldry drummer Loren Etkin on drums, B3 player Kenny Boychuck (long time Jerry Doucette collaborator) and sax man Tom Gould to the lineup. Playing their return gig at the newly-opened Columbia Theatre in New Westminster, The Mojo Stars sold out the 500-seat-room and treated both old and new fans to freshly written material.
In 2017, the band released their second CD, Under The Influence, which debuted in the top ten of the Roots Music Reports’ Top 50 Blues Rock Albums, and in the top 20 Canadian releases. With rave reviews from a variety of international critics, the band played a series of high profile shows in 2017 and 2018, splitting the bill with acts like Curtis Salgado and Monkey Junk. 2019 sees the band expand even more as they bring famed delta bluesman, James ‘Super Chikan’ Johnson to Vancouver, for two shows.