Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nedski & Mojo at Elmer's Store, Ashfield MA

Stephen Mougin & Ned Luberecki

 On Sunday afternoon we were eager to escape the house, see some friends, and hear some good music, so we drove down to Elmer's Store in Ashfield, MA where Stephen Mougin grew up, and he and Ned Luberecki were presenting their traveling road-show "Nedski & Mojo." Ashfield is a small rural village in the eastern foothills of the Berkshire Mountains and the home town of Cecil B. DeMille, famed film maker as well as to Mougin.  We drove west through rolling hills and past small farms into the setting sun and arrived at Elmer's to find the crescent moon standing just above it's cupola.

Elmer's Store

Elmer's is a small store and restaurant in the middle of the small village of Ashfield, (pop. 2000) near Ashfield Pond in a quiet, bucolic corner of western Massachusetts. They serve light meals as well as excellent coffee and desserts. We were glad we arrived early in order to grab good seats for the sold out event.  Across the street is the Inn at Norton Hill, built in 1795 and under the same ownership as Elmer's. We were greeted by Ned and Stephen who were setting up their equipment and completing their sound check. Soon Bruce and Kelly Stockwell of Hot Mustard came in and joined us as the room filled up with Stephen's friends, family, mentors and former band mates. The evening would soon turn into a the kind of magic that sometimes happens when you least expect it. 

Kelly Stockwell

Bear Acker

Ned Luberecki

 Ned Luberecki is a noted banjo player, one of the four regular hosts on Sirius/XM satellite radio's Bluegrass Junction, and a member of Chris Jones & the Night Riders. He brings a quick wit to his song writing, his MC work, and his banjo play all  of which complement his fine harmony singing and superb backup play.  Ned's "perfect bluegrass song," the Cabin of Death captures the essence of many bluegrass songs in a witty and affectionate parody. They used audience input for a bluegrass song based on Mad Libs had the crowd roaring with laughter while participating actively.

Bruce Stockwell Listens & Learns
Homemade Bread at Elmer's

Mojo Greets Friends & Guests

 Stephen Mougin

Stephen Mougin has been touring with the Sam Bush band as guitarist and harmony vocalist for six years. Meanwhile, he has developed an active recording studio called Dark Shadow Recordings where he produces albums and serves as a coach for a wide variety of traditional and progressive performers. He has also had a number of his compositions recorded by various bands. Mougin does workshops in vocal harmonies, which he studied at the University of Massachusetts. He taught music and musical theater in his home school for several years before beginning to tour as a full time musician. His song "Ginny Dances" is a tribute to his former colleague and friend who was choreographer and fellow teacher when he was both a student and a teacher. A multi-instrumentalist and supple vocalist, Mougin brings much to this delightful and high quality duo, which manages to provide plenty of sound while still only calling on two members.

Kathy Mougin - Proud Mom

...and Friends

Nedski & Mojo have recorded one CD and are working on a second. "Nothing More" is available from their web sites.

At the Merch Table


If you haven't caught this talented and engaging duo, keep an eye out for one of their performances in your area. Since they both are regulars in touring bands, you might not find them at festivals, although promoters might try to find ways to book them, but during the late fall and early winter hiatus look for them for their workshops and performances in your area. Their performance packs plenty of punch and has great audience appeal.