Raving Mojos with the James McKenty Band and Ariel's Worm at the Horseshoe, February 21. Tickets: $8. Attendance: 40. Rating: NNN
Most people assumed that after the reunited Raving Mojos played the Lee's Palace launch party for their Last Rock And Roll Show Ever!! CD, they'd quietly crawl into obscurity. However, the rejuvenated Turning Point survivors are determined to add another chapter to their house-wrecking legend. Admittedly, they're not the brash and agile thugs they were 20 years ago, but musically speaking they're much more accomplished.
The fact that the Mojos were an 11th-hour addition to the Friday-night Horseshoe bill with Peterborough's answer to John Mayer, James McKenty -- whose truckload of hometown supporters left with him -- probably contributed to the small turnout, as did the coincidental Forgotten Rebels gig at Healey's. But if staring at empty seats was disheartening, the Mojos didn't let it show.
A shaky opening cover of the Velvets' We're Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together sounded like an idle threat, but when they got through the first chorus of Richard and the Young Lions' Open Up Your Door, you could see they were starting to feel it.
Guitarist Kurt Schefter locked in with bassist Al Miller (original Mojos bassist Ken Fox is now in the Fleshtones), and they were firing on all cylinders on their numbskull classic Yeah-Yeah-Uh-Huh, which ranks alongside the Ugly Ducklings' Nothin' and It's All Meat's Feel It at the top of Toronto's all-time great rock and roll anthems.
The detour that Mojos frontman Blair Martin took with Klave y Kongo, singing and playing Afro-Cuban son, has clearly added to his range and sense of timing. He was just as comfortable letting loose bottle-rattling screams as crooning their Stonesy honky-tonk numbers.
A few more shows and these hombres will be as dangerous as ever.