Buckeye Music Magazine
Covering the Music Scene in the Buckeye State
The Barry Mando Project: Modern Jazz with a Twist
By Jimmy Cummings
Jazz, perhaps more than any other genre has seen many changes over the years; bop, cool jazz, jazz fusion, Nu jazz and more. Even greats like Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, and John Coltrane went through periods of change throughout their illustrious careers experimenting and improvising with many different sounds. Today’s Jazz scene is just as experimental as ever and Jazz musicians continue to press the envelope. Jazz guitarists like John McLaughlin, John Scofield, and Pat Marino have also helped pave the way for some of today’s greats as well. One of which is Danny Williams of The Barry Mando Project; the only thing is Danny doesn’t play a guitar but instead a Baritone Mandolin. Not what you think of when thinking of ordinary Jazz instruments I know, but The Barry Mando Project is no ordinary Jazz band. In fact the band’s sound is diverse and blends Jazz with a little Funk, Blues, and Rock for the perfect sound.
I first discovered the Barry Mando Project while preparing for Kynd Karma’s Summer Shakedown earlier this year. Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances I would have to wait until the bands most recent trip to the Buckeye State and Stanley’s Pub in Cincinnati to find out what the band was like live. Danny was kind enough to send me a copy of their self titled EP prior to the show; the six song EP is one of those albums that you can’t listen to just once. The album is refined and complex the first time you here it, but upon listening to it several times you find that it also simple and fresh. After seeing the band live I know why; these three guys are amazing musicians and they make it look effortless. The trio from Lexington, KY consist of Danny Williams (Electric Baritone Mandolin, Vocals), Danny Cecil (Acoustic and Electric Bass), and Paul Deatherage (Drums and Percussion).
It has been a minute since the last time I played a CD over and over, but The Barry Mando Project is one of those CD’s. The first song on the CD called “Nuclear Mando” wastes no time highlighting the trio’s skills. The studio version is incredible but the live version will blow your mind. The first thing you notice is the versatility of Williams and his Baritone Mandolin. He can turn a smooth, mellow riff into a blazing inferno of fingers and strings in the blink of an eye. At one point I stopped taking pics, looked around and all eyes were glued to this Mandolin and its master. And I am not overstating even a little, the guy is unbelievable. Then I noticed Cecil and his Bass thumping and laying down this awesome beat. And all of a sudden here comes this mini Drum solo from Deatherage. Mini because it could have lasted 20 minutes for all I cared; and the crowd agreed. Even Danny encouraged Paul to continue a bit longer, it was cool. Keep in mind this is all coming at you in one incredibly awesome song.
The band played my favorite song from the CD called “With or Without” that features Williams and his soulful voice. Even listening to the album as I write this article I am amazed at how many different sounds Danny is able to extract from one instrument. The band played much of the album including the song “Phroe"  a Jazz, Rock masterpiece. As a matter of fact the entire CD is a must have for any music lover’s collection. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe The Barry Mando Project CD or their performance at Stanley’s. I was talking to Danny prior to the show and he was telling me about some of the bands previous shows and he mentioned the night they opened up for Larry Keel. Apparently Larry watch the bands set and came up to Danny afterwards and said, “Man you melted my face off.” What a compliment! If you think Larry and I are exaggerating, the best thing for you to do is buy the CD and give it a listen. I would venture to say that once you listen to it a couple of times you will be on your computer and going to Buckeye Music Magazine or the bands Website to see where The Barry Mando Project is playing next. You’ll be glad you did.


Contact Information
Chubby Howard: chubby@buckeyemusicmagazine.com
Jimmy Cummings: jimmy@buckeyemusicmagazine.com
Kim Howard: kim@buckeyemusicmagazine.com
Lisa Cummings: lisa@buckeyemusicmagazine.com
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