With songwriter Rachel Berlin on vocals and harmonica, the band boasts a versatile group of performers from vocalist Alex Berlin, singing rock, jazz, and country, to blues guitar virtuoso Craig Jones, a recipient of the Albert King Award. Jones' powerful blues style and singing is wonderfully complemented by the potent rhythm section of bassist Randy Bramwell and drummer Steve Barbuto who, together with Craig Jones, playing for Michelle Willson's Band, prevously won the National Best of Blues Award in Memphis. In addition to playing for Massmainia, Randy Bramwell is frequently on the road for the Love Dogs and Steve Barbuto plays with Jeff Golub and Avenue Blue and tours with the resplendent Commander Cody. Rounding out the band is Rich Berlin on vocals, alto and tenor sax, and clarinet.
In addition to the original material of "Star Girl," "Cat Academy" and "Worldwide," Massmainia's six piece band has a large performance repetoire. The band had its own program at the Boston Hatch Shell Performing Arts Series following their first CD release. They have played for Maine's Summerfest program, National Park Events, the Massachusetts Pig 'N Pepper Festival, the Wang Center in Boston, shared the stage with Blues Time with Magic Dick and J. Geils, and performed for Newburyport First Night.
Characterizing a performance at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, Mass., Matthew Robinson of Boston SoundCheck Magazine called Massmainia a "bluesy little big band," and described their earlier press release as a "musical hors d'ouevre" which "left its consumers hungry for the main course" of the performance that followed.
Massmainia plays every month at the Colonial Inn in Concord, MA. Check the Boston Globe for dates and times.
Click here to e-mail the band
Click here to see the cast from "Cat Academy"