Photo credit: Seleste Paige
Anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing a Miranda Lambert show recently will be no stranger to the Jukebox Mafia and all the fun that comes with them. Whether they are doing mash-ups of some of the best party songs of all time or mixing in their rowdy originals... one thing is for certain, Jukebox Mafia brings the party. I had the pleasure to ask beatboxing extraordinaire Dave Fenley what this crazy ride has been like.
The Reel Spin: Is touring in support of Miranda Lambert as big of a party as I think it would be?
Dave Fenley: You know? It's like a big family. Miranda has had the same bandmates forever practically. They have been so great to get to know, and they go out of their way to make us feel welcome. It's great. But to answer your question more directly, yes, it's one hell of a party!
TRS: For those that haven't been to a Miranda Lambert show, how would you describe the mash-up of songs that you do?
Fenley: It's like the best iPod on shuffle. We offer up music from a wide variety of genres. From old R&B to '80s rock and of course... some country. When Miranda found us in Nashville we were just messing around, because I had broken a guitar string and started beatboxing out of habit. It was my go to while I fixed my string, so that the show didn't lose all momentum. The crowd went crazy, and Miranda pulled us outside and offered us the gig on the spot. I had lived in Nashville for 2 weeks. Pretty great welcome to town moment. [Laughs]
Photo Credit: Spencer Combs
TRS: Is there a particular cover that always makes the crowd go crazy? Does Miranda have a favorite?
Fenley: We try to mix up the big sing-along song, but this tour we've included "Friends in Low Places," and people everywhere just go nuts and sing their butts off. It's one of those timeless songs. As for Miranda, she loves the originals... in particular "Against the Grain." Pretty cool for her to like OUR stuff.
TRS: When did you realize you were such a good beatboxer? You kill it!
Fenley: To be honest, compared to most of the true beatboxers out there, I'm amateur hour. But thanks! I started messing around with it when I was a kid growing up in East Texas. Then, when I started incorporating it in my acoustic shows, people seemed to like the rhythmic offering, so I kept it up. I recently started using a loop station so that I can create a beat and let it continue while I sing the song. I never imagined it would get me to this sort of stage. I'm super blessed.
Photo Credit: Derek Shampine
TRS: Your original songs are equally high energy... is it important to you to bring the fun with your original material as well?
Fenley: Absolutely! That's the most important part. I love great songs that move you like "The House That Built Me," but what we do is supposed to help folks cut loose. So we focus on the fun. Hopefully when people see Jukebox Mafia perform they can forget about their stupid boss or the upcoming car payment. Just an hour of uncensored, unapologetic fun. I think everyone could use that! So come out and join the Mafia!
For the latest on Jukebox Mafia, check out their Facebook page, here.
Interview by Pamela Thomas