Mulebone is a partnership comprised of multi-instrumentalist, John Ragusa and roots music specialist, Hugh Pool. The launching pad for their musical expression is traditional blues.
Together they have recorded a CD which spent 15 weeks in the Top 100 Albums in America. Along with playing live and TV appearances, they won blues artist of the year at radio stations from Seattle, Washington to Red Bank, New Jersey. Any given week, you may find them playing clubs in NYC or entertaining at private parties thrown by David Rockefeller, Bruce Wasserstein and list of other East Coast residents who are enthusiastic about bringing these boys in for a party by road, sea or air.
John Ragusa can play anything he can put his lips on
...wait a minute....did I say that out loud?
In Mulebone, John plays, conch shell, Jews harp, cornet, all manner of flutes, tin whistle, and chimes in on the harmony vocals.
He is member of Beth Nielsen Chapman's group as well as his own John Ragusa outfit, and plays regularly in conjunction with Deepak Chopra'sspeaking engagements. Amongst dozens of studio credits are contemporary jazz greats Joe Taylor, Jeremy Wall and world music icon Tom Ze.
Hugh says, "One time we were in Lexington, Kentucky sitting at an outdoor cafe and John played me a bunch of melodies sliding a straw up and down in a cup of ice water"...you get the drift.
Hugh plays guitars, harmonica, boot board and sings, all with a mouth full of whiskey and a giant heart.
He has played his brand of blues in clubs and at festivals from Jakarta, Indonesia to North Cape, Norway; From Vienna, Austria to Ottawa, Ontarioand has been critically lauded by The New York Times, New York Press, The Village Voice, Pittsburgh Press, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Blues Revue Magazine...the list goes on.
He is also a noted recordist and producer who has worked on hundreds of records at his Williamsburg, Brooklyn studio, Excello Recording including sessions with Taj Mahal, Debbie Harry, and Marah to name a couple.
Together in Mulebone, Hugh and John play slide guitar boogies, 1 chord trance riffs a la Howlin Wolf the uptempo rags of Reverend Gary Davis and country blues of all shapes and colors. Sometimes they play close to the source, almost as if tracing the image, and at other moments, they re-examine the source, float above it, take a new look as one understanding their home from a distant land.