Mulebone is virtuosic multi-instrumentalist John Ragusa and New York Blues Hall of Fame inductee Hugh Pool. The launching pad for their musical expression is traditional blues played with guts, technique and a without-a-net sense of adventure. The word is transcendent.
W.C.Handy winning author Don Wilcox wrote, "Mulebone takes old blues and folk music into space as well as anyone since Led Zeppelin covered Sonny Boy Williamson.”
Hugh Pool plays the National Steel, electric, cigar box and acoustic guitars, harmonica, stomps on a boot-board, and sings lead vocals all with a mouth full of whiskey and a giant heart. John Ragusa plays all manner of flutes, fifes and tin whistles, the cornet, conch shell, jews harp, and well…anything he can put his lips on. He also sings harmony vocals, perfectly complimenting Pool's. The result is a sum greater than the parts; more sound, texture and groove than 2 people should be legally allowed to make.
After their debut at the Old Songs Festival in Altamont NY, a promoter commented “Audiences are “blown away by their innovative musicianship and by their ability to carry the blues tradition into new yet utterly authentic territory."
Allen Pepper, owner of NYC's legendary The Bottom Line made no secret of the fact that he enjoyed utilizing Mulebone as an opening act. In one year they shared billing at the club a dozen times with a diverse group of popular acts. From Johnny Winter to Manhattan Transfer, NRBQ to Al Stewart, Commander Cody, Al Kooper and Dave Edmonds to Lina Kautrakos the duo never faltered. It was a fun spirited challenge and a demonstration of faith from a 40 year veteran of the business.
When asked what he thought of them, Allen exclaimed "Jump-out-of-your-seats! The NYC-based duo known as Mulebone is a self-contained showcase of American roots music.”
Each of Mulebone's 4 albums earned position in the Top 100 on the AMA Roots/Americana chart and their most recent album, "Keep On Movin'" was the only independent release in the Top 40 for 12 weeks and spent over 5 months in the Top 100.
After hearing it, legendary Sirius/XM Rock DJ Pat St. John declared: "Holy Crap what sound! You guys have made a great Record here...it's over the top! Love this all over. Authentic. This is Art!"