Mudslide Charley is a Missoula Montana born band that delivers house rockin' roots music. Marco Littig (Mudslide) has led the band through many evolutions. From Its first sparks in 2004, the band continued to ignite and morph over the years into the now six piece powerhouse of diverse musicians and songwriters. They draw inspiration from a more antiquated era when Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker first fused the rough and rural vibes of southern acoustic blues with modern electric instruments.
The band performs inspired original tunes pumping with vital relevance and emotional fervor. Their belting voices and fresh instrumentals exude a true reverance for the blues musicians who have paved their way. Using gritty electric guitar, elastic bass, chest thumping backbeat, and rich soulful vocals punctuated by harmonica and saxophone, Mudslide Charley creates a musical gumbo that rattles bones and loosens limbs.
Marco Littig: slide/lead guitar and vocals
That singular gliss of pain and hope that chimes from slide guitar, fused with the defiant and mournful resolve of Delta blues penetrated the haze of collapse around 26 year old, Marco Littig. Living in the cacophony of New York City, and desperately holding on to an inevitably failed marriage, he dropped out of graduate school at the New School for Social Research, to chase the inspiration of a muse he knew nothing about. Marco, picked up the guitar for the first time with the expressed intention of playing and singing Delta blues.
After twenty-six years, six albums, over a thousand live gigs, a new marriage, family, and business, the passion for the blues that guided Marco out of hell, still inspires purpose, and joy. When asked by a co-worker, who came to one of MudSlide Charley’s early shows on a late Wednesday night, with only five other patrons in the room listening, “Why, do you do this?” Marco, paused, and then replied. “This what I do.”
Lee Rizzo: vocals, rhythm guitar, and washboard
For Lee Rizzo singing is another limb of her existence; like breathing, there is no opting out. For every adventure, misadventure, major turn of her wheel, or natural evolution, there has been a song to press up against, to create or take solace. Her voice was born around a Montana backcountry campfire, singing older than dirt blues as her father strummed his acoustic guitar. The songs grew into her like the roots of an old tree under concrete. The timeless power of stomping foot, a story from the living, and a spiritual hymn transforming grief into rejoicing. This music nurtured what she felt inherently; that living life was making music. Joining Mudslide Charley in the spring of 2016 has been a like a homecoming, a reunion with the roots music that shaped her vocal stylings and a way to exercise the spirit.
Tahj Kjelland: bass, rap, vocals, and flute
Tahj Kjelland has been an active father, musician, social worker, poet & hip-hop creative on the Missoula scene for over a decade. Tahj's musical flavor intertwines a socially conscious essence mixed with rhythm and rhyme to move the crowd. He grew up with his head in the kick drum; resting and dreaming as grown folks jammed. Tahj grew up feeling the blues and fell in love with the 808 & bass guitar as a child. He as been with MudSlide Charley since 2009. In addition to music, Tahj operates a 501-c3 “Express To Speak” Empowering youth through creative expression. Find out more and click link below.
Roger Moquin: Drums and vocals
Roger Moquin, aka "Rockin' Roger" decided at an early age that music would be a main theme in his life. From elementary school through high school he was involved in marching band, orchestra, symphonic band, dance band and a rock and roll band that played at dances after school. After high school he attended Berklee College of Music for two years and joined the 126th Yankee Division National Guard Band for six years where he played tympani in the concert band and snare drum In the marching band.
Needing a change of scene, Roger moved to the west coast and played the hotel circuit in San Diego for ten years. He’s toured the Hawaiian Islands and been on the road playing Red Lion Inns up and down the west coast. This journey brought him to Missoula, MT where he is actively involved in the music scene. He has been the drummer for MudSlide Charley since 2007 and concurrently has been exploring West African rhythms and grooving the backbeat for multiple other bands
Phil Hamilton: harmonica, baritone/tenor/alto saxophone, and vocals
Phil Hamilton was drawn to the blues at 15 years old. The Animals’ version of Smokestack Lightning led him to an exploration of the roots of American pop music, to artists like Slim Harpo, Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf. He learned to play drums by jamming with a neighbor who played guitar, and subsequently launched his career in music. Adding harmonica and percussion to his palette, he never strayed too far from blues and roots music. After a great stretch in Austin, TX and years on the road with the Lost Highway Band, Phil honed his skills and eventually added tenor sax to the arsenal of instruments in his bandolier of musical merriment . Phil has played drums with The Moonlighters, harp and sax with Big Daddy And The Blue Notes and founded the jump blues swing ensemble, Full Grown Band. Phil joined MudSlide Charley in 2008. In addition to harp and tenor sax he has since added baritone sax, alto sax and writes songs.