Burtt, Mama’s Cookin’ to headline Friday showcase

Staff report

From left, Zeb Early, Mike Adamo and Steven LaBella are the core members of Mama's Cookin.'
Courtesy photo |

If you go

What: Locals Showcase

When: 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6

Where: Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room

Cover: Free

Free after-party: Smoked out Soul, in the Red Room

In another free Locals Showcase music extravaganza at the Crystal Bay Club, Tahoe funk/rock favorite Mama’s Cookin’ will set the Crown Room ablaze on Friday night with heavy soul, crushing beats and the dirtiest of riffs.

According to the band’s website, Mama’s Cookin mixes break-beats and hip-hop with dirty tough neo-blues and bottle-neck slide to create an innovative new roots-rock sound.

Their style is as much Led Zeppelin at it is The Roots — smooth but edgy, modern with an essential nod to the great music of the past, busting out songs of true beauty and deep intention, crafted with unique and timely lyrics, leave a lasting impression.

According to previous reports, Mama’s Cookin’ singer and guitarist Zebuel Early is an accomplished front man who is charismatic and articulate.

Hailing from the musical center of America’s Southern Delta, Early came by his blues guitar work honestly. Songs of true beauty and deep intention, crafted with unique and timely lyrics, leave a lasting impression.

“Mama’s Cookin’ is positive roots rock at its finest. Taking a dose of down home Mississippi blues and throw it into a roots rock and roll stew and you have a little of what Mama’s Cookin’ is made of,” reads one review at

The five-member band features Steven LaBella on bass, Mike Adamo on drums and Todd Holway and Eric Matlock on keys.

Peter Joseph Burtt and the King Tide will join Mama’s Cookin’ for Friday night’s showcase.

“(Burtt) is one of the most soulful people I have ever met and there is no denying the greatness of his classic songs,” Early said in a previous interview.

Burtt, a lifelong drummer, draws from many sources to inform his music and chronicles the years he spent living and studying with master musicians of Africa, according to a biography on his website. Much of his music is played on traditional instruments, like the kora and the mbira, or thumb piano. Songs are also transposed for the guitar.

Burtt was a graduate student in San Francisco, studying creative writing, spoken word, and African drum and folklore when he began looking to cultures that maintain oral histories for connections between rhythm, music and the spoken word, according to the website.

Upon learning of the melodious music of the mbira and the corresponding poetry of the Shona people, he left at once for Zimbabwe, then Ghana and the Gambia, staying long in each place, living and moving within the society of the traditional musician while expanding his own musical vision.

Learn more about Burtt at

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