Doctor Mongo: Home
Feb. 4th, 2016: Woke up in Van Buren, Arkansas (on the Texas line). After calling AAA to give me a jump start, as I had left the XM/Sirius radio receiver plugged in overnight, I drove west to Eastland, Texas in clear, windless, warm (low 50's) weather. Tomorrow I plan to alight in Fort Stockton within an easy drive to Fort Davis where I will be playing on Saturday at Maddog's Cantina. I spotted $1.27.9/gl. gas at a Wal-Mart in Shawnee, Oklahoma but had already passed the off ramp. I bought $1.29.9 gas at a 7-11 in OKC - best price of the trip so far!
Feb. 3rd, 2016: Kentucky was also great fun! I stayed with Kelley Reynolds, his mother Merlene, and Uncle Kenny and Aunt Bonnie/Mary in and around Mc Daniels. I was introduced to two really fine guitarists, Darrell and Tim and we jammed up a storm on Friday and Sunday. I moved on to Fort Charrette near Washington, Missouri where I spent two enjoyable days with antiquarian and historian Wheelock Crosby Brown. We took in a matinee showing of "The Revenant" and my one-word review is as follows: "Enthralling..." Doctor Mongo. I am now on I-40 in Arkansas and will aim for Texas tomorrow - it's hard to miss!
Jan. 27th, 2016: The rendezvous was great fun, as expected. I spent the past few days in Bartow, Florida playing music with friends and eating great food. I'm currently in Dalton, Georgia, just south of Chattanooga and will head for Mc Daniels, Kentucky tomorrow for more music with friends and their friends. I'll be picking and grinning all the way back to Wyoming!
Jan. 12th, 2016: Arrived in Gainesville - will head for the Alafia River Rendezvous tomorrow and set up camp. I won't be doing updates until after the event but you can assume I'm having BIG fun!
Jan. 11, 2016: I drove from Beaumont, Texas to Gulfport, Mississippi with stops for a shrimp omelet just over the Louisiana line, two dozen raw oysters at Landry's in Henderson, Louisiana and got lucky when I found a place to do a quick oil change in Slidell, Louisiana. I am at a Days Inn just south of the junction of I-10 and State Highway 49 in Gulfport. There is a restaurant called the Shrimp Basket next to the motel - just my luck! It looks like more shrimps are in my immediate future! (more raw oysters and a tasty shrimp salad were my choices from a really tempting menu).
Tomorrow I plan to stop somewhere south of Tallahassee, Florida within striking distance of the Alafia River Rendezvous site, as I need to be inside the gate before 5:00 PM on Wednesday. Every little thing is going smoothly so far.
Jan. 8, 2016: I made it to Roswell but had a disappointing stay overnight. Do NOT patronize the America's Best Inn in Roswell - the room was dilapidated, there was no internet service and the heater was noisy and difficult to adjust, among other things. I am now ensconced in a fancy (and more expensive) motel in Balmorhea, Texas, resting up for a short drive to Fort Davis and the gig at Maddog's Cantina on Saturday. Although the Texas Legislature outlawed mountains in Texas, there is a nice view of the Davis Mountains to the south, although by rights, they, along with the Guadalupe Mountains, should be in New Mexico. I'll review the gig in a future post.
Jan. 7, 2016: Well, I'm either retired or unemployed, so I'm off to Florida and the Alafia River Rendezvous hosted by the Florida Frontiersmen near Homestead, Florida. I drove from Thermopolis to Colorado Springs on clear, dry roads and I'm headed into New Mexico today. I will be playing at Maddog's Cantina in Fort Davis, Texas on Saturday, January 9th. Fort Davis is not in the Middle of Nowhere but you can see it from there! I will try to provide updates on my trip and any gigs that pop up. Check the Calendar!
More music in the mix! I'm currently in Klamath Falls playing with Dean Oliver. We participated in a Blues Jam at the Li'l Brown Jug in Talent, Oregon (between Medford and Ashland) hosted by the Ashland Blues Society and scored a radio interview with Chris "Mocha Man" Miller on KSKQ 89.5 FM at 4:30 PM, October 18th. We'll be playing on Friday the 16th at Mia & Pia's at 8:00 PM and at Pikey's on Saturday. Check the calendar - there's not much forewarning but I've been out of touch with the internet for a while during my travels in Montana, Oregon and Washington.
Some of you may have noticed that some time has passed since the last post to this website. I, Doctor Mongo, have been kept VERY busy with geology work until October, 2014 when I became either unemployed or retired due to low oil prices. In addition, today, June 9th, 2015 is the anniversary of my surgery for prostate cancer and my second year as a diagnosed diabetic. Neither of these afflictions is much of a problem for me, as I am currently in remission from the cancer and the diabetes is responding to diet, drug therapy (one pill, twice a day) and exercise.
With regard to exercise, I intend to get more of it. To wit: In June I am going to travel to the Pacific Primitive Rendezvous near Paisley, Oregon where I hope to be involved in another tipi recording of rendezvous musical merriment with Dean Oliver and others. In July, I hope to join Harry Harpoon at the Rocky Mountain national Rendezvous near Mountain Home, Wyoming for more campfire fun. We played last November 23rd at Little B's bar in Vernal, Utah but I had X-ray therapy in January and February and Harry has been readjusting his social life in Colorado. There is the possibility that Baltimore Red and fiddler Jake Wise will join us at RMNR but we will see them when they get there. In August there will be fishing with Winer at Carter's Landing on the Snake River near Brownlee Dam in Oregon and then Bear Lake rendezvous in Utah if I can fit it in.
Fort Bridger Rendezvous on Labor Day weekend starts out September and the next weekend, September 11th-13th should find me playing solo at a trailer rally at Crystal Hot Springs in Utah. Check out the calendar for details! I see more music in my future, which is what happened the last time I was freed from work by low oil prices - watch this space for more hot music action!
DOCTOR MONGO & HARRY HARPOON, WITH BALTIMORE RED AND DEAN OLIVER - 2009 INTERNATIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE SEMIFINALISTS, MEMPHIS TENNESSEE It is now mid-October, 2012, and we're going on the road again to play in Oregon and Idaho! Check the calendar. I've been doing a lot of oil field geology, trying to get the cost of gas down (I've got some serious opposition in Washington, D. C.!). The Doctor, Harry Harpoon and Dean Oliver are reunited for a Fall Extravaganza of Blues!
"Listening to Doctor Mongo and Harry Harpoon is like stepping back in time. The style of their music reminds me of the roots of blues music such as Robert Johnson, Lead Belly, and Blind Willie McTell. What’s best is the feeling you get listening to the music. You can’t help but move to the beat. This style of old time blues can speak to everyone in some way. The way that Doc and Harry play and sing, reaches all the way to your bones. They are a very powerful duo." Holly Conger Caffe Ibis Event Director Logan, UT (Added: Feb 19 2011)
Check the Photo Gallery - we finally got the Memphis photos on the website!
THE RETURN OF GRAY-CEE! April 1st: There was a dark cloud on our Memphis journey that has now dissipated. When Harry and I returned to Vernal, Utah, we discovered, to our horror, that Harry's gray steel-bodied National Duolian guitar (Gray-cee) was missing! I realized that it had been stolen while we were unloading at the Artisan Hotel on Union Street in Memphis. Harry had decided to leave the guitar locked in the back of my pickup instead of taking it up to the hotel room and none of us noticed that it was gone until we got back to Utah. While I was checking with my insurance company to see if the theft was covered, Harry was in touch with the Memphis Police Department. Detective Webb (Dom-dah-dom-dom!) left his office, which is about two blocks from the hotel, and went to the nearest pawn shop, which is also about two blocks from the hotel, and found a gray, steel-bodied National Duaolian hanging on the wall. It turns out that the last time a National Guitar wound up on a pawn shop wall in Memphis is about thirty years ago and no one had thought to buy it, as the price has gone up two or three thousand dollars since then. Anyway, the serial number matched the one provided by The National Resonator Guitar Company as the one sold to Harry Harpoon and, after the required paperwork was filled out, Memphis P. D. shipped the guitar back to Harry and he received it on Monday, March 30th - just so you know this is no April Fool's story. We are very grateful to the Memphis Police Department for their diligence and professionalism. It's not everyday that a stolen musical instrument finds its way back to its owner.
It is Feb. 11th and much fun has been had. We travelled from Floral City to Jackson, Mississippi. Then we took Highway 49 (Howlin' Wolf Highway) to Clarksdale where we stopped at the Delta Blues Museum. We got to Memphis on the evening of Feb.3rd and went straight to the Rendezvouz Barbecue for ribs. We played at the Hard Rock Cafe on Beale Street with lots of very good competition, including "Tillamook" from Italy. After the final competition on Friday, we went for gumbo and tamales at the Blues City Cafe before the results came in. We did not win our venue (congratulations to the Delta Generators) but we enjoyed playing to the audience and socializing with the other bands. On Saturday, Feb. 7th, we went to the finals at the Orpheum Theatre and were thrilled with the performance of winner J. P. Soars and the Red Hots, second place winner Ty Curtis Band from Oregon and the Boogie Boys from Poland. The Boogie boys didn't place but put on a fabulous show of four handed, whip-it-to-a-jelly boogie woogie.
We've managed to get to Aztec, New Mexico and will be moving on to Durango and Vernal tomorrow, Feb. 12th. We will be playing at the Gateway Saloon in Vernal on the 15th and then in Twin Falls for Mardis Gras on the 24th (see calendar). We are already planning another trip to Florida next year and will be looking to play the Rocky Mountains and the Northwest later this year. Stay tuned! We have come, seen and conquered at Tanners. We were so well received that we are beginning to make plans for another trip to Florida next year with enough gigs on the calendar to make the trip a financial and artistic success. It is Super Bowl Sunday tomorrow and then we leave for Memphis on Tuesday. We're going to take Highways 49 & 61 through Mississippi, travelling north through the heart of the Delta Blues country. On to the IBC!
January is almost over and we have done the Alafia once again! The Once and Future Governor, BeBe has arranged for us to perform at Tanners in Winter Haven (see calendar) on Jan. 30th. We are currently laying over in Floral City, Florida, where we will recuperate, rehearse and enjoy the citrus, seafood, barbecue and other Florida delights!
It's January, 2009, and we're on our way to Florida and Memphis, again! The Klamath Blues Society is once again sponsoring us to the IBC on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. Harry and I will meet Baltimore Red and Dean Oliver at the Alifia River Rendezvous in Florida (east of Tampa near Bartow) and spend the time from January 16th to 24th playing at the rendezvous. Then we will lay back for a week, getting ready for a Florida gig (more infrmation to come - watch the calendar) and the Super Bowl on Feb. 1st. We will head for Memphis on Feb. 4th and participate in the competition on the 5th and 6th. Then, on to the Finals! Time will tell. Watch this space for ongoing details.
Baltimore Red is a friend of ours who plays blues and ragtime fingerstyle guitar on an old Martin six-sting and sings in the style of his mentor, Dave Van Ronk. He will be joining the band for the purposes of the IBC competition. We have played with Red for decades at rendezvous and at clubs on both coasts and in the Rocky Mountains. Dean Oliver is the bassist on the "Grease & Smoke" and "Fire in the Hole" CD's available from this website, courtesy of CD Baby. Dean has performed with us for years all over the country. He lives in Klamath Falls, Oregon and makes knives to support his music habit.
It's August and we have just returned from the Idaho mini-tour. We were a hit at Sidewinder's in Twin Falls and we had the usual great party at Bux's in Challis. The highlight of the tour was the Iron Horse Festival on Sunday, August 3rd in Shoshone, Idaho. Bernie and Sherri from the Iron Horse Saloon were our hosts and sponsors and put on a very enjoyable and FREE event in the park just down the street from the Iron Horse Saloon. There was lots of fine music (including us as Featured Artists!), good food, a kiddie train, a tattoo shop, raffles for prizes to raise money for the local FFA, frisbee, hacky sack and more! There were bikers, car buffs and buckskinners in attendance and lots of just plain folks. When the music ended Sunday evening, many adjourned to the Iron Horse Saloon where we left a raucous crowd to carry on after we had our fill of Guinness Stout. We will be playing in Twin Falls, Challis and Shoshone this winter, so check the calendar for future events and put the Iron Horse Saloon in Shoshone on your travel agenda.
For those of you looking for the HALLECK BRENDEN CD, it is now available for shipment. If you want to purchase a copy of "Lost...In A Honky Tonk Dream", send a check or money order for $15.00 to: Paul B. Garrison, 302 South 9th Street, Thermopolis, WY 82443 (price includes S & H) In January, we went Way Down South to the Alafia Rendezvous in Florida. We hit BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups in St. Louis on the way out and played up a storm in Florida. We were sponsored by the Klamath Blues Society to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN on Jan. 30th thru Feb. 2nd, so we stopped in Memphis to raise some sand.
We are back in the Extreme Proximal Delta (Rocky Mountains) . Look for the calendar to fill out in the meantime. Woodman (Mike Briscoe) has made two CD's of his humorous Mountain Man tales with my help on the recording end. I have added his e-mail to the "Contact" section if you want to contact him about obtaining a copy. He is good, he is funny, check him out! ALL THE MUSIC IS NOW ONLINE!!! The clips for "GREASE & SMOKE", "FIRE IN THE HOLE!" and "FISH OR CUT BAIT" are now uploaded to this web site. Just click on "MUSIC", look for a title and then click on the "MP3" line below the title to listen. There are some complete songs in the list, as well as 2-minute clips of most of the music. If you want to make an online purchase, click on "BUY" on the home page menu and then click on the CDBaby line to go to their site and make selections. I will try to get a "shopping cart" up on this site soon - they say it's easy to do...
HELLO, EVERYBODY! Doctor Mongo is my name. If you've heard me play, you know I love the Blues but there's more to my story. Friends and fans can check out the music here, look for upcoming performances on the gig calendar, buy CD's and download singles or leave a message on the guestbook. Whether I'm playing at an outdoor festival, a roadhouse or around the campfire at a Mountain Man Rendezvous, you'll get a big dose of that Good Time Feelin', which is what I always prescribe! Many Thanks, Doctor Mongo