Arts and Culture

Gifts of a Different Sort

Mojo Radio were recording their latest album in late 2012 when fate suddenly intervened. The band had recently signed with Grooveyard Records and was about to recruit an additional guitarist who was also helping them engineer. Things were looking up for the local rock band that used to go by the name of the Soul Shakers. Then, on November 9, 2012, the members of Mojo Radio, along with the entire music community and much of the city of Madison, were shocked to learn an unarmed citizen was gunned down by police. The victim was their good friend Paulie Heenan who worked for local recording studio DNA Music Labs and was about to join the band.

The events of that night have reverberated through the community, the press, the blogosphere and the Madison Police Department. They also reverberated through the creative lens of Mojo Radio.

The band, made up of guitarist Jason Peterson, bassist Scott Aumann, drummer Brent King and vocalist/harmonica player Adam Ziertan, wanted to pay tribute to their fallen comrade. Over the course of a few months they began to create a song as a gift for Paulie. At times they felt haunted by his presence—feeling a strong connection to his spirit as they crafted what was to become "11092012."

The song closes the band's new album Rise (you can read a review of the album here). The song is a ballad. Shimmering guitar chords give way to Ziertan's soulful and heartfelt vocal over a strummed acoustic and haunting slide guitars. The music resembles the Black Crowes, and the band also cites Humble Pie, Free, Rolling Stones, Muddy Waters and the Faces as influences.

Here is a quote from the band's website: "We feel we captured something special on this song. We hope it connects people to Paulie, and helps with the grieving process.  We also hope this leads to the other side of things, where people celebrate Paul's life. We were honored to be part of Paulie Fest in May 2012 where we did just that - celebrate Paul's life. It was the beginning of Paulie's Gift. Through this group, we seek to keep Paulie's memory alive and honor his life by supporting projects that reflect some of Paulie's core principles: his love of music, his eagerness to lend a hand and his desire to bring people together."

Paulie's Gift, LLC was formed by family and friends. The group raises funds and continues Paulie's wishes to share music with younger people by making donations to support music education in the schools through the Fender Music Foundation. You donate by clicking here or by mailing to:

Paulie's Gift LLC 1229 E Johnson St Madison, WI 53703

You can stream "11092012" by clicking here.

You can also join Mojo Radio as they celebrate the release of Rise when the band throws their CD release party at the Crystal Corner Bar on December Saturday, December 14 at 9 p.m. Subatomic will open.

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