The Como Mamas – Move Upstairs

• “Move Upstairs” set to a picture of the housing album cover. Thanks to DaptoneRecords.

8.5 “Excellent Blues / Rhythm n Blues from the USA”

From their album “Move Upstairs” in May, 2017.

This was a great standout from my Dandelion Radio catch-up of several months back; the perfectly named Como Mamas are a sheer joy to listen to. Hailing from the small town of Como, Mississippi, the three lifelong Gospel singers are (sisters) Angelia Taylor (the deep, soothing one) & Della Daniels (the energetic, spirited one) with their cousin, Ester Mae Wilbourn (the powerful, raspy one). Since childhood, they’ve all sang in the Mt. Mariah Baptist Church in Como – the same church that they still attend today. Indeed, Della and Esta Mae recorded an a capella version of “Move Upstairs” at that same hometown church on July 22nd, 2006, which was featured on the various artists compile “Como Now: The Voices Of Panola Co., Mississippi” (Daptone Records ‎DAP-014) back in 2008. Here, it’s re-recorded with a small band for the first time (see press release below), with Angelia taking on the lead vocals splendidly. The lyrics are credited to Reverend Frank E. Ray Jr., but my suspicious nature leads me to discover that the song greatly predates him, for example search for a wonderful version by Bessie Griffin with the Bradford Singers recorded in 1958.

The 2017 press release:

Daptone Records have clearly come upon another revelatory vocal force in The Como Mamas. As label founder Gabriel Roth explains, ‘Whether you’re talking about hip-hop, country & western, blues or Mozart, all music tries to do the same basic thing: put feeling into sound. The Como Mamas do that just about as close to perfect as you can.’

In December of 2015, The Como Mamas took their first trip from their home in Como, MS up to Harlem, NY to crush the Apollo Theater as part of the Daptone Super Soul Revue. Taking full advantage of their presence in town, the Daptone crew brought Ester Mae Wilbourn, Della Daniels and Angelia Taylor into the House of Soul the week after the show to join forces for the first time with the musicians and studio that has defined their label’s sound.

Jimmy Hill, Thomas Brenneck, Homer Steinweiss, and Bosco Mann, all stalwarts of the Daptone stable, came together as “The Glorifiers Band,” to put down a churning musical foundation for these amazing singers. The results are some of the heaviest tracks that Daptone has cut to date. If you don’t like raw, soulful gospel music, you’re really gonna hate this one. Move Upstairs is a REAL mother!

Of course, it’s always nice to see them in action so, as a bonus, here’s an exceedingly fine rendition recorded for Radio Nova in Paris in late 2017…

Heard on Rocker’s April 2017 show on Dandelion Radio.

Get it at Bandcamp.


The Como Mamas 2013 (l to r): Angelia Taylor, Della Daniels & Ester Mae Wilbourn