For Bookings Contact Gene Wickliffe – 502-364-0987
Gene Wickliffe Percussionist & Band Leader
Gene began playing drums at an early age with his brother and some friends. His mother would reluctantly let him out of elementary school to play at junior high parties and later to play a few local TV programs.
After placing well in the then Black Expo, a teacher from Central High took the band to New York where they had a small contract with Dakar Records, a subsidiary of Brunswick Records.
Once Gene graduated from high school he began performing with the Debow Brothers who had a production contract in Muscle Sholes where they recorded a demo with Tony Joe White.
Gene also played for Louisville artist Jerry Green and kept busy playing pick-up gigs with the musicians union.
Gene has enjoyed playing for nationally known artists like Ben E King, The Coasters, and The Drifters. Locally he has been the “go to” drummer for countless performance and recording sessions with groups like The Monarchs, Cosmo & the Counts, and Bodeco as well as Sherry Edwards, Robbie Bartlett, Rick Bartlett, Johnny Barry and Steve Cooley.
In 1985 Gene was introduced to harmonica great Jim Rosen who mentioned he was putting together a Blues band with vocalist Susan O’Neil. Gene joined Da Mudcat Blues Band at it’s inception and has remained with the group ever since.
His dynamic driving percussive style has been part of the signature sound that is Da Mudcats.
Doug Lamb, Keyboard, Guitar, Vocals
Doug has been making music all his life, beginning piano at age three, and continuing to devour different instruments as time goes on. He’s an accomplished string player, percussionist, and vocalist as well and considers himself a “utility guy,” providing whatever instrumentation or vocal parts a musical situation might call for. The question, “What do you play?” is usually met by Doug’s honest response of “Whadda’ you got?”
Raised in the metropolis of Paint Lick, Kentucky, as a kid Doug grew up with many different musical influences — from his dad’s Haggard, Cash, and Frizzell records, to his mom’s big band favorites, to his older brother’s Motown, CCR, and Beatles 45’s. Doug’s own personal faves consisted of a mix from everything Motown, Stax, and Muscle Shoals to the rock sounds of the 70’s like Seger, Zeppelin, Stones, and everything in between. But in 1973, he heard J.J. Cale’s “Crazy Mama” for the first time, and that was his gateway straight into the Blues. Muddy, Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Spann, and Willie Dixon were soon in his record collection. Then, in crept the boogie. Piano players like Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint, Mac Rebennack, James Booker, Huey “Piano” Smith, and others caught his ear, and soon had his left hand aching trying to roll the bottom end like those cats. Favorite keyboards, besides the 88’s, include classic Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Clavinet, and Hammond/Leslie combos.
Over the years, Doug has had opportunities to share stage and studio duties with such national acts as Merle Haggard, Tanya Tucker, John Mellencamp, Little Feat, and Delbert McClinton. Closer to home, he has performed both as a solo musician and in several local and regional bands over the years, including The Quack (Richmond, Ky), The Look (Indianapolis, IN), Robbie Bartlett & Company, Leslie’s Motel, Little T&A, and as an early member of da Mudcats in the late 80’s through the mid 90’s.
Doug is delighted to be part of da Mudcats again!
Rob Pickett, Guitar, Vocals
Rob picked up his first guitar, a Harmony Stella, when he was 10 years old. There was always music in his home as he was growing up and he feasted on the Big Band music that his mother loved. His Grandfather played the Ukele and his mother, Barbara Pickett was a piano vocalist, his father Steward Pickett was a violin player, and his brother, Dr Steward Pickett, played clarinet and was classically trained, all had a penchant for contemporary music exposing Rob to many different genre.
As he honed his playing skills at home with his family at 13 he acquired a Harmony acoustic 12 string guitar and started playing the folk music of the day accompanying vocalists in church and at special occasions like the Concerts in Shawnee Park.
Rob has played guitar in a myriad of bands starting around 1973 with Mantis, a funk group that covered tunes from Tower of Power, The Commodores, The Barkays and many of the Chitlin Circuit bands. Mantis relocated from Louisville to Atlanta and quickly became an Atlanta favorite receiving a nod from Casablanca Records. Mantis toured the Country from Florida to Canada.
Rob returned to Louisville around 1977 and joined the group Sophistifunk playing local and regional venues.
Rob joined the Louisville based Matlow Band which was a Bluesy Hard Rock big production band covering Alan Parsons and J Giles. The groups original material earned them some notoriety and Atlantic Records took notice and negotiated a development deal with them. The Matlow Band enjoyed a loyal local following as they played all of the Louisville areas best live music venues.
Other local groups that Rob was associated with were The F*&%#*g Hoods, Lectrix and The Front.
In 1985 Rob opened his store, Modern Music Outlet on Spring Street in Jeffersonville, Indiana. It was in this timeframe that a friend recommended him to Jim Rosen of da Mudcats and thus began his tenure with da Mudcats as lead guitar player and he continues in that capacity to this day delighting fans with his flare for the Blues.
Mike Lynch Bass Guitar, Vocals
Mike Lynch has been lending his bass playing and vocal talent to popular Louisville groups for over 40 years. He began his musical journey as a vocalist in a group named The Shapes of Things, taken from the Yardbirds song of the same name at the age of 14. When his voice changed he decided to begin playing bass because, “Bass players are cool.”
Through the years Mike has joined and led a myriad of groups and has played everywhere from the teen club circuit, night clubs, strip clubs, concerts and festivals around the regional area and across the country.
In the early 70’s he joined a Country Rock band that covered country classics as well as Graham Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers to name a few. Through the 70’s Mike held down the bottom end of several Rock groups notably SST a Classic Rock cover band performing the music of Jefferson Starship, Pat Benatar and Jetho Tull before venturing into the Blues with The Pond Creek Blues Band which lasted one year.
Mike then formed The Rocket Birds covering classic Blues Rock tunes. Anyone attending a Rocket Birds show would expect to witness sets performed in chronological order according to when the song was popular. In their first set the Rocket Birds would perform cover tunes from the 50’s & 60’s, the second set tunes from the 70’s & 80’s and the third set would be filled with the most current tunes of the day.
Through the early 90’s Mike played for many of the premier musical groups like Murphy’s Law, Tanita Gaines Band, and Blue Swing Shoes often performing at festivals, The Kentucky State Fair and night clubs all over the region. He has been the “go to” bass player for many recording sessions, jams and has been called on as a substitute side man for bands needing a good bass player at the last minute.
Mike joined da Mudcats in 1998 after the passing of Jim Rosen, lead singer and harmonica player. He replaced interim bass player Wayne Carver and added his vocal prowess to the group as his vocal style an vocal timber is very similar to Rosen’s.
In addition to performing with da Mudcats, Mike has hosted The World Famous Stevie Ray’s Blues Jam every week on Tuesdays for 14 years and he plays with The Blues & Greys when not gigging with da Mudcats.
Susan O’Neil, Vocalist
Susan has been singing and entertaining in local and regional venues for many years. She and Jim Rosen were the founding members of da Mudcats Blues Band. Susan left DaMudcats after 8 years to be more available to her family but soon realized that music and singing were core to her existence so after her second child was born, she formed Susan O’Neil & The Blues Hounds and subsequently Susan O’Neil & Blue Seville. She is currently working with TreBella performing girl group songs from the 60’s and R&B favorites.
Susan’s musical influences run the gamut from Blues greats like Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Koko Taylor as well as soul singers like Aretha Franklin and her all time favorite Etta James.
She is a recipient of the 2004 Sylvester Weaver Award and was voted into the Stevie Ray’s Blues Bar Hall of Fame in 2011.
Susan presented her CD “Don’t Blame The Blues” a collaboration of original works in 2004. She continues to write songs that have been featured on collaborative CD’s like “Santa Was a Bluesman Volume II” and III as well as both Kentuckiana Blues Society’s anniversary CD’s.
Over the years Susan has been included in recording sessions for background vocals on recording projects with Kessler’s Friends, Robbie Bartlett and Steve Ferguson to name a few.
Susan is thrilled to be singing once again with da Mudcats and is looking forward to collaborating with her band mates, writing and performing the music that she loves.
Upcoming GigsDaMudcats are currently busy composing new songs for our upcoming CD that will be available in the near future at our gigs and on-line sources! Visit us often for updates!