Calumet was formed in Phoenix, Arizona by Eric “ET” Mobley (v/g/k/b) and Jason “JJ” Mitchell (g/b/v) in 2001, after a chance meeting at the music store where JJ worked. They soon brought onboard the rhythm section of Ian White (b) and Brandon Amos (d). Over the next two years the lineup would change to include Chris “Basshead” Starks (b) and Joel “Boodat” Phillips (d). Originally a funk and soul cover band, Calumet began writing its own material soon after forming. The band cut its teeth playing bbq joints, parking lot festivals, and pool halls for a couple of years in Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale.
In 2002, the band released their debut album, “Retro Energy” and played shows around Arizona, including stints at Martini Ranch, Livingston’s, and numerous other nightclubs and restaurants. During the next 7 years, a number of the Valley’s best musicians, including Marcus Weeden (b), Dan Mueller (d), Marvin Scott (s), Lauren Merchant (v), and Marlon Burno (g) performed in Calumet. The band featured at clubs and festivals, and landed opening spots for Al Green, Kool & the Gang, and George Benson. Two more albums were recorded, “The Musical Brothers of Calumet”, and “Rock Soul Funkateers”, before the band went on hiatus in 2009.
Calumet was reborn in 2018, as Eric and Jason had stayed close over the years, and realized they were better off working together on the music they love. They assembled a talented new lineup, which featured bass maestro Michael Williams, drummer Jeff Pivin, trumpeter Rich Cross, and returning members saxophonist Marvin Scott and percussionist Ian White. Many gigs followed, with festival, nightclub, casino, and bowling alley appearances in short order.
Josh Prior would assume bass duties in 2019, and contribute guitar and vocals to a number of Calumet tracks. He also brought production skill, and helped the band keep recording during the Pandemic. Vocalist Kendall Davis contributed to several Calumet tracks before joining the band in 2021.
With change being the only constant, Calumet has seen many personnel changes over the years, because, life...
The current group includes Eric, Jason, Kendall, Julian Mitchell (d), Larry Brodie (s), Dave Moore (s), and Michelle Worley (v).
The band feels fortunate to continue making original music and has entered into their most productive stage yet.
CALUMET FUNKATEERS, PAST & PRESENT