The Story of MaCaJo
MaCaJo (pronounced MACK-UH-JOE) began a trio of friends who got together one spring evening in 1998 in Max Kernaghan's living room to sing folk songs. Max pulled out an old red binder containing more than a hundred pages of song lyrics and guitar chords, some hand-written and others carefully typed (yes, on a real typewriter.) The writers of the songs read like a who's who of sixties and seventies acoustic music; Bob Dylan, Paul Stookey, John Sebastian, Paul Simon. Each song had one common thread, sweet harmony.
Cathy Stange and John Rimbach continued the weekly sessions at Max's house. Searching through the binder for songs brought back memories of the days when these songs were popular. Not all had received airplay, but the rock bands and folk groups in which Max played had covered every one. Careful not to tear the improvised hole reinforcements made of Scotch Tape, the trio continued through the yellowing pages, building a repertoire they felt comfortable singing at family gatherings. Some evenings, they'd pull out the records (yes, vinyl) and pick apart each harmony part.
After a couple of years, family and friends urged the group to take the "living room sessions" to a wider audience. Coffee shops seemed the appropriate venue, so they took the name MaCaJo (taken from the first couple of letters of Max, Cathy, and John), and began a symbiotic relationship with the owners of the now closed Espresso Garden, a popular West San Jose acoustic music venue. The group got a room with a great sound system in which to play every few months, and owner Judy Hackett got a room full of hungry and thirsty fifty-something year olds who heard songs they had grown up with, but hadn't heard in ages.
Today, MaCaJo's sound and repertoire have been enhanced by Jim Bradley's bass and the lead guitar work of Gary Dulleck.
Along the way, MaCaJo has taken a few liberties with some of the sacred old tunes. For example, Peter, Paul & Mary's "500 Miles" was converted into "500 Hours", poking fun at the free AOL promotion of a few years ago. Oddly, even that now seems like a relic destined to be filed away in the old red binder.
Treat yourself to wonderful guitar work, sweet harmonies, great songs you haven't heard in years, and a group that knows how to have fun...see MaCaJo!