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!
Biographies - Meet the Band
Max "Ma" Kernaghan
Max has been a part of the northern California music scene since the late 60's. He gained noteriety as a vocalist and rhythm guitarist as a member of both San Jose-based Jolly Ox and as part of Max, Steve and Kathy with Steve Haruda and Kathy Metzger.
A self-taught guitarist, Max's musical tastes were always influenced by artists who emphasized deep, emotion-based vocal harmonies. Max is a music purist who appreciates the intricacies of songs that many overlook.
John "Jo" Rimbach
In the early 1990's, John began singing at the suggestion of friend Mike Falco. They, along with Bob Konevich, formed a Cappella group Five to Seven. Here, John learned to sing harmony parts.
Prior to MaCaJo adding guitar and bass players, John learned harmonica and developed "vocal instrumentation" skills. While he still can't play a lick on any "real" instrument, he can belt out a trumpet solo!
Jimmy DK has been rocking San Francisco Bay Area stages for the better part of 4 decades. A native of the San Francisco peninsula, he got his start as the bassist in the band Siphuncle, and followed that up with stints on guitar with Dungeon Demons, Southbound, and Hangin' On.
Jimmy brought his bass skills to the Byrnie Baker Band in 1977, continuing to hold down the bottom end until 1980. He also co-wrote songs that appeared on the band's 1983 album, Certified Rock and Roll.
As the guitarist with country rock act Ossumpossum for the past 20 years, Jimmy has opened for the Byrnie Baker Band, California Cowboys, Chambers Brothers, and Elvin Bishop, among others. Ossumpossum occasionally take the stage with guest artists such as steel guitar virtuoso Bobby Black (Commander Cody, Norton Buffalo, Asleep At The Wheel) and highly-regarded guitarist Herschel Yatovitz (Chris Isaak), as well.
Jimmy has worked as guitarist and songwriter/arranger for several local songwriters over the last 10 years, as well as more recently handling guitars and management for TOR, The Side Effects, and Earlydaze. He also was the bassist for Luvhed from 2010-2012, regularly appearing at Bay Area venues such as the Rockit Room, Stork Club, St. James Gate, The Bistro, and 19 Broadway, and at special events such as the SF Aids Run Concert.
A veritable music business Rennaissance man, Jimmy has also been known to take on such duties as sound tech and engineer, stage manager, recording engineer, band manager, stage hand, and all-around busy [expletive deleted].
Jimmy was born into a musical family. His mom was a pianist and music teacher, and his three aunts were proficient on strings (violin, viola, cello). One of them played for many years with the St. Louis Symphony.
A building contractor as well, Jimmy looks forward to his infrequent days off when he can just be a lazy bastard.
Legend has it that, at the age of three, Gary carved his first guitar from a cottonwood tree....and the rest, as they say, is history.Currently, thanks to his advances regarding quantum entanglement, when not playing with Macajo, Gary spends his time playing at dive bars across the universe, forwarding his quest in search of the perfect margarita.