Have you ever seen a plunger mute? Horn players and plumbers use them and they are, well, just like what they sound like…a toilet plunger. Horn players use them to make their tone crescendo and decrescendo, much like a guitar player might use a wah-wah pedal. Plumbers use them for, well, you know where this is going. The great thing about this instrument accessory is you don’t have to go to a music store to buy it. Our wonderful trombone, keyboard and mallet player Mark Ferguson for some reason forgets his plunger mute frequently. Which is great for us, because we get to go with him to the hardware store and watch him buy another. It’s endlessly entertaining to watch the clerk, when Mark tells him he doesn’t need the stick.
Mark has been with us since 2007 and having the Bone in the band has been a bridge between the horn section and the rhythm section, it makes the band feel sonically more connected. Mark is a powerhouse of a lyrical soloist on both Bone and Piano and on the Twelfth of Never he also plays vibes. Recently Mark has released another solo record, The Next Chapter, which is brilliant and still in the top 20 at my house a year after it’s release… mz