origins of the mambo sauce podcast

Mambo Sauce.jpg

          Mambo Sauce is a labor of love that celebrates the musical journey of a group of teens who grew up in Northern Indiana in the 1960's and 70's. They were unified and inspired by the late Neil Otto Raabe, who was born in Fort Wayne Indiana in 1957. Neil and friends Thomas Moore, Mike Murphy, Paul and Pete DeCelles, Dan Serban, Jeff Craft and Thomas McGlinn became immersed in American roots music while in high school, and they began to collect records and attend live performances of a now (almost completely) deceased generation of iconic American musicians.


          Through their close proximity to Chicago, their guru Perry Aberli (and his Midwest Blues Festivals), and the fabulous Vegetable Buddies night club, they were able to see and interact with the likes of Otis Rush, Muddy Waters, Pine Top Perkins, Big Walter Horton, George Harmonica Smith, Johnny Shines, BB King, Albert King, Professor Longhair,Charlie Musselwhite, John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Yank Rachell, Sunnyland Slim, Mighty Joe Young, Howard Armstrong, Willie Dixon, Koko Taylor, Hound Dog Taylor, Robert Junior Lockwood, Louis and Dave Myers, Little Brother Montgomery, Barrelhouse Chuck, and many, many more!

          Neil began to collect records at this time, and as he and the crew moved on to college and adulthood, they never stopped collecting and attending major music festivals and concerts. They also took "field" trips to Chicago, Memphis, New Orleans, Dallas, Austin, Cincinnati, and other hotbeds of blues and roots music, adding to their collections and experiencing incredible encounters with music legends, often under Forrest Gumpian circumstances! Thomas moved to California in 1980, and for 5 years he developed additional associations with musicians, collector's, promotors and DJ's. He and Neil merged and supplemented each other's collections with rare records and knowledge of great artists like Hollywood Fats, James Harman, Lowell Fulson, Smokey Wilson, Junior Watson, Al Blake, Kid Ramos, The Paladins, Johnny Dyer, William Clarke, Maurice McKinney, Walter "Shufflesworth" Salwitz, Mark Hummel, Rod Piazza, and others!

          Neil passed away in 2015,  but he willed his collection to Thomas Moore, Jeff Harrell, and Jeff Craft. In 2016 Thomas got the idea to create a podcast celebrating Neil's unique personality, and the incredible Blues, Zydeco, Rockabilly, 6o's Soul, Swing, Gospel and old school cool of Neil's vinyl goldmine!

          Thomas teamed up with local podcaster Justin Flagel in 2016, and for 3 years they planned, experimented, and waded through the murky legal waters of podcasting. By 2019 they released 7 episodes. 2020 brought obstacles and the COVID fiasco, and Justin left the program to work on other projects. New episodes stopped in November 2019. Thomas has resurrected the program, and new episodes begin in July 2020, featuring new engineer and assistant JoHn Kennedy. JoHn is an Irish Folk Musician of considerable reputation, a skilled recording engineer, and he was a high school classmate of Neil Raabe!

          Neil had an affinity for Zeb's Barbecue in Indianapolis, and in the 70's he discovered their "top secret mambo sauce"! When music on the turntable or bandstand was getting good, Neil would point and exclaim "you know bad daddy, that's some strong mambo sauce goin' on". Sadly, both Neil and Zeb's have left this world, but you can get to know him and the fabulous artists in his collection through this podcast!