IKO-IKO: Band Biography
The Legendary South Florida Blues Band
GRAHAM WOOD DROUT’S IKO-IKO
BLUES-ROOTS-MARDI GRAS and GULF COAST AMERICANA
“Tough and gritty Blues- Rock played with energy and imagination…” – RELIX MAGAZINE
“IKO-IKO‘s Graham Wood Drout is one of the most important, seminal South Florida Blues figures.. more than anyone he personifies Florida Blues.” -BIG CITY RHYTHM AND BLUES MAGAZINE
“Deep, thoughtful songcraft and impeccable musician ship elevates this bayou band above most indie rockers.” -BLUES REVUE MAGAZINE
“IKO IKO is a lexicon of classic rock and Blues music. A builder of fires and a keeper of flames.” – CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“IKO IKO is more than just a hot combo. This is engaging, thought provoking music. It’s Blues but with an Americana backstrap pulling Drout and crew into the realm of Tom Petty, early J. Giles Band and even Bob Dylan. Dirty, funky and with a rock urgency.” – BLUES REVUE MAGAZINE
“IKO-IKO voted Best Blues Band in Florida- 1999″ -JAM MAGAZINE
There are many outstanding Blues Artists calling Florida home but only a few of them can be called legendary. IKO IKO has achieved their legendary status over and over again. The band is best known for their thirty year association with Miami’s seminal Blues venue TOBACCO ROAD awarding them the title “Miami”s House Band” sharing the stage with literally every working Blues artist in America from 1982 to the present.. From Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker,to Sun Ra and David Bromberg the list goes on and on. IKO IKO provided back up for Willie Dixon, Bo Diddley, Ron Wood, Bobby Keys and a host of others. IKO IKO even worked with fellow Floridian Jimmy Buffett on his musical ,”Don’t stop the carnival.”
When the state of Florida put together a concert to pay homage to its homegrown musical talent including Lynrd Sknyrd, Sam and Dave,and Marva Wright just to name a few, IKO IKO was hired to provide musical support for all the acts. In 1987 IKO-IKO released their first album on King Snake Records “Snowstorm in the Jungle” featurning lable mate Lucky Peterson on keyboards, reaching number 11 on the American Blues Charts.This record was followed by “Riding on the Rims”‘ :Protected By Voodoo”‘ and “Shine.” IKO-IKO‘s latest CD is a best of compilation of Graham Wood Drout‘s songs entitled “Bullets in the Bon Fire Vol. I” including two songs recorded by IKO-IKO and good friend Albert Castiglia. A tribute album of Graham Wood Drout‘s songs recorded by a host of Florida Blues Bands is being released in the Spring of 2015.
Graham Wood Drout’s IKO-IKO “A must see!”- Rock and Roll Road Trip, Rolling Stone Magazine . The San Diego Tribune describes IKO IKO as “An eclectic mix of southern musical traditions.” The band calls it Urban Swamp Music: a swirling mix of Blues, Mardi Gras , Gulf Coast Americana, jazz, jam band sensibilities, Rock and Roll music with a Bo Diddley beat, steller musicianship and the award winning song craft of Graham Wood Drout. Graham’s songs have been a favorite of AAA radio and the satelite stations. His tunes have been covered by IBC Blues winner Joey Gilmore (who credits Graham’s “Ghosts of Mississippi” for putting him over the top. Ghosts of Mississippi went on to win the 2008 Blues Critics Award for song of the year.) and Ruff Records guitar slinger Albert Castiglia who scored a hit with the fabulous Mr. D’s “Big Toe.” Albert’s latest recording “Solid Ground,(which has reached number 10 on the Billoard Magazine Blues charts) features three of Drout’s songs. “Craig Rusky of Delta Snake Magazine says, “As a songwriter Drout is a powerful master.” Ed Ivy of Blues Revue Magazine says, “This songwriting is on the order of Gordon Lightfoot or Jim Croce….great and emotionally complete.” Patrick O’Donnell of Blues On Stage writes, “Graham is an artist in every sense of the word.”
Over the years IKO-IKO has played in literally hundreds of venues from The Green Parrot in Key West to the Molson Canadian Jazz and Blues Festival in Toronto.
Due to their geographic location, IKO-IKO has had the opportunity to perform their music in such venues as Air Jamacia’s Jazz and Blues Festival in Montigo Bay, David Bowie’s Stardust And Ashes in The Turks and Caicos Islands and The Grand Bahamas.
Graham Wood Drout Guitar and vocals
Good Rockin’ Johnny Wenzel Guitar
Ron Taylor Keyboards
Mitch Mestel Bass
Jimmy Daniel Drums