Mama SpanX is a multi – member soul/rock/funk group made up of highly experienced and virtuoso musicians from the various musical genres. With strong influences by artists/bands such as Tower of Power, James Brown, Gladys Knight and Ike and Tina Turner the bands musical emphasis is on strong melodies/lyrics and grooves that at the same time highlight and feature the individual players as well as an exciting stage show. 

Mama SpanX  Background: 
Leader/singer/songwriter and New York Blues Hall of Fame vocalist Nikki Armstrong, known for her soulful vocals and high energy performances, got the concept while collaborating over several years with Soul/Jazz Guitarist/Producer Melvin Sparks. Melvin, a major influence on the jam band scene, came up with the name "Mama SpanX ". After Melvin’s passing in 2011 and then performing all over the eastern seaboard and abroad, Nikki finally began forming the band in 2015. 
The first artist to join was Drummer/composer/arranger Ben Beckley. Nikki and Ben had collaborated previously, songwriting and producing in LA before Nikki relocated to New York. 
Dixie Frog recording artist/Blues guitarist Steve Johnson and his girlfriend, Latin/Jazz Saxophonist Julie Sax then joined. The couple and Nikki had played together frequently on the New York scene before Steve and Julie relocated to the LA area. 
To contribute to the soul and gospel aspects of the band, three prominent fixtures on the LA Blues and R&B scene, Saxophonist Steve Sadd, Trumpet/Trombonist Gary Bivona and Keyboard/Organist Rex Perry became the next assets to the group bringing their chops and versatility.  The search for the ideal bottom end to the group took almost 6 months. Six string fret-less Bassist, David Abercrombie added the perfect pocket for the band! This 8 pieces team of like-minded musicians forms the main core of Mama SpanX. See Bio page for more info on Nikki and the SPANKERS!



Blues Bytes Review! 

The group Mama SpanX was assembled by singer/songwriter Nikki Armstrong, putting together some of her favorite musicians from the East and West Coast’s R&B, rock, and funk genres (the late soul-jazz guitarist Melvin Sparks gave Armstrong her distinctive moniker).  Sparks would definitely be pleased with the collective’s first release, State of Groove, a ferocious nine-song set of blues, funk, and soul that pays tribute to pioneers like James Brown, Ike & Tina Turner, Sly & the Family Stone. 

Ms. Armstrong and the band (Steve Johnson – guitars, Harlan Spector – B3, piano,  Moog, Julie Sax – alto/baritone saxes, flute, Steve Sadd – tenor/soprano saxes, David Abercrombie – bass, Ben Beckley – drums, piano/musical director) rip through a strong nine song set with eight originals and one cover….well, make that a half-cover since it’s Lou Donaldson’s funky soul-jazz instrumental “Alligator Boogaloo,” supplemented by new lyrics from Armstrong. 

The opener, “Rocket,” is a horn-driven mid-tempo funk number that is reminiscent of Tower of Power’s catalog, “Wild Emotion” sounds like a long-lost late ’60s/early ’70s R&B single, while “Crawl” mixes a little bit of the blues with greasy funk.  The blues ballad “Wrong Side of the Garden” arrives mid-album and Armstrong give a fine vocal performance with subtle guitar backing from Johnson and smooth backing vocals from the band. 

“Thinkin’” brings to mind James Brown, especially those tasty horns and Johnson’s Jimmy Nolan-esque guitar work, while “Anywhere You Are” is a lovely soulful ballad with a tender vocal from Armstrong and soft backing from Spector on piano.  The irresistible title track closes the disc on a funky note with the band getting ample room to strut their stuff. 

State of Groove will bring a smile to the faces of those music fans who dig the old school sounds of jazz, funk, and soul of the late ’60s and ’70s.  There are still a few bands who play it like they used to, and Mama SpanX does it like few others do. 

--- Graham Clarke


Mama SpanX re-released State of Groove in early Nov 2018 and gave it to  Frank Roszak 
 KBA Recipient 2014 PUBLICIST to promote. 

Since then we have been added to so many playlists on reporting stations all over the world and received over 30 glowing reviews, we can hardly keep up with it all! Most are posted at 

And many of them are here:

Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.

Free download of Mama SpanX
Black & White from State of Groove!


Mama SpanX w/ CTA!

The Canyon, The Canyon 28912 Roadside Dr, , Agoura Hills, California 91301

BUY TIX HERE FROM US OTHERWISE WE DON'T GET THE PROPS!! Hey folks! We'd love for you to join us in this perfect setting/venue on a perfect bill with headliner Danny Seraphin's "Take Me Back to Chicago/California Transit Authority,

If you've never been to this Canyon club, there is plenty of parking out front and back. Food is good! it will probably be standing room only with these tickets, all tho there are some seats/tables and place to hang in back which is great place to see and hear the show.( If you want a table, you need to have min. of 2 people and once you have this tix you can call the venue and upgrade to a table.)