Mr. Blotto was born in Chicago as an off-night vehicle for musicians who loved each others playing but were in different bands at the time. The only rule was that they would only play what they absolutely loved to play. That philosophy continues to this day and has led Mr. Blotto into unique musical situations.
Mr. Blotto takes the Jam band asthetic into areas unfamiliar to the standard Jam Scene. They have been known to cover entire albums by Led Zepplin and The Who as well as perform entire shows of Country and Reggae. Artists as diverse as the Grateful Dead, the Flaming Lips, Willie Nelson and The Velvet Underground have seen their material interpreted by Mr. Blotto in the 2400+ shows the band has performed in the last 20 years.
Mr. Blotto draws from a 300+ songlist. It starts from the band's Original Material, which is drawn from 5 released and 2 as-yet unreleased CD's as well as a wealth of unrecorded songs. Mr. Blotto builds its sets on these 100 or so Original songs and peppers the rest of the sets with material from sources as varied as Dancehall, Reggae and Outlaw Country with some Chicago Blues thrown in for good measure. Setlists vary depending on the setting, but rely primarily on the Original Material, with no two shows being the same.
"Barlow Shanghai", the 5th and latest CD was released in 2006 and saw the band in collaboration with John Perry Barlow (lyricist to the Grateful Dead).