Stephen and Jana Mougin - Like I Used To Do
  • Like I Used To Do
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This re-imagined cover of the Tim O'Brien/Seldom Scene classic "Like I Used To Do" features a husband/wife duo singing back and forth, cherishing their love. Jana, originally from Slovakia, and Stephen are joined by an all-star cast of musicians including Darol Anger, Sharon Gilchrist, Dennis Crouch, and Jana's former bandmate from Slovakia Henrich Novak. The song, a longtime favorite of the couple, showcases a congruous taste in bluegrass, even though they grew up on different continents.

Stephen Mougin - lead and harmony vocals, guitar
Jana Mougin - lead vocals
Darol Anger - fiddle
Sharon Gilchrist - mandolin
Henrich Novak - resophonic guitar
Dennis Crouch -upright bass

Recorded and mixed by
Stephen Mougin at Dark Shadow Recording, Goodlettsville, TN
Mastered by David Glasser at AirShow Mastering, Boulder, CO
Cover art photo by Madison Thorn
Time: 5 min 27 sec.

Most musicians wear many hats, and Stephen “Mojo” Mougin is no exception. Mojo is best known as a member of the Sam Bush Band and a sought-after instructor. But he is also an award-winning producer and engineer, a label head, mentor, songwriter, band coach, radio DJ and more. Mojos’ commitment to high standards and dedication to everything he works on have made him an in-demand partner and collaborator for any creative endeavor in the world of acoustic music. He is that rare musician that can help grow a band or artist from developing talent to professional quality performer; and shepherd artistic visions from one end of the creative process to the other. If a new bluegrass band has caught your ear in recent years, or a new song given you goose-bumps, it’s very likely that Mojo had something to do with it.

It makes no difference whether Mojo is behind a mic with a guitar in his hands, or at the mixing desk, making a song come to life. He recognizes that all of his musical pursuits are connected, and that his experience in one area can inform his work in any other. His background as a music educator gives Mojo a deep teaching toolbox that is essential to his work teaching voice, guitar, or mandolin; but also helps him to get the most out of a studio performance. “My skills allow me to demonstrate what I’m after, they’re very much the same.” Like any true educator, Stephens’ goal with all of his students and clients is to help them achieve results beyond what they thought possible.

Always a vocalist, Stephen’s first stringed instrument was guitar, which he began performing on at the age of 6, playing and singing in bluegrass bands around his home in rural Massachusetts. As he grew as a musician, he would often play mandolin as well, if that was what the band he was playing with required. No matter which instrument was in his hands, his strength as a singer set him apart, and kept him busy. His focus on his singing, and voice in general, grew, leading Stephen to study music education with an emphasis on voice at University of Massachusetts Amherst. After graduation, Stephen went to work as a 7th-12th grade school music teacher. He would eventually leave the North East for Nashville, and a touring job singing and playing mandolin in a bluegrass band.

Just a few years later, in 2006, Mojo was invited to go to work for bluegrass and newgrass pioneer, Sam Bush, on guitar and vocals. He’s still in that role alongside the Father of Newgrass 18 years later, appearing at top festivals across the country, including annual stops at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and Merlefest. Mojo has continued to grow in his time with Sam, and learns new lessons all the time. He recounts a moment during one of his early shows with the band when he “…crashed and burned, rhythmically” during a solo, and the rest of the group didn’t flinch. It was an object lesson in what it means to be a strong support for your fellow players, to be pulling for one another’s success at every show. It’s a lesson that he has taken to heart, and informs not only his playing, but his teaching, writing, engineering, and production.

In addition to being a member of the Sam Bush Band, Mojo is one half of Nedski & Mojo, a long-running duo with 2018 International Bluegrass Music Association Banjo Player of the Year, Ned Luberecki. Both Stephen and Ned are top players, and masterful clinicians, and they often present workshops and perform as part of an engagement. Ned and Mojo have an unmistakeable musical and personal chemistry, and their musicianship and humor have made them fan favorites. Nedski & Mojos’ workshops and concerts are don’t-miss events.

Onstage, the years Mojo has put in, honing his craft are evident. Offstage, out of the spotlight, Mojo keeps his plate full with a diverse array of musical endeavors. On a given day he might be found producing and engineering new projects, planning releases, shooting top-notch instructional videos, and more. Each facet of his work in music informs all the others, the confluence of diverse experiences helps to make Mojo a “total package” musician, and a powerful creative collaborator.

Before joining the “Sam Band” Mojo was already spending much of his time off the road developing his skills as an engineer and producer. In 2005, he founded Dark Shadow Recording in his home studio; taking the name from his song “Dark Shadow”, recorded by Melonie Cannon. One step at a time, Dark Shadow, run by Stephen and his wife, Jana Mougin, grew from a studio into a full-fledged record label, starting in 2009 with the release of a series of instructional CDs for aspiring harmony singers. In 2010, Dark Shadow released the first album from Nedski & Mojo, Nothing More. Driven by a desire to release great music and to do right by the artists, Dark Shadow began signing new bands, starting with The Rigneys in 2013. In 2014, just one year later, Becky Buller approached Mojo to produce what would be ‘Tween Earth and Sky, and wisely accepted when he offered to release the album as well. That release would earn help to earn Becky the 2015 IBMA Emerging Artist and Songwriter of the Year awards, and the Recorded Event of the Year award for the track “Southern Flavor”. The partnership between Becky and Dark Shadow has continued to be fruitful, with a string of nominations and industry awards. Today, Dark Shadow has an established track record of releasing great music, including Mojos’ own solo record, Ordinary Soul, and albums from Rick Faris, Becky Buller, Laura Orshaw, Stillhouse Junkies, Henhouse Prowlers, Full Cord and Rick Lang.


Of all the singers who might legitimately be called Nashville’s best-kept secret, none would have a stronger claim, if she were the kind of person to make it, than Dark Shadow Records’ Jana Mougin. Born in Slovakia, trained as a classical vocalist, Jana became the lead singer, electric bassist and frontperson for the Czech/Slovak bluegrass band, Fragment. Joining in 1993, she spent a dozen years with the group as they toured around the continent and in the United States, recording eight albums along the way and earning her fans not just among audiences, but among her colleagues, too. In 2006, she married Sam Bush Band guitarist Stephen Mougin and moved to the United States—and when, a few years later, their son, Sammy, was born, and they launched Dark Shadow Studios, followed by Dark Shadow Records, family and the family business became her top priorities.

“I always wanted to stay a little bit active,” Jana says, “but it just wasn’t possible when Sammy was little, and Stephen was on the road, and I was doing the label work. I simply couldn’t imagine being on the road, so I knew I kind of had to wait until Sammy could be more independent - and he could actually play with me now, he plays bass! So I can make music again.”

That’s not to say that she hasn’t found opportunities to sing, contributing exquisitely supportive harmonies—and even an occasional lead—here and there, especially as Dark Shadow began to build a roster of artists who were recording at their studio. “I appreciate every opportunity I get to sing harmony,” she notes, “because I love doing that, especially when all of a sudden you realize that our voices blend so well, and we didn’t know it would even work at all until we tried—it all comes together, it adds the final touch.”

Still, when a Dark Shadow recording session brought an all-star band into the studio, Jana and Stephen seized the opportunity to put her expressive voice in the spotlight—and in “If I Didn’t Love You,” her first single as an artist on her own, she had a great vehicle picked out. “It’s a Steve Wariner song,” she notes. “When I was first starting out as a bluegrass singer, the Austrian band, Nugget, covered a Colin Raye song that I loved so much, but I didn’t want to do the same one. So one day, I thought, well, I’ll just look for a song like that one, and this was what I found.”

Backing her on the song are Dan Tyminski (guitar), Ron Block (banjo), Barry Bales (bass), Sierra Hull (mandolin) and Todd Livingston (resonator guitar), with harmonies supplied by Lauren Mascitti and Jana’s husband, Stephen Mougin. “A dream band,” Jana calls them, but there’s never any doubt about where a listener’s attention is drawn; though a discerning one may be able to tell that English isn’t her native language, when Jana Mougin sings, even the most skilfully crafted accompaniment takes a back seat to the heartbreaking lilt of her voice—and attentive or casual, old fan or new, every listener is bound to be captivated by the result.

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    Stephen Mougin / Jana Mougin
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  • Profile Last Updated:
    07/09/24 13:21:22

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