Foxtrot Mary’s got soul to spare

Auburn-based band crafting all-Stax show
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal features editor
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There’s a special place in the heart for soul. “You play that music and it crosses all generations,” said Tim Brisson. “Babies in strollers and people in their 90s, they hear that music and they get up and dance.” Brisson is band leader of Foxtrot Mary, an Auburn-based band dedicated to keeping soul music alive. More specifically, Foxtrot Mary focuses on the 1960s Stax Records releases. “It’s really a tribute to the Stax era of soul,” he said. “A lot of people know Motown. This was just down the road in Memphis and they had all these hits.” Catch a Foxtrot Mary show and you’ll hear everything from “Dock of the Bay” and “Soul Man.” “We’re a Northern California Memphis soul band,” singer Michael St. John said. “These songs are just too good not to be heard. You’d have to work really hard not to have fun when you see us.” Foxtrot Mary’s current lineup features: singers Lena Moseley, Mott Reaves and Michael St. John; Larry Schiavone on drums; Marty Deradoorian on saxophone; Michael Haviland on trumpet; Kevin Burton on organ; Tim Brisson on guitar and his daughter Nikki Brisson on bass. Tim Brisson said Foxtrot Mary is a labor of love for his family. While he and daughter Nikki are on stage, Tim’s wife Annie Brisson is the one running the show behind the scenes, booking shows and even hosting “juke joint” performances at her business, Pace Auto Sales. “Some families have Jet Skis and they go out on Folsom Lake. Our family plays music,” Tim Brisson said. __________ On the Web To see video of Foxtrot Mary performing a juke-joint show in Auburn, and for free MP3 downloads, visit