Wikipedia defines the word Messenger as a person or thing that carries a message. And that is what this group does – They carry the message of love, life and they inspire to dream. Messenger’s style of music crosses various musical genres and styles. Since their inception in the early 80’s, the music of Messenger has had a way of speaking to the listener on a unique and entertaining level. With slick grooves and carefully choreographed dance steps, Messenger connected with their audience, whether it was inside a small dance club, funk shack or outdoor music festival, they came to play.
Messenger broke into the L.A. music scene in 1983 at a time when artists like Prince and The Revolution, Rick James and Michael Jackson were claiming the R&B airwaves and stage performances. On the Pop music side, there was Duran Duran, Bon Jovi, U2, and Journey.
From Madame Wong’s West in Santa Monica to The Roxy in Hollywood, it was Messenger’s time to perform, and perform they did, as they built an R&B fan base following their every move. Rocking out, Messenger was soon performing in clubs tailored for rock groups like Poison and Guns & Roses around the Los Angeles and Hollywood area and rarely did R&B funk bands perform in these venues, let alone headline. Messenger was pushing the envelope.
Their unique blend of funk/pop played to the audience and they responded by attending the group’s performances over and over again. For a band who had not recorded a song at the time, Messenger garnered enough respect to be invited to perform on shows with some of the top artists of the time. Finally, with a solid message to be embraced, Hollywood was calling.
In 1986, Messenger wrote and recorded two songs, “Conversation” and “Shotgun”, produced by David Pack of Ambrosia. The songs were prominently featured in the ABC television movie, “The Brotherhood of Justice”, starring Keanu Reeves and Kiefer Sutherland. They were later asked to write and record songs for the 1989 horror film Death Spa as well. Messenger was featured on the cover of the “The Music Connection” and written up in feature articles for national magazines like “Black Teen.” Messenger’s popularity was soaring.
The original members of Messenger featured the masked bass guitar player, Dino Stewart, Guitar player Vic Butler, Lead singer Don McDaniels, Keyboard players Bobby Jackson, Bob Butler, and drummer Johnny Moore. After the loss of a couple of band members, Messenger disbanded in 1993.
Today, with another message to be heard, Messenger is back after 20 years. There are new songs, new ideas, new Messages… same Messenger, with Dino, Vic, Bob and John, under their new production company, The MJB Project. Yes, the message is the same – Love, life and inspiration… The message is now.