Music, Fashion, Perm Week, Muscles, Free Hugs, and More!
~ Emily McLean
Written for Utah Stories August 2015
Thirty seven years is a long time to be pursuing music, but Cory Mon can’t ignore the call of his passion. What began as recording on his computer in the basement, has blossomed into the energetic and fun experience Cory Mon brings to the stage. Having gone through many variations of musical endeavors, including Cory Mon & the Starlight Gospel, the group is now known simply as Cory Mon, after frontman Cory Mon. Their sound is rooted in folk music with a wide variety of influences, including bluegrass, pop, rock and blues. “Through all the years I keep playing and keep reinventing myself,” says Cory.
Three years ago Cory needed a bass player to fill in and roped his now brother-in-law Clark Cannon in to the band, he’s been a permanent fixture ever since. A man large in stature, Clark fills the stage with not only his personality, but also a keen sense of fashion. Velour suits in bold purple and white tanks are staples, and it’s always a fun surprise to see how he accessorizes. His beard and hair are a frequent topic of conversation during and after sets. Off stage quirks include celebrating his birthday each April with the highly anticipated #permweek, wherein he and friends all treat themselves to perms and share photos on social media (just try and resist searching that hashtag). “Whatever’s gonna make me laugh is what I’m going to do,” says Clark.
Stephen Joel Jensen joined the group two years ago and picked up, “Everything else,” as Cory says. Including percussion, back-up vocals and even muscles. Stephen’s fashion is also a distinct feature of the band. Sleeves rarely grace his muscular arms on stage and sometimes the pants come off mid-set to reveal tight spandex leggings bedecked with rainbows and unicorns. When asked about fashion Stephen proclaims, “I think it’s best explained by the New Testament counsel, “nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”
Each Cory Mon show is a unique experience and through it all, the short and barefoot Cory keeps on with the music and witty stage banter. “We like to be as much ourselves as possible.” Cory professes. The infectious blend of energy, personality and music on stage is intensely wonderful and relaxing at the same time. Concerts feel very intimate and it’s clear the band is having a good time. “I love being on stage, entertaining and making people smile and laugh with music,” says Clark. “It’s all part of our vibe.”
Another integral part of their vibe is the “Free Hugs” mantra fully embraced by the band. Each show is promoted with #freehugs and these guys don’t skimp when it comes to payout. Their hugs envelop you just as the music does, warming body and soul, inside and out.
As much fun as they have, music is serious business to Cory Mon. As Clark puts it, “We brush our teeth, we play music.” With many years behind them, look for just as many more to come.