Live From Helena, Montana
Blues, Boogie Woogie, & Swing
Little Elmo and the Mambo Kings

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Favorite Road Food: Dolly Madison Raspberry Zingers

Rules to live by:

  • Never pet a burning dog.
  • If it looks dangerous, it is dangerous.

Favorite Movie Line: "There are those who have loaded guns and there are those who dig. You dig."
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


  • Why is a grapefruit called a grapefruit when it has not a grape shape, color, or grow in bunches?
  • Is an orange named for its color or its taste?
  • Why do we put dead presidents on our money?
  • Why do sports figures make more money than 1,000 high school teachers?

Day Job: Master Sergeant for the Montana Army National Guard

Aaron collects cool old ties and fedoras that he often wears on stage.

J. Aaron "Little Elmo" Cundall
Guitar & Lead Vocals

Where does this cat get his energy?

J. Aaron Cundall, AKA "Little Elmo", was born in Rochester New York on May 16, 1953. He grew up in a family of five, being the first born of Jim and Eddy Cundall.

Upon moving to Texas in 1959 he began his music career by taking guitar lessons from Lou Mitchell in Dallas.

Throughout grade school, junior high and high school, Elmo, as he prefers to be called, formed and played a myriad of music based around the guitar, his primary instrument. He began singing in chorus groups and in the Sunday school choir at age 8. It wasn't until he was in high school that the musical roots of his father began to show up in Elmo's delivery style.

Jim Cundall, Elmo's dad, played in swing and big bands prior to WWII with the likes of the Dorsey Brothers, Ozzie Nelson and others. Jim was a drummer and when Elmo was a little boy he would drift off to sleep at night listening to his dad playing a snare drum and high hat to phonograph records by Erroll Garner, Count Basie, Ratio Shaw and many more.

Elmo was strongly influenced by the swing era both from a musical standpoint and the high energy delivery style of the vocalists and entertainers who performed with these groups… but living in Texas there was also other music to round out this young Texas kids repertoire. Elmo discovered the blues of Leadbelly, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Oak Cliff "T-bone Walker" and at 13 he chanced to see a live performance of blues giant BB King from the back door of a Dallas club while collecting pop bottles on his bicycle… but the Texas Swing giant Bob Wills also played a role in Elmo's development, along with grandfather of jump blues, Louis Jordan from Arkansas.

During his college years Elmo continued to perform as a single act and with other small combos ranging from Western Swing to Gospel.

Upon leaving Texas in 1977 and landing in South Dakota, he continued delivering his style of Blues, Boogie and Swing to lots of different audiences.

When Elmo finally arrived in Montana in 1990 he began forming several groups which eventually lead to the "Mambo Kings" in 1995.

Jump Blues, Boogie Woogie and Swing is the genre of the flamboyant group, "Little Elmo & The Mambo Kings. The name came from a song on Elmo's first album, Mambo Sauce, after a hot-n-spicy BBQ sauce served at a BBQ rib joint in Indianapolis. With neon flames on the side of the building stating "Mambo Sauce", Zeb's BBQ Ribs became the foundation for the bands moniker.

Elmo and his band mates continue to provide hot and spicy versions of their original material and also re-arrange many older tunes from the swing era by giving them their own personal flair.

"I love to sing em as I think they should be sung and like my grandpa "Boppa" said so many years ago, Aaron, you are a born showman and that's just exactly what I love to do. If I can bring a smile to the face of just one person in the audience, I've done my job. I guess I try to follow my own philosophy… The only thing I can ever take with me is what I give away".

Tim Borsberry J. Aaron "Little Elmo" Cundall Dave Heidt Ken Nelsonsp
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