Under The Purple Moon – Twenty Years And Counting

Greetings music lovers and welcome to our latest installment of our musical journey. It has been 20 years since we completed and released “Under The Purple Moon”. In that time we have sold over 3500 hard copies of the album and have released another 4,000 digital copies via the internet through Itunes, CD Baby and Amazon. Of the 11 albums we have released in the past 35 years Purple Moon remains our most popular album and gets regular airplay with several FM stations around the country. We are also very proud of the fact that the band Phish used our song “Lit O Bit” from this album to open shows on their 2010 tour.

Although hard copies of “Under The Purple Moon”  are no longer in print the album is still available digitally online through numerous sites as individual songs or as a complete album.

This month we have launched a new website to help promote the 20th Anniversary of the album and invite you to visit and see if you can remember a few of the great tunes from Purple Moon. 


We also would like to give a special shout out to all the folks who worked so very hard to make Purple Moon a fantastic listening experience.  “Under The Purple Moon” was recorded, mixed and mastered at Omega Recording Studios in 2000-2002. Jim Curtis, Shannon Follin and Angelo “Cat” Lazo were the recording technicians and engineers and worked their magic in both Studios A and B.

The following musicians lent their talents, inspiring and conspiring to create purple Moon:

  • Rita Clarke – vocals, harmonies, guitar, cornet, rub board
  • Richard Clarke – drums, percussion, keyboards, harmonies
  • Chris Watling – bari, tenor sax & horn arrangements
  • Keith Grimes – electric & acoustic guitars
  • Rick Arenz – Hammond B3
  • Leo Aspiras – bass
  • Howie Feinstein – piano
  • Jon Combs – bass, tuba
  • Tam Sullivan – piano
  • Derrick Houston – tenor sax
  • Moe Nelson – acoustic stand up bass
  • Andy Reynolds – guitar

Thank you to all our fans for your devotion and continued support.
Love & happiness, 
Rita & Richard

Mystic Ya Ya Alive and Well

Post covid Mystic Ya Ya is in a tight funky groove and is totally enjoying making music for fans who are finally getting back out to see and hear live music. Parties, festivals and a few concerts are on the schedule and the band is glad to be back and performing for a live audience.

Left to right: Rick Arenz, Keith Grimes, Leo Aspiras, Rita Clarke, Richard Clarke & Curtis Pope


What is in a band name? On the surface Mystic Ya Ya seems like another one of those New Orleans nonsense terms but it does have a much deeper meaning for those of you who seek some substance to their terminology. The Mystic in this case is a direct reference to Abraham Lincoln and his love for the performing arts. Dear Abe used the term Mystic in his first inaugural speech in 1861 and was referring to music as it was composed and performed in his generation. He spoke of the Mystic chords from our better angels and again in these times (2021) we could sure use more of those tunes. Of course the Ya Ya is a reference the La La in many of Allen Toussaint’s wonderful compositions. So there you have it folks, a band name that can be interpreted on many levels depending on either your intellect, mood or whatever. I prefer the better Angels myself and on this MLK Day in 2021 the name Mystic Ya Ya seems a little more relevant with the times a Changin’. It is really all about the music but one has to also declare some political allegiance and take sides when it counts.
Here’s to better days ahead!


New Orleans R&B Rita Clarke & Mystic Ya Ya

Rita and her Krewe return for another great Matinee Show at the 
Villain & Saint • Bethesda
Saturday • April 27th • 4 – 6 pm
Come join Rita Clarke and the Mystic Ya Ya band
for dining, dancing and great music.
Fine food, drink and lively conversation highlighted by the Mystic Ya Ya’s very own special blend of soulful New Orleans Americana. 
This 2 hour matinee show will feature non stop old school R&B tunes performed by one of Washington’s leading Rockin’ Soul bands! 
Get yar hiner outta dat recliner!
No cover charge and free parking.

Mystic Ya Ya Web Launch!

Welcome to the official Mystic Ya Ya website! We are proud to present the new online home for all things Rita Clarke and her Mystic Ya Ya band. Here, you will find the latest videos posted on the Mystic Ya Ya YouTube channel, as well as blog posts, live performance announcements, information about the band, and much more.

This is the dawn of a amazing new era for Rita Clarke and the Mystic Ya Ya band, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for joining us on this journey.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!