Moore:Music ®

Witch Cross • BC Sweet • Gonads • Christie

Blue Odyssey Sampler

Guitar not to scale........

As the recording of “Blue Odyssey” continues apace, I thought it was about time I gave everyone a ‘sneak peek’ at what I have been up to, so I’ve put together a small sampler, giving a taste of seven of the songs that will eventually appear on the album. They are in no particular order, and in some cases aren’t perhaps the definitive mix, but I think they give an idea of the cross-section of influences I’ve drawn on for the project.  The tracks are as follows:

1 Parrot Beach Cafe – a song about a real venue that Miki and I visited in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Two of the musicians who regularly play there are featured on the track, Gil Franklin on slide guitar and Patrick ‘Jawbone’ Kenyon on blues harp.

2 Pass the Biscuits – a song about the legendary King Biscuit Time and its presenter ‘Sunshine’ Sonny Payne. broadcasting out of Helena, Arkansas, Sonny also appears on the full version of this track, and the drums are by Stef Cybichowksi.

3 Never get to Nashville – this song tells the story of our eventual journey to America, in Nashville style, of course! the full version will feature Shelley House of Atlanta on fiddle, and as a Delta airlines hostess!

4 A Mississippi Prayer – simply inspired by our time in the delta, absorbing the rich musical heritage, we couldn’t fail to be touched by it.

5 What a Night it Was – a strange tale….influenced by the night we got back to our hotel in Austin, Texas, to find that the whole area had been cordoned off by the Police, and the forensic teams were out in force.

6 A Cellarful of Dreams – This was a side of Nashville I hadn’t expected – an alternative scene, very vibrant and encapsulated by the Tuesday nights at The Basement. Great music, great memories. The song in full runs through several different styles, mirroring the diversity of the acts on stage.

7 Buttermilk Boogie – A bit of fun, inspired by my love of the Waffle House chain! I hope to submit the finished version to the company, so it may feature on the jukeboxes in each of their restaurants.

So, click on the player below to get a little taste of my forthcoming album!

Kev Moore

July 3, 2010 Posted by | Blue Odyssey CD, blues, Home Studio, Music, Recording, Rock, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Basement Cafe revisited

If you're in Nashville, go there.

Choosing to spend our last three days of the two-month trip back in Nashville, we couldn’t let the opportunity pass of revisiting Tuesday’s “New faces” night at The Basement.

One of our best nights out of the whole trip, you can check out 6 new acts for no cover and reasonably priced beer. The atmosphere is warm and friendly, and this time we were treated to some truly great talent. Shelly Fraley, on acoustic guitar and vocals, backed by just a harmony singer and a cellist, delivered a beautiful set, showcasing her songwriting and crystal clear voice.  We bought her EP, Up up and away which is great, but I must say, the stripped down live  renditions of her songs with the wonderful cello work were appealingly organic.  She is having some success placing her songs as soundtracks to a number of TV shows and should go from strength to strength. You can check her out HERE

Next up was an enigmatic singer songwriter who resembled a young Neil Diamond, and sang with the passion of a Dylan or Tom Waits. Aaron Berg delivered his exceptional lyrics in a voice of cigarettes and dark chocolate, and really drew you into the narrative. He gigs relentlessly up and down the country, and the two CD’s we bought from him, Songs for Madame X and The Love & Coffee tapes did not disappoint. You can find out more about Aaron HERE.

Singer and guitarist Anne E deChant also put in a good set, possessed of a nice gravel-edged vocal on the more forceful numbers, but it was the beautiful “Old Town Road” that was the highlight of her set, a song any of the songwriting greats would have been proud of. Find out about Anne HERE.

The act that had us retrieving our jaws from the floor however, was the wonderfully madcap The Heligoats. An oddball-looking bunch, we were on the verge of calling it a night when the lanky form of lead singer and guitarist Chris Otepka launched into a surreal soliloquy to set up their first track, reeling us in to his own very peculiar world. How many people do you know that can write a song about getting lost in the heating ducts at a party, or purchasing a swamp and having a grant to improve it from the government? Not only does this band do this, they make you want to listen to it. His lyrics were delivered “stream of consciousness” style, and the band were capable of quite stunning moments of light and shade, exploding one moment, beautifully restrained the next. The lead guitarist, looking like a ginger Roger Whitaker was equally compelling. Looking like he wouldn’t say boo to a goose, with a sheepish smile and reminiscent of a computer programmer, he nevertheless defied convention, letting loose great swathes of guitar noise on the unsuspecting crowd. Within minutes, we knew we were in the presence of genius. In the last ten or fifteen years, very few bands have been able to surprise and delight me, but The Heligoats did just that in equal measure. In a perfect world, they would be massive. If your world isn’t perfect, I would suggest stepping into the one created by Otepka’s lyrics. It’s fun. Give in to the madness that is The Heligoats HERE.

A word has to go to Mike Grimes, owner of the Basement and the record store Grimey’s above. His relentless pursuit of all things cool to put on The Basement stage, dispelling the myth that Nashville is all about country, is a credit to the city. The music world needs people like Mike to keep it alive. I salute you, sir.  Visit The Basement HERE.

Kev Moore

March 7, 2010 Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Touring, Writing | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Truly a Music city


Kev and Miki enjoy the music at The Basement. Pic by Patricio

Already blown away by the house band at the Second Fiddle on Broadway on their afternoon session, Miki and I decided to head out to The Basement in Southern Nashville, where Tuesday night is new faces night. We thought it would be a great opportunity to listen to the up and coming acts that are emerging on the Nashville scene. What I didn’t expect was the high standard maintained throughout the show. I’m going to go through them one by one, because they each deserve a mention in their own right.  First up was:

 Jordan Hull , who had re-located to Nashville in order to further his career. An unassuming guy, his guitar and harmonica were a perfect foil to an unusual voice that delivered some very well crafted original material.  A great choice for an opening act, it boded well for the rest of the evening.

 Lisa Auge, a female singer-songwriter, was possessed of a remarkable voice, and a really original songwriting craft, her lyrics really drawing you into the narrative. She, too, if I remember well, relocated to Nashville from Ohio to pursue her dream. Surely one to watch in the future.

A great outfit fronted by Mark Bates sat at the keyboard, and yet more great original material with thought=provoking and original lyrics, reminiscent of Ben Folds, with a sprinkling of Tom Waits, delivered in inimitable style. The guitarist had a great, haunting echo-soaked wash of a sound played on a gorgeous old Gretsch that must have been worth a fortune.

Another great cherry red Gretsch took to the stage next , ably played by Bob Lanphier (I think)  who, backed by a solid band gave a great vocal  performance to boot.

Following  Bob was a duo, Dear Companion, featuring Loren Francis & Maja Alderin, a Bostonian guy and a Swedish girl from Stockholm respectively. A late addition to the bill apparently, but certainly a welcome one. Beautifully crafted songs with unusual arrangements performed on acoustic guitar and piano, with Maja’s haunting vocal a perfect counterfoil to Loren’s lead. Truly original music.

Things cranked up then with the arrival of The Octagon, a New York band fronted by Zachary Mexico who I discovered  is also a writer, with a book published just last year.   A punk band for the new decade with a healthy dose of humour, they exploded into life, and certainly put a smile on Miki’s face!   This three piece power outfit but a little new york groove into Nashville’s Basement.

Another three piece followed – World Bazaar – possessed of an outstanding drummer who gave every single beat 100%.  In fact, the whole three piece were amazing, particularly thewir last track which had so many different shades you could be forgiven for thinking it was a 6 piece on stage. The only weak point for Miki and I was the vocals from the lead guitarist, which, while adequate, didn’t match the quality of everything else they were doing. I feel this band would improve 100% with a big-voiced frontman .

The final act of the night was Kings of Disco, who had the unenviable graveyard slot, which Miki and I admittedly left halfway through, but more due to our continuing time-zone confusion and exhaustion as opposed to any fault on their part. Some nice syncopated strat rhythms accompanied our exit.  We were amazed at the variety, and above all, sheer quality of this free admission Tuesday night down here at the Basement. It happens every Tuesday night, and if you’re ever in Nashville, I urge you to check it out.

 Also, a mention to Patricio, a local resident from L.A. who now lived here in music city and searched for new talent, recording and promoting them, who befriended us and gave us a little insight into the scene at the Basement and Nashville as a whole.

Taking my seat in the Ryman Auditorium

A couple of nights later, we attended the Nationwide final of the Colgate Country Showdown, hosted by Leann Rimes, which had distilled 500,000 hopefuls down to 5 finalists all chasing a $100,000 prize, operforming at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville. The venue was a cross between  a concert hall and a museum, with glass display cases along the back wall containing posters and stage costumes of the country stars of yesteryear.  We chatted briefly to the Pedal steel player in the band as we made our way into the gig. 

The backing band run through Ms.Rimes play on piece for the Cameras

The finalists were Casey Lee Smith , a 17 yearold singer/guitarist, Kendall Phillips, a female singer songwriter, Whisky row,  a male guitar vocal duo, Terry Lee Spencer, a guitar vocalist, and Karla Davis, a female guitar/vocalist –  and the winner was Karla Davis, who turned out to have the best voice of the bunch, and reasonably good songs, but for me really leaned much more towards R&B than country. Now, I,m not a country fan, but if I was, I’d be a little concerned at the continued watering down of this cultural artform. The fourth contestant Terry Lee Spencer, whilst not always on the money vocally, certainly embodied more of what I would consider the country spirit, particularly in his two original songs, and the second song by duo Whisky Row  “Leather Glove” was a beautiful piece.  The winner’s second original song “Whiskey’s gotta job to do” was clever, the”narrator” being a bottle of Jack Daniels” – born in Lynchburg Tennessee, and I could see the song achieving more success for the writer, than she will herself as a performer. All in all, though I was surprised that the standard of artists at The Basement two nights before was far superior to this heavily-sponsored national final.  We left thinking we’d really just been witness to “American Country Idol”.

But what a treat to dip into the musical delights of this wonderful city! So much to see, so little time!

Kev Moore

January 17, 2010 Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Touring, Writing | , , , | 1 Comment