Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nick Moss "Privileged"

Nick Moss is a great guitarist and singer. For the past decade he was the front man for the Fliptops, who with him were the premier Chicago blues band around. After they made seven very fine discs together, evidently the Fliptops are no more. This is Nick Moss's second solo effort--after his debut in 2001--and it is possibly the best thing he has ever done. The lineup for this new disc is: Nick Moss: guitar, vocals, harmonica; Nick Skilnik: bass; Willie Oshawny: piano, organ, vocals; Travis Reed: organ; Bob Carter: drums. The playing is up to Chicago blues standards, which means it sounds terrific, solid, committed, full. The sound here is funkier, but still recognizably blues. In the promo materials, Moss indicates that he wanted to broaden the pallete of the blues, and in line with that there are a few interesting covers here--Cream's "Politician," Steven Still's "For What It's Worth"--each done with passion and taste. In fact, I am surprised that anybody in this day can cover "For What It's Worth" anymore and make it work. It might be the best thing on "Privileged." Then you listen to the rest of the disc, and every song is that good. This is a great effort, but I think it's transitional too. You really ought to hear this cd for yourself. Nick Moss has been one of the premier band leaders and guitarists in the Chicago blues for the past several years, at the absolute top of that game--there was nothing more for him to prove by continuing with the Fliptops, making great records one after another. By taking this step, Nick can challenge himself, explore the various opportunities and directions out there in front of him. I think Moss has an absolutely jaw-dropping disc ahead of him, at least one, and this is a necessary step to get from the "Live at Chans" discs to fulfilling that promise. My hat's off to him, and I applaud his guts taking this step.

All of Nick Moss's music is available at http://www.bluebellarecords.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bruce!!

Really nice review! Just a couple of things I thought I'd point out. The Flip Tops are still alive and well, just slightly altered. The lineup you mentioned in the review is my new Flip Top live band. The CD features "Brother" John Katke on all keys, and Stumpy Hutchkins on bass, Bob Carter on drums and Gerry Hundt on a few tunes playing rythym guitar and mandolin.

I hope people will come out when I come to their town and check out how we mix the old and new sounds!

Nick Moss