There's a 'Renaissance Man' revival in the music industry these days, and Nick Moss has taken advantage of it. Unprecedented upheaval in the entertainment field has thrown open the doors of opportunity for artists with vision and courage to take advantage of it. The release of Nick's eighth studio album, Privileged, is proof he has both.
After seven critically-acclaimed traditional blues albums, Nick has widened his focus on Privilegedin order to absorb song forms and influences beyond the scope of those heard on his previous albums. Not every artist is willing to challenge themselves to grow, explore, and expand. For Nick, that has become second nature.
Most artists spend years honing their skills in order to shop themselves around to different labels, hoping someone will believe enough in their potential to take achance on them. Nick didn't waste time waiting for someone else to believe in him. He had the passion, confidence, and drive to start his own label, Blue Bella Records, in order to pursue his dream and artistic vision.
Before Nick forged his own direction, he spent time learning about the life of a musician by playing with some of the greatest bluesmen of all time.
Nick's schooling began in earnest when he got the call to play bass with the great Chicago guitarist Jimmy Dawkins. Shortly thereafter, he hooked up with the LegendaryBlues Band,featuring Muddy
Waters Blues Band alumnus Willie "Big Eyes" Smithon drums. "That was one of my favorite bands," he recalls. "I still love Willie. He is like my second father." The next deep-blues learning period for Nick, who'd switched over from bass to a six-string, was in the band of Chicago blues legend Jimmy Rogersfor three years in the mid-'90s.
From Rogers, he learned all about the special ensemble sound of authentic Chicago blues, coming to understand the importance of listening closely to and reacting to his fellow players on the bandstand. "Listen to early Muddy Waters stuff with Jimmy and Otis Spann and Little Walter," says Nick of the original model. "It almost sounds as if they'replaying on top of each other, but they're staying out of each other's way. It almost sounds like they're all soloing at the same time."
With his blues graduate studies completed by the late '90s, Moss launched his band, The Flip Tops and Blue Bella Records. Their first album, First Offense,was followed by Got a New Plan in 2001 and two years later a thirdalbum, Count Your Blessings. The latter two received W. C. Handy award nominations, and Count Your Blessingsincluded ace contributions by Nick's friends Sam Myers, Anson Funderburgh,
Willie Smith, Curtis Salgado and Lynwood Slim. June 2005 saw the release of fourth album Sadie Mae, named after his beautiful baby daughter. Sadie Mae was nominated for 2006 Blues Music Awardsas "Album of the Year" and "Traditional Blues Album of the Year."
Those first four studio albums and relentless touring helped Moss build a devoted audience. That following was so excited about the music they were hearing in clubs across the country night after night that they not only encouraged Nick to release a live album, they helped make arrangements for it.
Live at Chan's, released in 2006, was nominated for "Album of The Year", "Traditional Blues Album of the Year," and saw Moss nominated as "Guitarist of the Year" at the 2007 BMAs. What made the album so successful? Nick made certain the night they rolled tape was just like any other night when he and his band took the stage. "I wanted to make sure that the CD reflected the spontaneity of our live performances. I've been blessed with an extremely talented band; each one of us is a multi-instrumentalist and has no problem switching it up during our shows! We have had nothing but compliments from our audiences after they see how the guys and I take turns on different instruments as we did on this particular night."
More about NICK:
- Five of Moss' previous releases were nominated for prestigious Blues Music Awards.
- Nick Moss & the Flip Tops' Play It 'Til Tomorrow (2007) voted by critics as one of "The Decade's Best Blues: 25 Great Albums That Defined The Past 10 Years" in BluesRevue Magazine.
- Nick Moss is featured on the cover of the Apr/May '10 issue of BluesRevue Magazine.
For NICK's channel-list, stage-plan and riders contact info (@) artistexclusive.com
Reviews & articles
"Nick's new CD just rocks! He balances traditional roots blues with a fresh new approach and an 'out of the trad' box' sound. I applaud him. Play what's in your heart, the crowd will follow." Jimmy Thackery / Privileged
"An interesting aspect about this album is that although it seems like a big change for Nick Moss at first listen, it has a tendency to grow on you quickly, to the point of sounding emphatically like another Nick Moss blues gem. Brian Holland / BluesBlast.com
"It's clear by listening to Privileged that Moss has found a way to smash through that barrier to forge his own sound, a sound that may bring blues into the new decade or move Moss into a wider audience. Privileged is the work of a man at the top of his game, and his profession. Jon Norton / Music Director, WGLT
"Moss and co. serve up a second set of live music, replete with Moss' fine soloing and stunning command of Chicago Blues." Vintage Guitar
"Moss' tone is aggressive yet clear; his chordal string-shivers evoke Otis Rush in his prime, and his leads snake and shimmer their way to glory with a distinctive blend of forward-thrusting impetus and playful yet focused exploratory rambunctiousness." Living Blues Magazine