Who was/is Nick Moss ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

Nick Moss & The Flip Tops

If electric blues guitar as we've celebrated it throughout these four collections is going to thrive—or even survive—in years to come without degenerating into watered-down blues-rock, it requires an infusion of committed youngblood axemen who revere and intuitively understand the hallowed tradition while steering it into fresh directions that aren't too far removed from the past. That's a mighty difficult proposition; many try, but only a precious few succeed.

 In case you haven't had the pleasure yet, meet Nick Moss. The burly guitarist has been anointed as a savior of traditional Chicago blues, his albums on his own Blue Bella label reflecting a deep love for his Windy City blues ancestors. "That's what I learned how to play," says Moss, born December 15, 1969 and a native of Chicago's northwest suburbs. "Like I've always told people that always ask me, I kind of got stuck with this label over the last couple of years of being the torchbearer of Chicago blues. I didn't set out to do that. I live in Chicago, and I was taught by the guys that played Chicago blues pretty much what I know."

Those famous teachers included guitarists Buddy Scott and Jimmy Dawkins. Back when he was in their respective bands (Nick was only 18 but big for his age when he joined Scott), Moss played electric bass. He'd mastered the instrument through headphones during a six-month stay in the hospital with serious kidney problems while he was a teenager. His older brother Joe, now a popular Chicago blues guitarist himself, brought him the earphones and was an essential influence.

Midway through four years in the Legendary Blues Band, its leader, ex-Muddy Waters drummer Willie ‘Big Eyes' Smith, suggested Nick switch to guitar. Smith recommended Moss to former Waters guitarist Jimmy Rogers, and Nick stayed with Jimmy for nearly three years during the mid-‘90s, absorbing the nuances of what a blues ensemble should sound like. From there, Moss was ready to form his own combo, the Flip Tops. Blue Bella launched in 2000 with their ‘First Offense,' and he's done seven more discs since, earning a raft of Handy and Blues Music Award nominations. There'll no doubt be plenty more.

Check My Pulse, from Nick's 2005 album ‘Sadie Mae' (named after his then-year-old daughter with his wife, guitarist/bassist Kate Moss), is a solid example of Nick's tight-knit ensemble sound, supplied by pianist Bob Welsh, rhythm guitarist Gerry Hundt, bassist Dave Wood, and drummer Victor Spann. There's room for a stinging two-chorus Moss guitar ride right after Welsh rolls the ivories; Moss doesn't hog the spotlight, and he makes every note count when he does solo.  

Moss is also conversant on harmonica and bass, not averse to switching off mid-set to either one. He's not afraid to change up his sound either; his 2010 CD ‘Privileged' found him surprising longtime followers by veering into blues-rock. "You know how you can go to a show, and no matter how good the artist is, sometimes it can get a little stale," he says. "We always try to switch things up and make things different. I always tell the people we're trying to give you more for your money."

If Nick Moss is any indication of the future of electric blues, the idiom rests in strong, capable hands.

 

Bill Dahl
Chicago, Illinois

PLUG IT IN! TURN IT UP!

Electric Blues 1939-2005. - The Definitive Collection!

 

More information about Nick Moss on Wikipedia.org

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Lucky Guy (CD) The Nick Moss Band: Lucky Guy (CD) Art-Nr.: CDAL4993

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(Alligator) 14 tracks. Peerless Chicago blues band, led by razor-sharp singer, guitarist Nick Moss and harmonica virtuoso Dennis Gruenling, return with another sterling collection of combustible, cocksure blues and rootsy rock 'n' roll,...
$20.16
The High Cost Of Low Living (CD) The Nick Moss Band: The High Cost Of Low Living (CD) Art-Nr.: CDAL4981

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(Alligator) 13 Tracks - Chicago's legendary Blues label Alligator is back again with Nick Moss featuring Dennis Gruenling! Nick Moss‘ muscle guitar sound and his electric energy combined gives us breathtaking guitars, tough and emotional...
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From The Root To The Fruit (2-CD) Nick Moss Band: From The Root To The Fruit (2-CD) Art-Nr.: CDBLUE1023

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(2016/Blue Bella) 27 tracks. From The Root To The Fruit presents the musical story of the birth and growth of the blues genre as it relates to popular music. 'The first CD has a bit of 40's and 50's jump blues, Texas, Chicago, and Uptown...
$25.78
Live & Lucious (CD) Nick Moss Band: Live & Lucious (CD) Art-Nr.: CDBLUE1022

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(2015/Blue Bella) 8 tracks. The Nick Moss Band live at the Internationales Blues Fest Eutin - Baltic Blues Festival 2015. If you have missed them live, you can hear them now on CD! Great!
$19.04
Time Ain't Free Nick Moss Band: Time Ain't Free Art-Nr.: CDBLUE1019

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(2014/Blue Bella) 14 tracks.
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Here I Am MOSS, Nick: Here I Am Art-Nr.: CDBLUE1017

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Latest with 'Here I Am', Nick Moss says 'goodbye' to grandfather's Chicago style blues. And he does it well. He remains the authentic bluesman. He has learned how to rock without ever sounding trivial. With this sound, and with these...
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Privileged Nick Moss & The Flip Tops: Privileged Art-Nr.: CDBLUE1014

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'Privileged' is marking the dawn of a new direction in Nick's blues. Before playing with the likes of Jimmy Rogers or Jimmy Dawkins, Nick had learned the blues from rockers like Cream, the Allman Bros. Band, Free or Led Zeppelin. This CD...
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Sadie Mae MOSS & THE FLIP TOPS, Nick: Sadie Mae Art-Nr.: CDBLUE1004

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' I don't try to be arrogant; I don't try to re-invent the wheel, I'm not trying to take blues to the next level or in another direction, I'm just trying to preserve what was handed down to me.' - Nick Moss 2005. I have to repeat myself:...
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Count Your Blessings MOSS & THE FLIP TOPS, Nick: Count Your Blessings Art-Nr.: CDBLUE1003

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(2002/2003 'Blue Bella') (77:10/18) Definitiv sein bislang bestes Album, das bei verschiedenen Aufnahmesessions in Chicago und Dallas entstand. Der junge Chicagoer Gitarrist hält die Fahne des Blues in der Stadt hoch, ohne angestaubt zu...
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First Offense MOSS & THE FLIP TOPS, Nick: First Offense Art-Nr.: CDBLUE1001

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(2001 'Blue Bella') (52:52/14) Moss hat einige Jahre in der Band von Jimmy Rogers gespielt, bevor er seine eigenen Flip-Tops gründete. Hier auf seinem ersten Album re-interpretiert er auf sympathische Art die verschiedenen Spielarten des...
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Got A New Plan MOSS & THE FLIP TOPS, Nick: Got A New Plan Art-Nr.: CDBLUE1002

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with his razor-sharp guitar tone and his strong vocals, plus his song-writing talent Moss ranks amongst the finest contemporary players in the Windy City. He easily mixes various sources to his own style. I can hear some Earl Hooker and...
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