Nick Moss wants you to know his name. Already considered by some to be one of the nation's top up-and-coming blues songwriters and guitarists, Moss has no reason to be shy about his aspirations. Embarking on a monumental do-it-yourself tour this fall, Moss, and his band the Flip Tops will perform at Navajo Hogan on Thursday, Oct. 9.
"One of the primary reasons why I'd like to keep increasing my fan base is because it will make it so much easier to book shows," said Moss, who relied largely upon friends, family and other blues musicians to book the current nationwide tour.
"Nick is one of the best blues players around, and definitely one of the best I've ever seen in the Chicago style," said "Magic" Dave Therault, a local blues harmonica player who booked Moss' Oct. 9 show, and will join him onstage for the performance. "Nick is able to play in a very traditional way and make it sound fresh and new."
Considered a rising star in the world of blues music, Moss has already played with an auspicious number of the genre's legends, primarily honing his chops alongside Chicago blues legends such as Jimmy Rogers and Buddy Guy.
"One of the reasons that I'm not deterred from going on the road and playing every night is because I've been doing it since I was a teen-ager," said Moss. "Being on the road comes naturally to me."
Introduced to the genre in his early teens, Moss made a habit of sneaking into Chicago blues bars to watch the city's finest guitarists as they developed a distinct style, both upbeat and melodic.
"People who are unfamiliar with the blues have a big misconception that the whole genre is slow and sad," said Moss. "When you see the great blues players, what you hear is a whole variety of emotions."
After touring with Jimmy Rogers and ex-Muddy Waters drummer Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, among others, Moss finally formed his own band in the late '90s. The group's most recent release, Count Your Blessings, has received critical acclaim and earned Moss and the Flip Tops the
2003 W.C. Handy Award by the Blues Foundation for Best New Artist Debut.
I started listening to these old Stones records, and eventually stuff like Bill Haley and the Comets, and I realized that so much of it was rooted in the blues, said Moss. It was basically white blues, and I needed to find the roots, he said.
Moss welcomes the growing interest in his music and credits his band with making the live show a soul-satisfying experience.
Id like for more people to know my music and know who I am, but its because I believe in the blues, said Moss, and I want to share the power of this music with as many people as possible.
-- Joe Kuzma
Nick Moss and the Flip Tops
Navajo Hogan, 2817 N. Nevada Ave.
Thursday, Oct. 9, 2003
8 p.m. to midnight