Nick Moss

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Nick Moss has produced excellent, true-to-form electric blues with his backup band the Flip Tops. Here he is the leader and frontman all the way, even though longtime bandmates like drummer Bob Carter, second guitarist Gerry Hundt, and keyboardist John Kattke are still supporting him. The focus for Moss on this, his eighth album, is different in ways that hearken back to late-'60s rock with current-day side bars. A more than adequate singer and guitarist, Moss is stretching his repertoire on this collection of old favorites and newer tunes with a funky beat, and in some instances, fusing both elements. Baby boomers will love hearing a riff-driven version of Cream's "Politician," with Pete Brown's poignant lyrics just as relevant today as when they were written. The Stephen Stills epic, "For What It's Worth," is also still quite socially charged considering recent events, but Moss updates it with a funkier beat. Moss also covers classic tunes by Howlin' Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson, but his songs, like the rocker "Born Leader" directed at Pres. Barack Obama, and "Privileged at Birth" are lighter but still strong in his message about those born with silver spoons in their mouth. A little reggae flavor or acoustic rural music creeps in, but "Why Should I Care?" is a definitive crossover song, as Robert Johnson meets Z.Z. Top. Many fans of Moss will notice a definite change in his music, and perhaps it's a progression, or a deepening of his commitment to the many musics he loves. Whatever the concept, it's easy to embrace the changes, with more likely to come.

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