Few up and coming young blues performers walk the walk to the degree of Chicago-based guitarist/bandleader JOE MOSS. One of the hardest-working performers on the Windy City circuit, Moss routinely works up to 28 gigs a month. His sound, a winning mix of blues and R&B flavors paired with original songwriting vision, can be heard blasting out of Chicago venues like Buddy Guy’s Legends and House of Blues on a regular basis. His stinging guitar and accomplished vocal style have won him fans citywide. His debut CD “The Joe Moss Band” (212 Records) gives ample proof to the rest of the world of what Midwest blues fans have known for some time: JOE MOSS is for real.
A guitarist since the age of 15, Moss was given his passport into the blues world by Buddy Scott, who noticed Moss at a jam session at Rosa’s Blues Lounge on Chicago’s west side. Soon, Moss was playing seven nights a week as a member of Buddy’s Rib Tip band. In 1992, Joe toured Spain with Buddy and also recorded “Bad Ave.” with him as well. The record was released on Polygram’s Verve Gitane Blues label. Moss’ guitar skills quickly became notorious on the local scene and made him an in-demand sideman. He played countless gigs with nearly every bluesman and -woman in the city. Some of his past employers include Zora Young, Charles Wilson, Lil’ Smokey Smothers, Syl Johnson, Big Time Sarah, Barkin’ Bill Smith, Lefty Dizz, Magic Slim, A.C. Reed, Billy Branch, and Little Mack Simmons. Not merely a local hotshot, Joe has backed these artists in places like Canada, Turkey, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, France, and Germany as well as in Chicago.
Not content to remain on the side, Joe felt the pull to be his own man and lead his own band. This desire led to the birth of both The Joe Moss Band and the CD of the same name. Moss is finally able to do things his way and express the music he has been writing. Original tunes like “Coldhearted,” “Good Lovin’ Groove,” and “Jealous” are sure to win over fans of blues, blues/rock, and R&B. Not one to be media-shy, either, Joe has been featured in Gig Magazine, Vintage Guitar, Living Blues, the Chicago Tribune, the Kenosha News, and In The Mix Magazine. He has also received airplay on WLUP 97.9 FM, WXRT 93.1 FM, and WCBR 92.7 FM.
JOE MOSS is one representative of the future of the blues. Not just an imitator of the music’s glorious past, he strives to find his own sound and material within the styles he chooses to play. His band features some of Chicago’s finest blues musicians and Joe himself is a consistent and entertaining performer. Blues fans would be wise to check out JOE MOSS and his band as soon as they can. Any worries about this music surviving in the new millennium will surely be put to rest.