Review and photographs by Rudy Lu
Pianist-singer-composer Mose Allison was one of the many great musicians that passed away last year. If you are a rock fan and have never heard of him, you have surely heard his work. Bonnie Raitt (“Everybody’s Crying Mercy”), the Yardbirds (“I’m Not Talking”), Johnny Winter (“Parchman Farm”) and the Who (“Young Man Blues”) all have covered Mose’s tunes, which are the the definition of hip, with a bluesy delta feel to them (he was from Mississippi) and frequently humorous, sarcastic lyrics.
His music is the subject of a recent project that started as collaboration between singer-guitarist Richard Julian and pianist John Chin several years ago. This has blossomed into five-piece band that now includes Stacey Dillard (tenor saxophone), Bill Campbell (drums) and Matt Pavolka (bass).
“Parchman Farm”: A lament sung by a convict about his unjust sentence at the notorious prison farm was delivered with dark forboding, so there was no surprise to the final lyric, “All I did was shot my wife.”
“Molecular Structure”: The humor of Mose’s tribute to the female form was accented with John Chin playing electronic keyboard with a wah-wah pedal.
“Your Mind Is on Vacation”: Featured an extended instrumental break with a B3-like solo by John Chin.
Riding over the solid backbone of the Campbell-Pavolka rhythm section, Stacy Dillard showed his sensitivity and taste by accompanying quietly as needed and providing some explosive fireworks when given a little space.
And at the end of the evening, I felt assured that the music of Mose will live on for future generations of music fans.
GO HERE to see more of Rudy Lu’s photographs of this concert…