HAPPY HOMECOMMING GERRY MOSS

Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010, at 7:51 AM

 

LOW DOWN AND DIRTY: Gerry Moss plays the blues at the Omaha Center in Cherokee Village May 1. Photo/Bob Fleming

Apparently, living in Big D agrees with Mr. Gerry Moss.

But as they say - one town's gain is another town's loss.

And that couldn't be any truer than in this case.

After calling Hardy and the Spring River area home for a good two decades, Moss pulled up stakes and headed south to Dallas, Texas about five years ago.

And this area is poorer for his absence.

Just ask any of those that used to flock wherever Moss might be playing, either solo acoustic, with his band The Drive, or as a member of Throttle.

Just ask any of the dozens of youngsters who took their first guitar, bass, drum of keyboard lessons from Moss. Some of who have went on to form their own bands, feeding off the inspiration that Moss delivered.

So it was a real pleasure for those gathered inside Cherokee Village's Omaha Center the first weekend in May to have the chance to once again be dazzled by the impressive talents of Gerry Moss.

Guitarist. Vocalist. Songwriter. Entertainer.

That's Gerry Moss.

And spending a half-decade around the hustle-and-bustle of the Metroplex doesn't seem to have slowed him down one single bit.

His voice was filled with as much gritty authority as ever and his guitar playing ... well ... his guitar playing was pure Gerry Moss.

While his brief trip back into town was to serve as an opening act for Leon Russell, Moss' appearance at the Omaha Center took on an impromptu homecoming and family reunion kind of feel.

The crowd was loud and boisterous from the outset and before Moss could even plug his acoustic guitar in on stage, shouts of "Hey, Moss!", "Welcome home!, and just plain "Gerry!" shot up to the rafters of the Omaha Center like a fistful of bottle rockets.

And by the big grin that slowly crept across his face, Moss couldn't have been any happier at that instant.

That much was confirmed after his set, when he confessed, "Wow. I'm really humbled by that reception. It was really something. I just can't begin to thank these folks enough for how they made me feel tonight."

That feeling was certainly a two-way street as Moss hit the ground running with a set of old favorites with some tasty new offerings sprinkled in.

Armed only with his trusty acoustic guitar, Moss quickly caught his Spring River fans up to speed on what they've been missing -- hankering for - the past several years.

Of course he dusted off "Shoestring," a local favorite about a quirky individual who plays by his own rules. He also delivered a spot-on version of "Here Comes the Sun."

With a tip of his hat to his now home stomping-grounds in the Lone Star state, Moss also broke out a fantastic "Pancho and Lefty" that surely would have received a thumbs-up from the late, great Townes Van Zandt.

But the real jewels during Moss' set were a pair of original tunes -- "Sweet Angel" and "Fried Chicken Blues."

Hopefully one day soon, his fans will be able to add a new CD to their collection, Gerry Moss' latest, with both those tunes front and center.

While it was really impressive to see the way he was welcomed back home, receiving adoring attention is not something new, or foreign, to Moss.

After all, he was once a featured member of country superstar Johnny Lee's ("Looking for Love") band and before that was bass player for Lloyd Price's ("Stagger Lee", "Lawdy Miss Claudy") outfit.

Moss has also shared the stage with the likes of Bobby "Blue" Bland, Albert Collins, Rufus Thomas, Edgar Winter, Joe Walsh, Stevie Winwood, Johnny Rivers, Mose Allison, Albert King, Buddy Guy, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Charlie Pride and Hank Williams, Jr., to name a few.

For this occasion, it was the iconic living legend Leon Russell that drew top-billing.

And neither Moss, nor his many friends and fans jammed into the Omaha Center the first weekend in May, had a problem with that.

But one thing's for sure.

Leon Russell may have been the ice cream sundae on this night, but there was no doubt that Gerry Moss' homecoming was the cherry on top of the treat.

Here's hoping we get more of the same in the near future.

A special thank you goes out to Bob Fleming and his family for the pictures he took of the Gerry Moss/Leon Russell show.

Bob was not only an excellent photographer and connoisseur of all things related to a camera, he was also a huge fan and supporter of live music. 

He will be greatly missed.  

 

Recently returned to his native hometown Chicopee boy Gerry Moss has been honing his skills with the likes of B.B. King, after cutting his teeth out in Houston for something like a decade-and-a-half... These days, he can be found (and appreciated) at Gibson’s Bar & Grill in East Windsor- milliseconds off Route 91 and minutes from area blues meccas like Theodore’s in Springfield and Black-Eyed Sally’s in Hartford.
The dude wails, y’all; and he sings low and gritty and with the kind of gusto and authority that a bona-fide, ole-school blues-man oughtta... and just to buff it up with the shine of authenticity, any trace of Western Mass speech has long since disappeared from his delivery, having been replaced with a thick, hearty Texas drawl. The years he spent playing as one of B.B.King’s side-men in Arkansas probably contributed to the inflection and intonation as well. When Moss talks, it’s like the rolling of the river, and almost as enjoyable to listen to.
As soon as the guy’s Strat starts to sing, or his Les Paul cry, well... ya know... ya just know... the Real Deal is in town. He’s a natch for either of the aforementioned blues-’n’-Q houses; it seems a safe bet he’ll start stepping in and showing up at either or both of ‘em before too long. Meantime, he struts his acoustic six-string around the Springfield area, playing either side of the mighty CT river and even into Aldenville.
The rolling MossMan gathers no stone un-turned, turned-up, and in-tune... but he rocks! Whatever the hell that means- point is, he’s good, he’s real; he’s real good and he’s coming.
Fast-forward a week to today, right here right now, and you shoulda heard the Jamma-Geddon closer here at Gibson’s this time. “Pops” Piper and Mister MossMan, plus every dang dude with an axe and/or amp fired-up, all giving the extend-a-session treatment to “House of the Rising Sun. Easily worth the price of admission right there, if they’d been any!

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