People who love the Blues aren’t looking for evolutionary progression in the genre. They want players who respect the tradition of the Blues and translate it uniquely with passion and integrity.
That sounds like Nick Moss’ mission statement. The Chicago native found his love for the Blues early in life, learning guitar from his older brother and sneaking into local clubs to absorb the vibe as a teenager.
On a foray to a Blues jam, Moss met electric Blues icon Jimmy Dawkins who, as fate would have it, needed a bass player. Moss offered his services and scored a longstanding gig in Dawkins’ band, which led to stints with the Legendary Blues Band (featuring Muddy Waters drummer Willie “Big Eyes” Smith) and Chicago guitarist Jimmy Rogers.
When Moss joined Rogers’ band, he switched to guitar and learned the intricacies of a Blues ensemble’s interactions, an education he needed for his career’s next phase.
In the late ’90s, Moss assembled the Flip Tops and began establishing himself as a first-rate Blues frontman. The band’s second and third albums — 2001’s Got a New Plan and 2003’s Count Your Blessings — were nominated for W.C Handy Awards, and 2005’s Sadie Mae was similarly honored with Album-of-the-Year nominations from the Blues Music Awards.
Moss and the Flip Tops have made their bones in front of audiences, and their upcoming fifth album highlights that strength. Live at Chan’s, out next month, showcases Moss’ frenetic Blues guitar style and the band’s mastery of the form. Appropriately, the album was hatched by a pair of Moss’ fans who wanted him to release a live set. When Moss said he wanted to but had no plan, they arranged to record his gig at Chan’s Eggroll & Jazz in Woonsocket, R.I.
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