Nick Moss

Traditional bluesman branches out

Nick's blues schooling began in earnest when he got the call to play bass with the great Chicago guitarist Jimmy Dawkins. Shortly thereafter, he hooked up with the Legendary Blues Band, featuring Muddy Waters Blues Band alumnus Willie "Big Eyes" Smith on drums. "That was one of my favorite bands," he recalls. "I still love Willie. He is like my second father."

The next deep-blues learning period for Nick, who'd switched over from bass to a six-string, was in the band of Chicago blues legend Jimmy Rogers for three years in the mid-'90s. From Rogers, he learned all about the special ensemble sound of authentic Chicago blues, coming to understand the importance of listening closely to and reacting to his fellow players on the bandstand. "Listen to early Muddy Waters stuff with Jimmy and Otis Spann and Little Walter," says Nick of the original model. "It almost sounds as if they're playing on top of each other, but they're staying out of each other's way. It almost sounds like they're all soloing at the same time."

With his blues graduate studies completed by the late '90s, Moss launched his band, The Flip Tops and Blue Bella Records. Their first album, First Offense, was followed by Got a New Plan in 2001 and two years later a third album, Count Your Blessings. The latter two received W. C. Handy award nominations, and Count Your Blessings included ace contributions by Nick's friends Sam Myers, Anson Funderburgh, Willie Smith, Curtis Salgado and Lynwood Slim. June 2005 saw the release of fourth album Sadie Mae, named after his beautiful baby daughter. Sadie Mae was nominated for 2006 Blues Music Awards as "Album of the Year" and "Traditional Blues Album of the Year." Since that time, Nick has continued to branch out, filling venues and recording albums culminating in his latest release, Privileged.

Nick Moss plays a Category 5 Tempest and JB Custom 50.

Nick Moss website

Go back to Category 5 Artists...