Play It Til Tomorrow
Nick Moss and the Flip Tops
Blue Bella Records www.nickmoss.com 2 discs, 28 tracks
When I heard the new Gerry Hundt CD when we were preparing the last newsletter I was hoping the new Nick Moss CD would also be a great effort. Lots of new material, the multi-talented Fliptops band (Gerry Hundt on bass, harp and guitar, Willie Oshawny on keyboard and Bob Carter on drums), guest work by Barrelhouse Chuck, Eddie Taylor Junior and Nick’s wife Kate and, best of all, not one but two CDs awaited my listening. 28 tracks listed, 24 new songs, one CD plugged in, one pretty much not, and a very ‘60’s looking psychedelic CD cover looking very Tommy James and the Shondells-like; this had to be something special. So I put the CD in the machine and sat back in great expectation.
“Late Night Saint” opens the first set, a breezy little number featuring the regular band and Eddie Taylor. Not bad; stuff I’ve heard the band do this sort of stuff, but not bad. Eddie Taylor comes in to lead with Nick on the opening guitar work in “You Make Me So Angry.” The tempo is up and so is my interest. Kate, Mrs. Nick Moss, fills in the rhythm guitar on track 3, a tune entitled “Women Don’t Lie.” Another bouncy little track, but I’m still not completely sold. “Mistakes from the Past” up next opens up with some dirty Nick Moss licks and now the radar alerts are starting to go off. The lyrics penned by Nick are selling me, too. The fretwork and upbeat tempo on the old Lefty Dizz/Walter Williams “Bad Avenue” on the next track had my heart beat up and I could picture the beads of sweat starting on Nicks’ brow as he got the chords and licks out perfectly at a breakneck speed. The distortion and edge he puts on this one make it a super cover with a nice new spin. Probably the best track on the first CD.
So now that I’m sold, I settle in a for a continued stylistic stroll and shuffle through Chicago’s South Side blues a la the talents of Nick and his band. Oshawny’s key work is always crisp and clean while the beat by Carter is impeccable. And what can one say about Gerry Hundt that we haven’t already said about him? No mandolins here, just some great rhythm guitar and bass work. And then there is Nick on lead guitar, harp and most of the vocals. Nick is right in the middle of the sonnics with the band surrounding him to the left and right. Really impressive stuff.
The second disc moves us from the South Side to the juke joints of the Delta. Gerry fills in with a lot of mean harp playing while evening breaking out the old mandolin on the one cover song, the spiritual “I Shall Not Be Moved” with he and Nick singing a moving duet. Their instrumental duet on “Fill ‘Er Up” pits Nick on guitar and Gerry on Harp, a superb interplay between two fine artists. Barrelhouse Chuck’s familiar keystrokes open “Got My Mail Today;” gut-wrenching, impressive stuff.
I could go on and on but won’t for spaces’ sake. This is probably Moss’ best effort to date. The sounds are tight and closed like a small studio or club on the Southside or a Mississippi juke joint, the blues played as it should be. Buy this CD– you will play it over and over again!