rockford illinois entertainment guide
Date: 05/01/2005
All Keyed Up: Joe Moss Band at Big Cities
by Lisa Palmeno

Joe Moss Band played Big Cities Lounge on Saturday, April 23, rounding out Rockford's week of music and fun.


As a follow-up to Ann Rabson's Blues In The Schools appearances and The RAMIs, Moss showcased very up-tempo blues with jazzy overtones. Moss, who experiments with the music in a fresh, new way, featured a blues medley, along with unique transitions and breaks.

Moss says, "You just play the songs so much, it's good to give variation." He compares the changes he makes to "little audibles, like a football at the line. Every night is different.     It's a feel-good night."


Playing with elements of blues, funk and jazz, Moss offered lots of instrumental stuff with a few covers and plenty of originals. Bill LeClair's keyboard solos were a highlight of the evening, and Moss indicated that he was proud to have LeClair on the set. Andre Maritato provided solid bass lines; and filling in for regulars Rick King and Kenny Smith on drums was B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted's (Chicago) own Big Ray from Big Ray and Chicago's Most Wanted Pro Jam.


Moss' clean, polished style has edgy character with a rich, full-bodied feel. His recordings include: The Joe Moss Band, a collection of eleven songs written by Moss himself and one cover, "Just Pickin'" by Freddy King; and Monster Love. He is deciding between two titles, either Maricela or Black Cloud for his upcoming third release.


Moss' songwriting abilities are impressive, and he has a great voice for singing the blues: Simple, on-key and relaxed, with just the right amount of natural vibrato.


Guitar master Bob Levis sat in during the last set, adding polish to a night of rockin' fun.


Joe Moss Band CDs can be purchased at CD Baby and at


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