Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Blues State" - Rob Moitoza (Holy Crow Records)

By - Robert Horn

Rob Moitoza has shown some talents on a new CD that may have been hidden from some of his usual fans if he didn't create this one. Rob is regarded by many as one of the great bass players in the Seattle area, but how many knew about his harmonica playing, singing, as well as his song writing and producing? Rob had some help in the production with co-producer Dick Henderson of HenPro Productions in Federal Way. It is no surprise to some of us that he would break a few rules here in pursuit of art. He did one song twice on the CD. In one version, Rob had Annieville argue with him in song as his irate wife and in the other version (although they are pretty close to identical) she argued with him in an even more smart-ass way as his wife (it's ok, they did it with a lot of humor and nobody got hurt). That was on the song, "That's Why I Want To Live Alone."

Rob wrote some others that were great like "Ghost of The Blues" in which he sings about what has happened to Pioneer Square since the Blues doesn't get played there as much as it used to, with the exception of the resurgence of blues music at the historic J and M Cafe. Most songs on this CD were written by Rob, but a few were written by other song writers that I really think are in his same Sttle eaarea look up to. Ron Cook, Mark Riley, Al Kaatz, and Orville Johnson are good guitar players. Chris Leighton is not exactly an unknown drummer. On the Sam Cook song "Change Is Gonna Come" Matt Williams plays drums, Scotty Harris plays saxophone, and Hade Al-Saadoon plays the trumpet. Annieville, Ron Weinstein, Doug Bright, Paul Richardson, and Dick Henderson share ivory hitting duties. There are some others on some songs like Marty Vadalabene on drums, Alik Naka'oka on congas Tonya Ferris, Sue Fair, and Ellen Whyte on vocals along with Rob, and Warren Outten on cornet. Yes, that is right, there is a lot of talent on this CD!

Rob Moitoza's Cavalcade of Stars [Explicit]When Rob writes songs they have a lot of social commentary and that is true of this CD as well as others he creates. Songs like "Speeches to The Streets'' and "Blue State Blues" should be listened to for the lyrics as well as the music. This guy is a treasure to have in this region. Get the CD, but also go catch him live. When Rob came to the Pacific Northwest he quickly realized that there were already some good harmonica players here, so he dropped the harmonica and picked up his bass. On this CD he picked the harmonica back up, and I encourage everyone to listen for some great sounding harmonica on Blues State.

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