Friday, November 18, 2016

A Thousand Miles From Nowhere: A Tribute to Mose Allison

I know this is a little off the mark as far as my usual blogs go but a true genius has left us for good. Although his music will live on forever, his molecular structure, as he would put it, is gone. I've included some of my favorite pieces for your enjoyment but, if you're not familiar, I would encourage you to explore the wonderful contribution this man has made to American music.

Mose Allison was born in the Mississippi Delta at his grandfather's farm in Tippo in Nov.11, 1929. At age 5 he discovered that he could play songs he heard on the radio by ear. His life was dedicated to music from that time on. He played in his high school band and went to the University of Mississippi for a year before joining the Army in 1946. Allison married his wife Audre in 1949 and they were together until his death at age 89 Nov. 15, 2016.

Mose is credited with writing over 150 songs and was an inspiration to many of the bands of the 60's particularly in Britain. His music has been covered by Van Morrison, who dedicated his album Tell Me Something exclusively to Allison's songs. He was also covered by artists such as, John Mayall, The Who, The Clash, Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt and my personal favorite cover,  I'm Not Talkin by the Yardbirds.

If I might interject a personal note- as I told my friend Lamar on Facebook today: we used to paint on little moustaches with mascara pencils, don hats and shades and sneak into the Jazz Workshop on Boylston St in Boston to listen to Mose play his piano and sing. They knew we were underage but we never tried to order alcohol, or start trouble so they let it pass. Mose Allison's music has moved everyone with any soul at all, that has ever heard it. There are tears in my eyes as I write this...Good bye my friend, you are gone but you will never be forgotten!

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