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January 27, 2023

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Moses Guest
Moses Guest (Aufheben Records)

By: Vinnie Apicella

Looks can be deceiving. At first glance, I scoffed at the name, notion, and these four leftovers from the last Mayberry. I'm not going on a limb to say I'm not a huge fan of their style of music, which is definable in roughly three categories, they being, Rock, Boogie, Jazz, and-- Progressive Folk? Okay that's four, and how's that for a title? Moses Guest are four guys from the great state of Texas that have been releasing records since the mid-nineties with this being their fifth, and they put their three year recording absence to good use, with this two disc self-titled set of nearly two hours worth of down home gentlemanly styled Southwestern stir-fry with the occasional country kick. Workmanlike, no pun intended Dan (producer), and with a wink to the late greats of yesterday's best loved lesser-knowns of a slightly mainstream disadvantage, MG's the perfect accompaniment to yer next rock glide ("Saint Mo," "Cellophane Man," "Boogie Heartache,") desert crawl ("Phrygian Way," "In Transit," "Waterville,"), sun drenched love in or moonlight sway (all the rest). Bits and pieces of early ZZ, The Dead, Steely D, and Tracy Chapman all go with a well timed shaman effect and wind chime to add the outdoor element to the music that's an altogether smooth flowing bareback blend that's easy to imbibe and more durable than Dave. That said, the tunes are fairly long, adding the throwback "Jam" element to the music, that if The "Dead" weren't indicative enough, look up something like Disco Biscuits or Juggling Suns-- or don't and just seek out an old Dan Fogelberg double live or something and go to town-- MG's big on percussion, the Hammond, and acoustics all of which are joyfully presented with a confident croon, able back up, and a boatload of guest musicians for an unusual but step beyond orchestration that's not a far cry from early Kansas once the smoke clears.
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