”Lord knows it’s hard to fail when you’re just along for the ride. I’ve been building a hobo’s home. It’s going wherever you want to go and never ever having to hide.”
Not many open their arms wide to the world, and fewer still resist the instinctual urge to flinch when what jumps into their arms isn’t what they expected. It may be that Nathan Moore isn’t entirely fearless but the singular Virginia singer-songwriter bravely hit the road for an extended anything-goes gypsy five month ramble, broadcast live on the interwebs 24/7, that took him coast-to-coast and then some and found Moore making music and mischief with a rogue’s gallery of America’s best and oddest. It’s the sort of journey that’d snap most men but it mostly exposed his bounteous spirit and seemingly endless capacity to inspire creativity and barefoot-minded fun in others.
It’s fitting the punctuation mark on this glorious run-on sentence would include a sprawling cast of pros and fans accenting and enlivening Moore’s already lively, heart-strong compositions penned and honed during the Hippy Fiasco. Trying to catch a Jesus and dream surfing on rollaway beds, Moore and company chew over the rambling life where pioneers, both bohemian human and stalwart snail, blaze trails on Hippy Fiasco Rides Again (pick it up HERE). The quandaries of crossing the same river twice and the mundanity of travel (or simply waiting for one’s life to unfold) are puzzled over in a graceful manner that belies how many moving parts and disparate contributions lay behind each track.
The flow is all with this album, and one feels compelled to put their hand out the window to scoop up the wind and sunshine as if they were riding alongside Moore, Chad Galactic, Liz Bunny and Gypsy the cat in the van on the way to somewhere. The unknown is less frightful than it usually is in their company, and this song cycle splits one open with its off-handed philosophizing, the entrails of one’s life easier to read with these tunes as divining rods.
The cast of characters includes Greensky Bluegrass’ Paul Hoffman and Anders Beck, Nathan’s Surprise Me Mr. Davis bandmates Andrew Barr and Marco Benevento, ALO’s Dave Brogan, DI fave & Moore’s Staunton, VA homie Bryan Elijah Smith, Tea Leaf Green’s Reed Mathis, Trevor Garrod and Cochrane Mcmillan, and lots more (full roster here). But the individual contributions aren’t spelled out in detail, so all one knows is these folks had some hand in cooking this beautiful potluck feast. There’s something delightfully egalitarian about this choice, and also an acknowledgement that we can’t always account for all those who influence and shape our lives and creative output – we are the sum of ALL our encounters and influences, even the ones we cannot remember or pinpoint.
The battle-scarred tin kazoo – a fixture around Moore’s neck on a leather cord throughout the Fisaco – that adorns the cover exudes a mojo hand quality, a traveler’s talisman with powers beyond music – though really what is beyond music? It symbolizes the playfulness and rugged roads of the Hippy Fiasco well, and as such works as a gateway into this chapter of Moore’s ongoing adventures, where, as the liner notes state, he “threw himself to the mercy of the wind, and, thanks to song lovers everywhere, he flew higher than ever before…and brought us all along for the ride.” This album allows those who were there – in person and online – to relive these times, but more importantly it represents the next phase in Moore’s growth as one of this new century’s finest troubadours and thrift store Buddahs – an inspired conduit for workaday wisdom, unguarded laughter, and cleansing tears.
We asked Nathan to tackle DI’s ongoing philosophical roundtable.
- What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you see the word “God”?
- A dog. Maybe I’m dyslexic. (Actually the first thing that sprung to mind was a Church, but that wasn’t funny.)
- Which has the better cosmology, Star Wars or Star Trek? Why?
- Star Wars. It’s hard to beat “The Force” when it comes to instilling a sense of wonder in interacting with the world around us. The presence of teachers and practice when it came to using The Force brought me way closer to spirituality than the moral dilemmas explored by Star Trek.
- Name one album that has spiritual resonance for you.
- The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. One man, a guitar, harmonica and songs. You can feel the sky parting and a new day unfolding.
- Woody Allen once said, “I don’t know the question but sex is definitely the answer.” So, what’s the question?
- If you got to hang out with Woody Allen for a day, what would you definitely not want to do with him?
- You can have a dinner party with any three people throughout human history. Who do you invite, what’s on the menu and what intoxicant do you share for dessert?
- Jesus, Houdini, Woody Guthrie
Have to go low and slow on the BBQ and milk the day, possibly a brisket.
Probably a good red wine and I’d have a joint just in case.
Name: Nathan Moore
Band(s): ThaMuseMeant, Surprise Me Mr. Davis, The Dun Four
Nicknames: Percy Boyd, Hippy Fiasco