When someone mentions the name Ian Moss to me; it brings back great memories of listening to Cold Chisel, songs like Never Before, Flame Trees & Bow River. Hard Rock, something that was always played in my boyfriend’s car. Fast forward close to 34 years and my now husband – that boyfriend from years ago still has his ‘tunes’ on repeat as soon as the car starts. But when you select Ian Moss as the artist on the iPod, the sound is varied; hard rock to blues to soul. Eclectic? Yes. I must say, I like it!

We first heard Moss with what is still today a legend of Australian Music, Cold Chisel. Now Australian Rock Royalty Jimmy Barnes, Don Walker, Steve Pretwich & Phil Small. They helped shape Australia’s music scene in the 80s. Travelling across Australia starting the hard grind of playing gigs on the back of flatbed trucks and in suburban hotels. Moss’s melodic, bluesy sound bought a new edge to hard rock of Barnes. After countless sold out stadium tours across Australia and too many chart toppers to count on all my hands and feet sadly Cold Chisel broke up. It was not the end of Mossy’s career though.

After five years of writing and planning, Moss released his debut single as a solo artist, Tucker’s Daughter, causing an immediate sensation. The anthemic song – which Moss wrote in collaboration with Don Walker – sat in the Top 10 for 11 weeks and hit No 1 for two weeks. Moss’s second solo single, Telephone Booth, was later that year, hit the Top 10 and remained in the Top 20 for 10 weeks.

The setting had been established for Moss to emerge as an important solo artist. His debut album Matchbook, released in August 1989, entered the charts at No 1 and remained there for three consecutive weeks. It stayed in the Top 10 for 14 weeks, selling more than 185,000 copies. This had to be followed up with a tour – and a massive one at that! 25 weeks on the road bought out the hordes of Chisel faithful and a group of new fans. The following year he took his tour across the seas to Europe. Touring again to sold out venues.

The latter half of the 90s saw Mossy change direction again, he began to embrace the blues voice he was gifted with. Mash that with the hard rock component of his guitar prowess and you had a ballsy hard rock, with none of the sheen of the big budget recordings we were used too. Moving into the 00s Mossy began to toy with changing up the sounds, more jazz influences, using special guests such as James Morrison and Margaret Urlich adding colour to striking new interpretations of familiar songs, including Flame Trees and Choir Girl.

That brings us basically up to date with Ian Moss. Now allowing his guitar work to take a back seat while he concentrates on singing – which is the focus of his new album Soul on West 53rd that features fresh takes on classic soul songs from the likes of Sam Cooke, Al Green, Otis Redding and Levi Stubbs. This is another bold venture from Moss that will certainly turn heads. When audiences hear the power and excitement of this album it will reinforce what Ian Moss has to offer as a vocalist of repute.

If you, as I, have fond memories of Mossy and would like to see the man in person, he will be appearing, solo acoustic, at the Hallam Hotel, November 27th 2014. Full details at www.hallamhotel.com.au

MELINDA RANSOM

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