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Bob Mosley - Never Dreamed (Moby Grape)

Bob Mosley - Never Dreamed (Moby Grape)

041101205321
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For those seeking the gritty West Coast vocals or psychedelic overtones of Bob Mosley's 1972 self-titled debut, or anything resembling Moby Grape, the Never Dreamed album will not only shock, it will show another side of this talented and oft forgotten rock & roll soldier. Contrast the cover of Justin Hayward's "Question" with Mosley's original material from four years earlier, specifically the track "So Many Troubles" on the aforementioned Bob Mosley LP, producer Jean Pierre Whitecloud choosing the song and recording only the half of the tune that is the ballad side of the Moody Blues. Mosley's tone and strength are perfect for such a challenge -- but even hardcore Moby Grape fans will be hard-pressed to recognize the voice which sounds like a cross between Richard Harris and Jerry Lee Lewis on this set of country tunes. Though the date on the liner notes states November 1999, this material was recorded in 1976/1977 when Mosley sang and played bass for Fine Wine, a band released on Polydor. Producer J.P. Whitecloud actually recorded this material with Waylon Jennings in mind as Jennings was interested in a couple of the songs Susan Whitecloud and her producer husband -- under the pseudonym Pete Delacroix though it is actually J.P. Whitecloud -- had written. Without Jennings the stellar tracks -- featuring members of Buddy Holly's Crickets as well as James Burton and Glen D. Hardin from Elvis Presley's band -- were lost in limbo. Polydor actually showed interest -- as did Bill Graham with his Columbia Records distributed label and a potential Eddie Money tour to promote this disc, were it not for the singer's Syd Barrett-style notions of going to the planet Saturn getting in the way. It's truly a great tragedy because the cover of Bill Owens and Dolly Parton's "Put It Off Until Tomorrow" is striking in its authenticity -- and could have been a Waylon Jennings smash. "Willy Shakespeare Blues" also proves Mosley could have easily made the transition from rocker to country legend had that been the focus. As Tommy James brilliant My Head, My Bed & My Red Guitar album is the textbook for great country music by a name rocker getting lost in the shuffle of the industry, this material didn't even see the light of day until 23 years later when a German label picked it up for issue. And as Tommy James kept active and his album failed to achieve the popularity it deserved despite his high profile, the excellent songs that the Whiteclouds co-wrote here can't be blamed for languishing on the shelf for decades; they were victims of a business that thinks in terms of dollars rather than art. "Shoot the Xylophone Man" not only sounds like the killer, Jerry Lee, it would be perfect for him, the elegant guitar lines running as quick as the bass and piano in wonderful fashion. Mosley cut the vocals in one day, sometimes in one take, but they sound great and give this project added caché bringing the opening track, "There Is the Sun," a commercial flair missing in some of Mosley's own work. This could be likened to Bill Withers participation on Grover Washington, Jr.'s "Just the Two of Us," a collaboration that generated something special. The project is the vision of producer/arranger Jean Pierre Whitecloud and, perhaps, should have been credited to him and Mosley together. For Moby Grape fans it will be an oddity, for Bob Mosley it is a remarkable indication of what could have been. ~ Joe Viglione, Rovi

Tracks on this album

Tracks:

  1. There Is the Sun
  2. Dead or Alive
  3. Never Dreamed
  4. Willy Shakespeare Blues
  5. Shoot the Xylophone Man
  6. Put It Off Until Tomorrow
  7. Louisiana Mama
  8. Question
  9. Leavin' Through the Back Door
  10. Willy Shakespeare Blues
  11. Never Dreamed