About the Artist/About the CD
Leaving behind the lake-front winds of his native St. Joseph, Michigan, Bart Moore ventured west. Details of his time there — roughly the late 80s thru 90s — are murky and sparse, but suffice to say he bounced around with several San Francisco alternative rock bands (Strangers on a Train, Slings & Arrows, Nine-mile Wolves) that never quite delivered on considerable promise.
It was I, after re-connecting with Moore after his re-location back to the Midwest, who talked him back into the recording studio. I had always known that despite his predilection for high-volume rock that he was a hillbilly at heart. His true calling was and is to wed all that spastic poetry in his head to the more native influences of the Pogues, Tom Waits, Waterboys and Basement Tapes-era Dylan. Above all, get rid of the drums, save for the occasional bodhran.
So when Moore dropped by out of the blue on December 21, 2013, with the prototype copy of Curse of Los Lunas, and sensing that he would not leave till I gave it a hearing, and hopefully a blessing, we sat round the case of Guinness he brought as a bribe and I shot if full of holes. He left in a huff (remarkably leaving most of the case) and, after a three-month swimming regimen to build lung capacity (20 laps a day, front crawl and backstroke) re-did the vocals and percussion, returned in March with Version II, and we popped it in.
It was obvious he had something. Miraculously, in addition to better respiration, his work in the water had helped his ability to play in time. (Freud theorized that the effects of chlorine on the inner ear ameliorate both neurosis and weak rhythm; Moore stands as proof, if only of the latter).
The tracks needed nuance – a female offset to Moore’s light-baritone timbre and oddly-phrased lyricisms. Kitty Donohoe, an iconic singer-songwriter we had stumbled upon earlier in the East Lansing days, was brought in for some vocal parts. At Kitty’s suggestion, mandolinist-violinist David Mosher came in and added both atavistic American and Irish aspects. Most heroic of all was Corey DeRushia, who, with the panoply of gadgets at his splendid Troubadour Recording Studio, turned tracks that were recorded in bedrooms, basements, apartments, building hallways and back seats of automobiles into a harmonious homogenous jewel.
_____ Hans Roffler, Stockholm, April 12, 2014