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Album Review

Nick Moss has produced excellent, true-to-form electric blues with his backup band the Flip Tops. Here he is the leader and frontman all the way, even though longtime bandmates like drummer Bob Carter, second guitarist Gerry Hundt, and keyboardist John Kattke are still supporting him. The focus for Moss on this, his eighth album, is different in ways that hearken back to late-'60s rock with current-day side bars. A more than adequate singer and guitarist, Moss is stretching his repertoire on this collection of old favorites and newer tunes with a funky beat, and in some instances, fusing both elements. Baby boomers will love hearing a riff-driven version of Cream's "Politician," with Pete Brown's poignant lyrics just as relevant today as when they were written. The Stephen Stills epic, "For What It's Worth," is also still quite socially charged considering recent events, but Moss updates it with a funkier beat. Moss also covers classic tunes by Howlin' Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson, but his songs, like the rocker "Born Leader" directed at Pres. Barack Obama, and "Privileged at Birth" are lighter but still strong in his message about those born with silver spoons in their mouth. A little reggae flavor or acoustic rural music creeps in, but "Why Should I Care?" is a definitive crossover song, as Robert Johnson meets Z.Z. Top. Many fans of Moss will notice a definite change in his music, and perhaps it's a progression, or a deepening of his commitment to the many musics he loves. Whatever the concept, it's easy to embrace the changes, with more likely to come. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Nick Moss aims to please

I have known Nick since his Jimmy Rogers days in the mid 90's and have seen his musical style evolve. Privileged is a great example of Nick embracing his blues root while thinking outside the box.

Moss Continues To Evolve And Grow

I love this album and Nick's expanded scope of sounds and influences. He doesn't abandon his years of traditional Chicago blues excellence but he doesn't limit himself on this album. Mixing originals and covers, Nick presents important themes that are timely and timeless. His writing and singing are stronger than ever and most importantly, his playing is amazing. I hate it when critics get in a rush to proclaim everything an artist's best or the best of the year, decade, etc. 'Privileged' features some of Nick's finest writing and playing and this is an album I keep coming back to and it still surprises and amazes me.

A Change In Direction

Nick Moss feels like he's got a little bit to prove. After all these years and nominations for a BMA, Nick's got a bit of an axe to grind. He's constantly noted as having one of the nation's top bands in the Flip Tops. He's constantly rated as one of the nation's top guitar players. Yet, he feels like there are some doubters out there. I specifically remember him saying, "I'm going in a different direction on this record and I may go that way on some more. I don't want people to think I'm a one-trick pony." First of all, anyone who has ever thought of Moss' chops or abilities as a "one-trick pony" should probably be led out to pasture and beaten with a switch for being an idiot. Secondly, Moss is one of the best if not, the best living guitar player around.
Either way, doubters or not, Privileged is definitely a new direction.
Consisting of blues-rock, classic rock, and funk sounding R&B vibes via Freddie King's Shelter Records years; Moss takes this bold new statement in the face of the permeated blues-rock market. Long coined as a traditionalist of the highest tier, Moss not only proves he can do blues-rock but he can do it better. Stinging originals that conjure thoughts of Johnny Winter, the Allman Brothers, Rick Derringer, and straight up American classic rock; Moss kicks out the jams the way old school blues rock should be played. Moss reinvents two classic rock tunes - the warhorse "For What It's Worth" and the Cream grinder "Politician." "Politician" might be a little stinging to some. Moss' version, to me, rolls head over heels over the Bruce/Trower version on Seven Moons last year. When Moss wants to cut heads, he goes straight to the top!
I must admit. I like the old Chicago Blues/Flip Tops Nick version better. This album will definitely mark a turning point in his career and I'm going to go so far to say that it might alienate an on-the-fence fan here and there. Moss loyalists know Nick and his music quite well, so devotees will follow it as a change of pace. In the long term, this disc might bring folks to Chicago blues that might not have heard it otherwise simply on the fact that Nick created this slap in the face to blues-rock. Hopefully, too, it will cause some of the bland blues-rockers to knee jerk and start getting a little more creative. Moss plays with the conventions as well as spaces out into some comfortable parts of his musical background that he's not explored before. Ultimately, this album might earn Moss a BMA nod in a different category next year and won't earn this record the title of Nick Moss' version of Electric Mud.


Born: 1972 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Bassist Nick Moss learned his instrument at a young age, often watching his brother Joe play with Buddy Scott, among others. By the time he graduated from high school, Scott was on the lookout for a new bassist and Moss scored the job. Two years later, Jimmy Dawkins stole him away and added him to his tour lineup. In 1993, the Legendary Blues Band asked him to join and Moss got his first spot on a blues recording with their Money Talks record. Moss eventually moved up to play the guitar in the group,...
Full Bio
Privileged, Nick Moss
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Blues, Music, Rock
  • Released: Mar 16, 2010

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