** CMJ 2011 SHOWCASE @ FONTANA'S BAR **
** BAND TO WATCH - RYAN'S SMASHING LIFE **
** OPENED FOR THE NJ SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (JUNE 2010) **
Moss Points North is an indie/alternative band that combines distinctive songwriting with warm ambience and carefully-crafted instrumental arrangements. Since meeting at college in 2007, the band has developed an eclectic and distinct sound that draws comparisons to Wilco, Radiohead, My Morning Jacket, and Modest Mouse.
Singer-songwriter Colin Lee, guitarist Pat McCusker, drummer Jeff Samataro, pianist Isaac Richardson, bassist Mitch Stewart and multi-instrumentalists Jordan Maley and Nolan Eley fuse elements of folk, jazz, and rock with an improvisational feel to create the group’s layered and versatile sound.
In 2010, Moss Points North opened for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at the Giralda Farms Music and Arts Festival. John Arthur of the Madison Patch noted that the “music transcends genre and is highly listenable for fans of many different styles of music. Moss Points North is the culmination of classically trained musicians working together to blend a vast array of styles”.
Moss Points North released their first EP, The Ghost at The Feast, in May 2011. The six-song album showcases the group’s diverse range of influences. Opener “Setting Sun” features a calypso-like groove, while the impassioned “True Love” builds on a soulful Motown-inspired riff. “The Owls”, one of band’s live set highlights, grows out of a quiet acoustic samba and into a pulsing and frenetic rock number.
Colin Lee - Vocals, Guitar
Pat McCusker - Vocals, Guitar
Jeff Samataro - Drums
Isaac Richardson - Vocals, Piano
Mitch Stewart - Bass
Jordan Maley - Saxophone, Clarinet
Nolan Eley - Trumpet
The Ghost at the Feast (2011)
Moss Points North Opens for the NJ Symphony Orchestra
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When Colin Lee was playing in the Madison High School Concert Band, Jazz Band, Show Band, and Dixiel...When Colin Lee was playing in the Madison High School Concert Band, Jazz Band, Show Band, and Dixieland/Swing Band under the direction of now-retired Robert Seibert, he couldn't have known that he would be coming back to play in his hometown with the NJ Symphony Orchestra just a few years later.
Now, three years into his education at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Lee will be performing with the band he has formed in college, Moss Points North, at the Music and Arts Festival at Giralda Farms.
"It's really exciting. But at the same time it's also very nerve-wracking," Lee said.
This will be the biggest show that Moss Points North has played since forming in 2007, and being a band from Boston, they have not had much exposure in New Jersey, but opening for the NJ Symphony Orchestra will change that. Fortunately, Lee's music transcends genre and is highly listenable for fans of many different styles of music.
Moss Points North is the culmination of classically trained musicians working together to blend a vast array of styles–The Beatles can be heard in their sound just as much as Wilco or Modest Mouse, and a touch of jazz and classical can be found in the mix as well. Their songs are devoid of any discernible flaws; every sound seems to be there for a reason.
"I'm really inspired by the idea of creating something original, and music is a great vehicle for that," Lee said. "It's a great feeling to be able to come up with something totally new, and I always strive to write music that excites me."
Lee has been playing music since he was five years old, when he started to learn the piano, which is still his main instrument. He also sings and plays acoustic guitar, giving him the ability to write both piano and guitar based rock, folk, and pop music.
This Sunday Lee can share his passion and the style that he began to develop as a child and as a student in Madison. Doors to the festival at Giralda Farms open at 3 p.m. and Moss Points North take the stage at 4 p.m., followed by the NJ Symphony orchestra.
"Having the opportunity to perform at an event like this is very rare, and I think that will motivate us to perform at our best and work really hard to make it a memorable show, not only for the audience but also for ourselves," Lee said.
- John Arthur
Moss Points North are "One to Watch" - Great New Sound!
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I've spent a lot of time writing about music that's dark, brooding and sinister lately (see ...I've spent a lot of time writing about music that's dark, brooding and sinister lately (see The Horrors, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling and Cat's Eyes). I seem to have failed to notice that, at least some of the time, it's summer here in Boston. All these bands, better heard in darkened rooms while sheltered from blasting snow, need to be balanced out with something light - something with some joy in it.
Enter local band Moss Points North, whose debut EP, 'The Ghost at the Feast' offers just the sort of fun I need to lift me from my ennui. MPN open their album with a track that doesn't really get started for a minute or so. In the interim we hear what sounds like bird song, and then the slow rise of a delicately tapped out beat. This pacing sets the tone for lots of the rest of 'The Ghost at The Feast' MPN are happy to take their time, and revel in their opportunity to divert us.
This EP does build in complexity. There are moments with brass sections added and with quite complex, off-tempo guitar solos for example. But while 'The Ghost at The Feast' has depth, it never really leaves its initial tone of slight airiness, and that gives the whole experience of listening to it a simple enjoyment, even for someone as cynical and jaded as I am.
So, the angst-ridden may feel Moss Points North are not the band for them. In the end though, perhaps they are the ones who should be first in line to get this EP, and get some sharp relief from their rage, in sunnier climbs. [Ed's Note: Moss Points North are One to Watch - great new sound!!]
90 minutes of originals and covers
There are no upcoming dates at this time.