Gary cut his teeth on typical singer/songwriters like John Denver and even Don McLean, but when a friend said, "you sound just like James Taylor!" he was embarrassed to not know who that was. So, he began to expand his knowledge of folksingers and singer/songwriters, and never looked back. With a fresh collection of originals and cover tunes, he made the local circuit, paid some bar gig dues, and even performed a new songwriter showcase at the famed Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, by way of invitation from Lena herself! All the while he continued developing his original songwriting skills.
A winner of the Solarfest 2006 and 2010 Singer/Songwriter Competition.
Gary Moon - Guitar, Djembe, Cajon
2005 - Self released original CD, "Orion"
2006 - "Detour" collaboration with Kate Blain, Phil Henry
2010 - Self released original CD, "Big Sky"
Gary can be heard on WSPN, Skidmore College radio in Saratoga Springs, NY and WEXT in Albany, NY in the rotation of local performers. Gary has also been a featured performing songwriter on John Kribs' Community Cafe Music hour on HITS 95.9 FM in Glens Falls, NY
Pulse Artist Spotlight: Gary Moon
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Contributed by Adam T. Rossi Friday, 17 October 2008 For as long as local singer/songwriter Gary...Contributed by Adam T. Rossi
Friday, 17 October 2008
For as long as local singer/songwriter Gary Moon can remember he has had his singing compared to legendary folk artist
James Taylor; however, after one listen you will find his songwriting is less like Taylor's and more a product of his own unique style and creativity. Moon, a Lake George native, released his debut album "Orion" in 2005 and is currently working on his follow-up album called "Blue Sky", which he hopes will be out by November. Over the years, Moon has hosted a variety of open mics in the area and performs regularly at local venues. I recently sat down with Moon to talk about his influences, songwriting and albums.
Where did your love for music and songwriting begin?
For as long as I can remember my father played piano and my brother played guitar, so I always grew up around some form of music. And it just seemed a natural fit when I picked up my brother's guitar and started strumming for the first time; My brother was part of the Beatles generation and he had all their records which he handed down to me when he got bored with them. So I would have to credit him the most.
Who are your biggest influences?
The people who listen to me would have to agree that it is James Taylor. I grew up around that kind of folk influence starting in the 70s with John Denver, Arlo Guthrie and Don McLean, but out of all of them James Taylor has been my biggest influence in terms of writing and
How do you draw upon those influences to help you with your own songwriting?
I don't draw on those influences. I mean they are always there, but what I try to do when I write a song is come at it completely differently. I try to avoid sounding like everyone else. I try to avoid people labeling me or saying, "He's copying so-and-so." So what I do is try to write a song in a way that I have never written a song before. I try to write them from a fresh perspective every time.
You are often compared to James Taylor. Do you sound like him by design or is that just your sound?
When I first started singing back in high school a friend of mine told me I sounded a lot like James Taylor
and I had no idea who that was - I was just getting my feet wet in singing. So he let me borrow one of his albums and I took it home and listened to it and that is where it all started. Then somewhere down the line I decided to start learning some of his songs. So that was a big influence but that wasn't by design - it was by accident.
I see you host open mics. Why are they important to performers in a community?
A friend of mine, Phil Camp, a performer with the Joe Mama Band, just wrote recently on a forum that I participate in saying he was burned out and was considering quitting the band for awhile to do some solo stuff and play some smaller venues because playing the late night bars and doing the covers is starting to burn him out. He said he is looking forward to going to Caffe Lena and meeting other performers and helping to recharge because that is what it is, a recharge.
At open mics you are connecting with other people, sharing ideas and it is just a way to recharge your batteries before you go out and do your solo thing. Having that connection helps keeps things fresh and give you new inspiration.
You released your debut album "Orion" in 2005 and are working on a new album "Big Sky." What have those experiences been like?
It is better than it is with most other performers who get stressed out about the process because I find good people to work with. I
take their suggestions as to what they hear in a song or arrangement. I really like to let the performers take the lead in
what they want to add. I also always work with someone who is willing to push the buttons. As much as I love technology,
when it comes to putting songs down on a CD, I can't be the one to push the buttons, it is just too much.
What can fans expect out of your new album "Big Sky?"
Fans? What fans? [laughter]. They can expect a little more up-beat and a little less negativity. My original album was very introspective, but I am hoping to expand and make the new one a little more appealing. Not to say there isn't a political or environmental tune on there, but there are a couple of hopeful tunes as well.
What are you currently working on?
I am actually trying to get a few more gigs in outlying areas. I would like to expand my circle of places I play and other musicians I know, so I am continually trying to spiral outward in places a little further away and maybe make a tour out of it.
To learn more about Gary Moon, visit:
Bob's Very Gary Moon Weekend
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"His songs are deceptively pleasant sounding. His acoustic guitar and the spare arrangements that su..."His songs are deceptively pleasant sounding. His acoustic guitar and the spare arrangements that surround it set a very mellow mood. Lyrically, though the songwriter uses comedy, irony, and occasionally dark imagery to make some biting social commentary, and to tell some deeply personal stories."
"If you've been waiting, Gary Moon's new CD was worth the wait."
Michael Jerling's Review
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"His gentle tenor voice belies the fact that Gary takes a stand in his songs. Be it on materialism, ..."His gentle tenor voice belies the fact that Gary takes a stand in his songs. Be it on materialism, corporate polluters, mill town lowlifes, technology, winter, or life and death and love, you know where he stands. Don't worry, there is no cant or preaching; he is just as hard on himself as others. More importantly the musical trumps the moral."
3 or 4 - 45 minute sets, but also can play 2 hours without a break, depending on venue.
Set list includes covers and originals, depending on the requirements of the venue.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.