The Moho Collective comes to The Dev


Oh, holy night, the stars are shining brightly.  There’s a chill in the air.  The pines are softly covered with a light dusting of perfect snowfall.  Presents are simmering under trees, mulled wine is simmering in crockpots or whatever hipper-than-that thing you’ve got to put it in.  And, most importantly, this season Santa or your elf on the shelf or whatever you dig and relate to is bringing forth some serious giftage by way of this Saturday, Dec. 20th show at The Dev in Utica featuring The Moho Collective of Rochester, NY and C.P. at 9 p.m. for a mere $5!

For those of you who are curious, The Moho Collective is a three piece instrumental fusion band from Rochester, NY and they could quite possibly change your life.  If you want to keep it simple and light, this is a jazz, blues, rock fusion outfit that is pretty progressive in its delivery.  That description, however broad, is not broad enough.  There are so many colors to this band’s music that I’d be remiss not to point out to newcomers to the fan base that you’re in store for some aggressive screaming bluesy numbers, some epic covers (you’ll be lucky to get one, but it will be major) and sounds steeped in an eastern infusion.  And native infusions.  And rhythms as old as time and… Ok, so I lied.  I can’t keep it simple because there is just nothing simple about it.  There is no pretense here and as heady as the sounds are, they are perfectly accessible to anyone who enjoys sounds and rhythms.  You’re going to be smarter when you’re done than you were when you arrived and I hope we can all get down with that as we look toward the new year.  Let’s get a little more technical.

You have a true percussionist in Ryan Barclay, studied with Billy Martin of Medeski, Martin and Wood and Cyro Baptista!  Like, in a bar in Utica, you get to have this, for FIVE DOLLARS.  That’s legendary stuff.  You’ll reap the benefit when he artfully fills your spaces with sounds you’ve not even imagined before.  It’s a constant, perfect accompaniment and often steps forward in the sound mosaic to center stage with a variety of instruments from all over the world.  didgeridoo, people, didgeridoo.  It’s even musical to say it.  Go on, try it out.  And there are bells, and a gong, and a tambourine and things I can’t begin to tell you about because I’m not smart enough to even know what they’re called.

There’s a reason I started this run down with Ryan, and that’s because it all builds up from there.  The foundation he sets gives Kurt Johnson (guitar and other, alternative sound manipulation) and Justin Rister (upright bass) something to weave around, bounce off, and meld with.  Each Moho member has a background in percussion (and music instruction), which makes a lot of sense when you hear how the sounds come together.

Looking to Kurt for what is usually the dominating sound in a band: guitar, Moho finds in him a sonic leader willing to be a part of the whole who thoughtfully plucks tones out of his fertile mind and manifests them into your space. Sometimes there’s slide, sometimes pedal steel, and often a whole lot of knob turning and effect pedal stomping.  Kurt holds the melody in this instrumental band and does so with precision, imbuing the tones with emotion and skill.  Nice work if you can get it, music nerds!

Justin’s upright bass is the icing on the cake here, as much of a part of the thing about this band that makes your body move all on its own as the drums themselves.  Also extremely skilled, Justin stands on that subtle line of being a present low end steward and melting into the collective sound, standing out when it is needed and supporting when it is not.  The counterpoint created by each member recognizing the importance of both timing and tone is especially present between Justin and Ryan and the way it never quite seems they’re volleying back and forth, but they most certainly are.

That’s a recipe for some delicious music in my humble opinion, and C.P.’s special guest spot is sure to sweeten the deal!  I know that Moho is no stranger to you, Utica, and I expect to see a lot of you out for this show.  If you haven’t heard them before, come out and scarf up some super home grown merch for stocking stuffers.  I fully intend to round out my shopping list at their merch table.  Holiday multitasking with a beer in your hand.  Does it get better than that?



Melissa L. Walker
-The Fuze Magazine

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