Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review, moe., Sticks and Stones

moe. has reached an enviable place in the music industry.  They do what they do, they do it very well, they have a large enough following to keep on making music, they’re not about to set the world on fire and Sticks and Stonesbecome the next U2, and it sounds like they’re perfectly happy with all of it.  The result has been a series of good albums that hold solid appeal for their fanbase and which provide good entry points for new listeners who enjoy the kind of music they play.

What moe. does is play guitar rock.  Their origin as a jam band is evident in both the variety of music they play and the high level of musicianship with which they play it.  The variety keeps their albums interesting while the musicianship makes them worthwhile. 

Sticks and Stones opens with “Cathedral” that has a vocal chorus that sounds so much like the Modern Skirts that I have to believe moe. spent time with the Skirts terrific album Catalogue of Generous Men.  Later in the album we get “202” which opens with a descending marimba, rhythm guitar and percussion vamp that sounds straight out of the Frank Zappa catalog.  “All Roads Lead to Home” opens with the kind of rhythm guitar riff that Keith Richards regularly produces for the Rolling Stones.  Modern Skirts, Frank Zappa, and the Stones represent a pretty wide range of musical influences but moe. handle it all with ease.  

In a review of their prior album, Conch, I opined that moe.s weak spot was vocals.  Oops.  Turns out I was pretty far off base with that one as Sticks and Stones has both strong lead vocals and fine harmony work. 

moe. is a highly talented guitar based band who posess open ears and serious skills.  They’ve been playing together a long time and have reached a point where they value music over fame.  It’s a winning combination and if you like guitar-based rock and haven’t heard them play, give the band a listen.  You may find a group you’ll be happy to return to again and again.


06/25/2008 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews | ,

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