Enjoying the status of one of Australia’s best guitarists, Ian Moss has evolved into a fine solo artist.
Enjoying the status of one of Australia’s best guitarists, Ian Moss has evolved into a fine solo artist.

Iconic Moss now all soul

RESPECTED as one of Australia's iconic musicians, Ian Moss delivers an unforgettable sound.

While primarily recognised as an axeman of unusual tenacity and sweet melodic sensibility, Ian's distinctive vocal is the essential signature of his soulful, bluesy muse - as it has been since his first tentative foray into music during the early 1970s.

Born and raised in Alice Springs, Mossy started playing guitar in local teenage bands before moving to Adelaide, where he answered an advertisement in a shop window in 1973 for a guitarist, joining the band that was to become a legend in Australia - Cold Chisel.

By 1980, with the release of the seminal East album, Cold Chisel was the biggest band in the country. Moreover, they defined a national sound - hard-driving rock chased by a shot of blues, lyrics depicting the Australian experience and resonating powerfully with young working-class fans.

Moss's voice began to shine through seminal Cold Chisel songs, such as Never Before, Bow River and a gorgeous rendition of Ray Charles' Georgia.

While the band's Last Stand tour in December, 1983, closed an important chapter in Ian Moss's musical career, Cold Chisel remains one of Australia's favourite bands long after its demise.

Enjoying the status of Australia's best guitarist, Moss evolved into a solo artist and his debut single, Tucker's Daughter, caused an immediate sensation.

His debut album, Matchbook, entered the charts at No.1 and sold more than 185,000 copies.

When he went back out on the road, Moss's live shows drew a hoard of Chisel faithful and a league of new fans.

In 1990, Mossy took his music to the world, touring and gaining airplay across Scandinavia and northern Europe.

In 1995, he changed direction to embrace the blues in bolder fashion, and in the studio this translated to recording a much tougher album than his previous releases suggested, Petrolhead.

A Cold Chisel reunion during 1998 - both in the studio for the recording of new material and subsequent touring to promote the resulting Last Wave of Summer album - put Ian back in the national spotlight as a showman and musician of dazzling ability.

During 2005, Moss's musical output took another exciting fresh turn. He was invited to record an album of acoustic songs for Liberation Music, and the Six Strings album - part of the Liberation Blue label's engaging acoustic series - was the result.

"It took a bit of nerve for me to unplug and play acoustic, but it injected this freshness into my playing," he said. "It was a significant new path for me."

In 2008, Moss was on the Australian television series It Takes Two, singing duets with celebrities.

"When I put aside the guitar and sang a few soul ballads on that show, people were suddenly listening to me differently. They'd say 'Yeah, we knew you sang, but we didn't know you could really sing'. It was both flattering and frustrating. I kept wondering what they thought I'd been doing for past 30 years."

Mossy is now allowing his guitar work to take a back seat while he concentrates on singing, which is the focus of his new album, Soul on West 53rd, featuring fresh takes on classic soul songs from the likes of Sam Cooke, Al Green, Otis Redding and Levi Stubbs.



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