Scott E. Moore claims to be a bit misunderstood in his new album Mr. Misunderstood. The renowned singer-songwriter and founder/host of The Writer's Hang releases Mr. Misunderstood in January, a 13-track compilation of pure acoustic quality rock-pop music. The album organically captures Moore's unique hybrid of acoustic soul, Americana, folk-blues and jazz, and confirms that Moore is one of the most interesting independent artists working today.
Moore is a smooth modern R&B singer with an acoustic guitar. He describes himself as a 1940s crooner raised and bred on rock and roll. He weaves in his deep understanding of the blues to make sadness feel good. His latest effort nails what he does best; it's intimate and dynamic, moody and lush, with a subtle but undeniable groove.
The new album is a collection of Moore's strongest and most-requested material to date. His evolved and mature songwriting style is one that cult fans have come to love. His style is to be clever without taking it too seriously.
Moore is a sensitive know-it-all prankster with the instant ability to make the audience smile, without missing a beat.
The track "Where You Been?" is a heart-wrenching and optimistic story of a man describing his life to his absentee father who missed out on his son's childhood. It's the most autobiographical song Moore has written to date, and it turned out to be a therapeutic experience, according to the artist. Another solid track off the album is "Bye-Bye Frankie." The song is the story of Hoboken the day Frank Sinatra died. Moore writes in his song: "I guess that's the end. The old Summer Wind ain't blowing back through here again."
To flesh out his sound and songs in Mr. Misunderstood, Moore put together an eclectic group of world-class musicians spanning different genres. His velvet voice and guitar work is joined by a group of players from the national jazz, R&B, pop, jam band, Americana, and singer-songwriter scenes. Acoustic bassist Larry Grenadier, electric bassist Paul Frazier, organist and pianist Peter Vitalone, drummer Dave Diamond, and harmonica player Tim Beattie sat in the studio with Moore to work on the record.
The CD also features appearances by brilliant singer-songwriters Dayna Kurtz and Jessica Owen on vocals, and a guest spot by piano troubadour Bob Malone. Mr. Misunderstood was recorded by John Kurgan (Ellis Paul, Don Conoscenti), mixed by Rich Tozzoli (David Bowie, No Doubt, Al DiMeola), and mastered by Greg Calbi (Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, David Gray, et al) at Sterling Sound.
Work on the album began 18 months ago, in a house nestled into a hill overlooking a lake in rural New Jersey. Moore played and sang in a control room that literally looked out onto trees and water.
"This is the first time I actually really enjoyed the process of making a record," he said. "It was so comfortable. There was no second-guessing myself. We let the songs breathe and we took some time in between sessions, so the songs would eventually let us know what they needed, or better yet, what they didn't need. Everybody who was involved, from players to engineers, immediately latched onto the vibe."
The Writer's Hang
Moore is a former music documentary and video producer who has been touring the country and making independent records since 1995. In 1998, he started the acclaimed and popular The Writer's Hang songwriter series in Hoboken, which has single-handedly created a scene for singer-songwriters of all genres and has helped make Hoboken a popular tour spot for major acts. Since its inception, The Writer's Hang has featured more than 80 of the country's most talented independent and major-label artists, and has become a "gig to get" on the national songwriter circuit, according to Moore.
"Since Hoboken is so close to New York, many artists want to come and play here so they can reach a New Jersey market before playing in the city," he said.
In 2001, WingTip released The Writer's Hang Volume 1: Modern singer-songwriters you need to hear, the first in a series of compilations of today's best "undiscovered" talent.
In 1995, Moore left a full-time job as a senior producer at VH1 to release his debut album Bridge & Tunnel. After several years of playing New York City and Garden State clubs and touring the country several times, Moore became fond of the "listening room" atmosphere of famous clubs like Nashville's The Bluebird Café, and Atlanta's Eddie's Attic.
After building a large fan base, Moore returned to his home in Hoboken. In 1998, with former Liquid Lounge owner Joe Borzotta, he launched the first show of "The Writer's Hang." With musicians Dayna Kurtz and Frank Bango, the show became an instant success and a mile-square city favorite. Since his first show at the Liquid Lounge, now the Goldhawk, Moore has brought in musicians like Bill McGarvey, James Mastro, Kate Jacobs, Eugene Ruffolo, Bob Delevante, Mike Ill, Amy Fairchild, Jeff Cohen, Julia Greenberg, Bob Perry, Ben Arnold, Dave Hall, Elena Skye, Joy Askew, Mary Lee Kortes, Chris Barron, Vicki Genfan, Phil Roy, Amy Rigby, Patti Rothberg, and Mary Ann Farley.
"The 'Hang' fits a niche in the community. All the artists that play here are very talented. We introduce the audience to amazing musicians," Moore said.
Larry Kirwan of Black 47 played the show in October of 2002 and said he enjoyed the venue's atmosphere.
"It was my fist solo gig in over 15 years, and it gave me inspiration," Kirwan said in a previous interview.
On Thursday, Nov. 7, Bucktooth Johnson and Beattie will be the next pair to grace the Goldhawk for Moore's soulful evening of acoustic music that rocks.
The Goldhawk is located at 936 Park Ave. This Thursday's show starts at 8:30 p.m. and tickets are $7. For more information on the show call (201) 420-7989 or visit www.wingtip.net. For information on Moore call WingTip productions at (973) 655-8860 or email him at email@example.com. q