Bart Moore “Wild Flora”

Independent, 2024

Quirky folk/country/60’s pop/ psychedelia/west coast/western swing with characterful vocals.

artwork for Bart Moore album "Wild Flora"This short collection of 9 songs, 5 under 3 minutes, the rest under 4 minutes, the third album release by Moore really does cover all these bases, and more to boot. Does it work? Well surprisingly it does, with Moore’s characterful vocals and scattergun lyrics a consistent thread. How many songs manage to name-check Diana Rigg and Billy Strings, as Moore does in ‘God is Just Plain Lazy’, which leans to Dan Hicks territory, with a western swing vibe, mandolin, fiddle, and a scat chorus,  singing “God is just plain lazy, but He’s got a groovy gig He sleeps with Cleopatra and the young Diana Rigg” and “God is just plain weird/He’s so high above my station/ He’s got the Pogues & Billy Strings in regular rotation”!

The Pogues are definitely another influence, with ‘The Railyard Ghosts’ combining to good effect their vibe with Dan Hicks once more, and on the opening track ‘Molly Bloom’, a classic Celtic-styled story of infidelity, demonstrating the breadth of Moore’s lyrical invention “Lusty young & merciless/That was Molly Bloom/ Words cascade in waterfalls/in the darkness of her room/ Ribald & she’s randy/while her old man walks the town/ Waiting on her dandy /Poor old Leopold can’t come back/tough day for the coprophiliac.”

Elsewhere 60’s pop makes appearances in various guises, with the distinctive chord progression of  Van Morrison’s ‘Gloria’ in ‘Tuesday Afternoon at Wrigley Field’, hints of Manfred Mann in ‘Matties Song (Walking on Time)’, with harmonica, also prominent in ‘La Paloma’. ‘Comanche Land’ would feel at home in a 60’s spaghetti western, both musically, with cello and acoustic guitar, a swelling choir, and lyrically with its warning to the unwary  “With their quivers full of arrows that they fire like machine guns/ Don’t ever let them catch you./ Keep one bullet in your rifle just in case”.

There’s a nostalgic thread too, in ‘Heavenly Daze’, with a Latin flavour from acoustic guitar and percussion as Moore reflects on “Everything’s music, we dance and we sway/ While the Magic Band plays/ Great to be back in my Heavenly Daze”, and ‘October’, going back to childhood days “When I was a boy I sang to the stars /Arias to Spica, Arcturus and Mars/ The October moon/ Lighted frost in the field /To Teegarden’s Star I sang sonnets & reels.”

Returning to his native Michigan after a long spell in San Francisco, Moore plays guitars and harmonica, with excellent musicianship from his supporting musicians, with credits to Craig Cole on bass, Corey DeRushia on piano and bass, Cody Wilson on guitar,  Ian Levine on percussion, Skip Von Kuske on cello, Grant Flick on violin, David Mosher on mandolin & violin,  and Tamiko Rothhorn on backing vocals.

Quirky lyrics from Moore and an eclectic mix of influences make for a memorable and fun listen!


About David Jarman 117 Articles
Long time fan of Americana genre, from early days of Ry Cooder, through to today's thriving scene. Regular visitor to USA ( Nashville/Austin/Memphis/LA ) live music junkie, I play guitar, mandolin, harmonica, plus vocals, run monthly jam session in Broadstairs
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