Album Review – Mose Wilson (Self-Titled)

photo: Hannah Juanita

Grabbing from a wide array of country music influences and regional dialects, and splicing them all together seamlessly with some 70’s coolness, Tennessee native Mose Wilson has just dropped this infectious and entertaining self-titled debut album that will slide right into your preferred listening rotation and be stubborn in making its way out.

Along with Moes Wilson’s original songs, a lot of great ingredients went into this record. It was recorded at the Compass Studios in Nashville, which as some know, is the same original location as Tompall Glaser’s “Hillbilly Central” where the country music Outlaw movement emanated from.

Playing on the record is an all-star cast, including Trey Hensley, who lays down some smokin’ hot lead licks and really helps make this record kick, Miles Miller who is Sturgill Simpson’s drummer and bandleader, Casey Driscoll on fiddle, then veterans Dan Dugmore on steel guitar and Dennis Crouch on bass round out what is an instrumental tour de force if nothing else.

It all comes together for one of those albums that immediately reels you in, and includes something for everyone. It has a couple of slow country heartbreakers in “Blue” and “This Time It’s You,” which include a hint of early Eagles in them as well. It has a couple of downright bluegrass songs in “Cornered” and “She Don’t Live Here No More.” It has a couple of chicken pickin’ heaters in “I Don’t Need You” and “Tennessee Rag.” It has blues, and a little bit of rock. What it doesn’t have is a dull moment.

Born in the small town of Cowan, Tennessee about 90 minutes south of Nashville, Mose Wilson was performing at his local Church of Christ by the age of five. By the time he was 18, he was living in Nashville, striking out like so many actual musicians at making music in Music City. So Mose decided to move to the panhandle of Florida, and with his band Hotel Oscar, put in his 10,000 hours playing covers and originals in bars along the coast before making it back to Nashville to give it a second try.

The music of this self-titled record is what draws you in, but don’t overlook the songwriting. Mose and co-producer Matt Coles may allow the pickers to stretch their legs too much be considered a songwriter album, and though some of the songs rely more on regional style such as the Cajun-flavored “Louisiana Two Step,” some songs like “This Time It’s You” show that Mose can’t just pick and sing one, but can write one too.

Mose Wilson proves his adeptness with a host of country and country-adjacent styles on this debut record in a way that deservedly will put him on the independent country map. But the question it leaves unanswered is, what is the Mose Wilson style? What will make him stand out in a overcrowded music landscape?

But to know where music is going, you first have to know where it’s been. And with this self-titled record, Mose Wilson proves he does, and sets a firm foundation for his musical career to grow from.

1 3/4 Guns Up (8/10)

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