“Sam Moss is a Brattleboro, Vermont based songwriter and string player. In 2013 he released his eighth solo album, No Kingdom. Moss has also released two albums with the old-time duo, The Howling Kettles, and compiled Imaginational Anthem Volume Five for Tompkins Square Records. In fall 2012 he was in residence at The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, NH. His work has won high praise from NPR, Dusted, Pop Matters, and Blurt Magazine, among others. Moss’ playing is heavily informed by pre-war American country, blues, and folk, post-1950 pioneers of outer sound, and contemporary solo guitarists.”
Check Sam out at his official Website, Facebook, Twitter, BandCamp and SoundCloud. Touring behind his latest release, No Kingdom”, Sam stops in Pittsburgh on Wednesday at Acoustic Music Works in Squirrel Hill with Evan Cory Levine and local duo The Grifters supporting. I want to thank Sam for taking a few minutes to participate in this edition of First/Last.
The first album you ever bought?
When I was eight I bought “Crash” by Dave Matthews Band. I loved that band as a kid. I hear fellow musicians and critics hate on them all the time now. I haven’t listened to them in ages, but I don’t think that they deserve all of the negativity.
Your last album bought?
“Held In Splendor” by Quilt, I think. I’m still transfixed by it. The new Doug Paisley and Tom Brosseau albums are hard to put down too.
Favorite album of all time?
I can’t pick one. A few that come to mind right now are “The Letting Go” by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, “Kensington Blues” by Jack Rose, “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young, and “Live at the Old Quarter” by Townes Van Zandt.
Least favorite/most disappointing album?
There are too many albums out there to spend time being disappointed by one.
First concert attended?
I went to see the Hartford Symphony plenty as a kid (grew up in West Hartford, CT), but my first rock concert was indeed the Dave Matthews Band when I was twelve. I went with my dad, my older brother, and a few of his friends. I saw some wasted college kids throw up right in front of me. There were thousands of people there. It was a messy scene. I got freaked out, but recovered in time to enjoy the encore, I think.
I didn’t go to many shows last year. One of the most recent was seeing Daniel Bachman play at Trevor Healy’s guitar shop in Easthampton, MA. He’s doing some incredible stuff with a Weissenborn these days.
Favorite concert ever?
Seeing Pete Seeger at Newport Folk in 2009 has long been one of my most prized life experiences. I went to a David Byrne curated show at Carnegie Hall in 2007 with my friend Charlie and his family. Adem, Devendra Banhart, Vetiver, Cocorosie, and Vashti Bunyan were all on the bill. That show changed my musical life.
Least favorite concert?
Charlie and I went to a local metal band show in Hartford when we were fourteen or fifteen. I think the show lasted for about six hours and he was supposed to photograph the band that ended up playing last. There were less than ten people there by the time they played. It was terrible. We’re still friends though.
Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I’ve never been to Pittsburgh, but I liked watching the Penguins sometimes growing up, back in the Jagr days.
Thanks, Sam. “Back in the Jagr days” was a great time in Pittsburgh sports. I like refer to them as the “mullet days“.