Sound Advice: moe. (Sept. 29)

Jam band bastions moe. play Moonlite Gardens at Coney Island.

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click to enlarge moe. - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided
moe.
Over a quarter century ago, a group of musical friends in Buffalo, N.Y. created a swinging assemblage they dubbed Five Guys Named Moe, taking the name from the classic swingin’ Louis Jordan song. The band eventually shifted to a Frank Zappa-meets-Grateful Dead style and, after realizing many other groups were using its original moniker, the musicians modified their band name to its more direct current state (period included).

After a handful of personnel changes, a lot of gigging and the recording of its first two albums, 1992’s Fatboy and 1994’s Headseed, moe. got serious — the members quit their day jobs, relocated to Albany and focused their efforts on making moe. happen on a bigger level. Moe.’s lineup has been stable for the past 17 years, and in that same time, the quintet has become not only one of the giants of the Jam community, but also an incredible philanthropic force, donating time, effort and music to causes as varied as tsunami, earthquake and hunger relief and autism resource assistance.

Since its official start in 1990, moe. has recorded 11 studio albums, including its most recent, 2014’s No Guts, No Glory, and issued a similar number of live releases. The band also began selling flash drives with recordings of performances to show attendees post-concert several years ago, in addition to offering live recordings through its website (moe.org). Adding even more to the wide availability of the group’s music, moe.’s open-taping policy at concerts over the years has resulted in an astonishing availability of recordings; in just one location (the Internet Archive at archive.org), fans — who long ago christened themselves “moe.rons” — can peruse a stash of nearly 3,300 live shows and download them for free.

In its 27-year history, moe. has toured incessantly and regularly played at over two dozen festivals, including five appearances at Bonnaroo, four at the Gathering of the Vibes and annual dates since 2001 at Chillicothe, Ill.’ Summer Camp Music Festival. The band even launched a pair of music cruises and developed its own festival, moe.down, which was finally shuttered (at least temporarily) last year after a 15-year run.

Click here for tickets/more show info.

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