Nathan Moore Shares Montage From Jam Cruise 15

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Troubadour Nathan Moore established a tradition on Jam Cruise 9 in 2011 that has continued each and every trip since including the recently completed Jam Cruise 15 by hosting an unscheduled performance space aboard the boat dubbed “The Spot.” The action usually starts around midnight on the second night of Jam Cruise and runs through sunrise of the following morning and then repeats each night/morning until we return to the home port. Nathan usually shares a video montage of his experience and has just unveiled the montage from Jam Cruise 15.

This year Nathan had his biggest crew yet as he was joined by bassist Lex Park, fiddle players Gailanne Amunndsen and Colby Peg-Joplin and guitarist Ethan Hawkins each night. Other musicians would stop by and on Jam Cruise 15 Reed Mathis, Shook Twins, Jesse Harper (Love Canon), Clay Welch (Electric Beethoven) and Ben & Alex Morrison (Brothers Comatose) were just a few of those who spent time performing at The Spot. Moore aims to put the spotlight on the power of the song at these sessions as the musicians assembled take turns leading the group through their own tunes and covers. Nathan has a massive repertoire and I especially enjoyed seeing the likes of the Morrison brothers ask if the tunes Moore led were his own or covers and finding out the incredible song they just played was yet another Nathan Moore original.

The Staunton, Virginia native plays music for all the right reasons and isn’t into the trappings of the traditional definition of success. While his earnestness and unwillingness to “play the game” is part of the beauty of Nathan Moore, I do wish he was more recognized as one of the nation’s best songwriters and a musical historian with many incredible stories to tell. Each time I sat down at The Spot I learned something new. The first night he explained much of the music his crew was playing wasn’t bluegrass music it was old time music. He said the music dated back hundreds of years, while bluegrass was pioneered by Bill Monroe much more recently. It’s a big distinction that made much more sense after he explained it.

On Jam Cruise 15 Nathan and Lex unveiled a new project called “MOORE” in which the pair and other musical collaborators perform behind a sheet. Moore plays electric guitar and Lex utilizes an electric bass and they both also employ drum machines, loopers, keyboards and other electric instruments. The music they created is so far from that of which I expected from Nathan and was brilliant in its own right. I’m hoping there’s much MOORE in store and that it becomes the medium that helps expose his music to a larger audience. The Jam Cruise 15 montage includes footage from “The Spot,” the debut of MOORE and from around the Norweigan Pearl: