Nick Moss and the Flip Tops

Nick Moss and the Flip Tops
Play It ‘Til Tomorrow

Blue Bella Records

By Brian D. Holland
January 2008

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The latest release from Chicago’s own Nick Moss and the Flip Tops is a dual CD set, titled, Play It ‘Til Tomorrow. The title suits it admirably, because, especially for fans of this amplified Delta sound, the title’s implied act is effortless. The 28 songs, more than two hours of brilliant music, can be played repeatedly right into the next day. Take my word for it; I’ve done it.

Many of Chicago’s well-known players are getting up there in age, or have already left this world, making way for some of the younger players to obtain due praise. Recognized as a rising star by Buddy Guy, and the late Jimmy Rogers, Moss is perceived by many to be one of the current torchbearers of the Chicago blues sound, as well as an exciting performer and an extremely inspired guitarist.

The songs on Play It ‘Til Tomorrow aren’t imitation by any means, or even just good takes on a genuine blues style. The music on these two discs is the real deal. They’re driving, exciting, and electrifying tunes. Much of the album is groove oriented - a mesmerizing attribute powered by an energy that can only be described as magical, yet propelled by a dynamic rhythm section. Moss is quite conscious of the importance of both the bass and treble attribute of the guitar in his music. The fact that he was once a bass player probably has a lot to do with that.

Play It ‘Til Tomorrow is a wonderful display of Chicago blues from the Nick Moss perspective, one that appears to cover all the bases. There are several rocked-up pleasures, such as the opener, “Late Night Saint;” rhythm guitar-propelled struts such as “You Make Me So Angry” and the mesmerizingly lethargic, and beautifully driven, “Mistakes From The Past,” in which Eddie Taylor Jr. supplies rhythm guitar. It would satisfy me just fine if this song lasted forever.

The Walter Williams penned “Bad Avenue,” following its intro tempo change, possesses Buddy Guy-like muscle and energy, and “Lyin’ For Profit” drives along in an Otis Rush groove.

As with most electric Chicago blues, the music is all about the compelling rhythmical drive of Delta music mixed with Chicago voltage muscle. Some of it is vintage rock ‘n’ roll in genre just as much as it’s blues. But either way one might perceive it, the sound of Nick Moss and the Flip Tops is genuine.

The first disc is primarily an electric set, yet the included acoustic material on the second disc is pleasingly spirited, and it places the listener right into the lyrical and aural picture each song depicts. Plugged or unplugged, each style is stimulating and uplifting, and much of it is danceable, and again - as I can't seem to stress this word enough here - it's very “rhythmic”.

The music of Nick Moss and the Flip Tops is some of the most exciting blues presently out there. Play It ‘Til Tomorrow displays all that and more.

Check out their website for tour dates, and keep in mind that the band is a favorite at “Legends,” Buddy Guy’s Chicago nightclub.

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