Moe (band)

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For other uses, see Moe (disambiguation).
moe.
Moeband.JPG
moe. tuning their instruments between songs on March 3, 2007. Left to right: Jim Loughlin, Chuck Garvey, Rob Derhak, Vinnie Amico, Al Schnier.
Background information
Origin Buffalo, New York, USA
Genres Rock, jam, progressive rock, psychedelic rock
Years active 1989–present
Labels Fatboy
Associated acts Al and the Transamericans
Before Cowboys
Ha Ha the Moose
Lynch
Swamp Donkey
Website www.moe.org
Members Rob Derhak
Chuck Garvey
Al Schnier
Jim Loughlin
Vinnie Amico
Past members Ray Schwartz
Dave Kessler
Steve Hunter
Mike Strazza
Chris Mazur

moe. is an American jam band, formed at the University at Buffalo in 1989. The band members are: Rob Derhak (bass, vocals), Al Schnier (guitar, vocals, keyboard), Chuck Garvey (guitar, vocals), Vinnie Amico (drums), and Jim Loughlin (percussion).

The band's first record, Fatboy (1992), established the band as a favorite of the 1990s jam band and improvisational rock scene that grew in popularity with bands such as Phish and Widespread Panic. Just as Grateful Dead followers were coined "Dead Heads", avid moe. fans embrace the term "moe.rons." moe. toured with the 1997 Furthur Festival, appeared at Woodstock '99, played Summerstage at the Rumsey Playfield in Central Park, opened for The Allman Brothers and The Who, performed at Radio City Music Hall on New Year's Eve 2006 and returned there for New Year's Eve 2007. They have also performed at Bonnaroo Music Festival 5 times (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2009) in the 11 year history of the festival.[1]

During an interview, guitarist Al Schnier was asked to describe moe. for those who have never heard their music: "It's an amalgamation of a wide variety of the history of rock, all regurgitated and recycled through the eyes, ears, hands, whatever of the guys in our band and all of that with a sense of adventure, a sense of humor, also a constant desire to push the envelope. All in this arena of taking chances, improvising live, and making things up on the spot."[2]

History[edit]

The origin of the band goes back as far as October, 1989, when Chuck Garvey, Rob Derhak, and Ray Schwartz got together to play a Halloween show at a friend's behest. The band's first true form began in the winter of 1990. Chuck was joined by Dave Kessler on guitar and Steve Hunter joined on saxophone and vocals. They called themselves Five Guys named Moe, the name of a Louis Jordan song. They opened for a band named Monkey Wrench at Broadway Joe's in Buffalo, NY. Monkey Wrench would later be mentioned in moe.'s song Y.O.Y., where Garvey sings "I wish I could suck like Monkey Wrench."

In the Fall of 1990, Hunter exited. Also, the band's name evolved first into Haggis (for one week) before settling to be simply moe, noticeably without the period. Derhak pushed for the "m" to be capitalized, but a Brooklyn band had that name already. Al Schnier sat in with the band for a show in 1991 in Buffalo when Kessler was absent. After this show, Schnier was a frequent guest. They became known as the moe guitar army because of the three guitarists. The band also officially adopted the period at the end of its name. Schnier joined the band full-time in early 1992 and in the Spring, Kessler left due to a lack of interest.

In June 1992, the band recorded Fatboy, after which Schwartz left the band to go to graduate school. Jim Loughlin joined the band in September on drums. During the Summer of 1993, Chuck left the band due to personal issues, but returned two months later and "beg[ged] for re-admittance and more abuse."[3] In the Spring of 1994, the band recorded Headseed, officially quitting their day jobs, and all moved to Albany, New York. Loughlin left the band in June 1995 to pursue another band named Yolk, from Binghamton, New York. After Loughlin left, Mike Strazza joined the band on drums, but only from July until the end of 1995, though he officially quit in September. During their two nights over Thanksgiving weekend at the Wetlands in New York City, the band recorded Loaf, their first official live release.

Chris Mazur joined the band on drums near the end of 1995 through November 1996. That same month, Vinnie Amico started playing for the band on drums and has continued in that position since. In 1998 the band really hit their stride as a four piece. In early 1999, Loughlin returned to the lineup on percussion, vibraphone, xylophone, flute, backup bass, acoustic guitar, and washboard. Since January 23, 1999, the band moe. has officially been Al Schnier, Chuck Garvey, Rob Derhak, Vinnie Amico, and Jim Loughlin.[3]

Fundraising[edit]

The band has taken part in a number of fundraising efforts. moe. held a Tsunami Benefit concert at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City on February 10, 2005. Sharing the stage with moe. were Sam Bush, John Medeski of Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Trey Anastasio, and Anastasio collaborator Jennifer Hartswick. All proceeds from the event were matched by the Dave Matthews Band and his Bama Works Village Recovery Fund to assist rebuilding an east coast sea town in Sri Lanka. Bama Works, Dave's philanthropic brainchild, recorded a final tally of $155,000. Waves of Sound

The performance garnered moe. an award for Live Performance of the Year at the 6th Annual Jammy Awards.

On January 22, 2006, moe. performed at the Landmark Theatre in Syracuse, NY. This concert raised $35,000 in support of the Kelberman Center - a comprehensive community resource for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families. The evenings proceeds brought moe.'s charitable contributions to over $200,000 between January 2005 and January 2006.[4]

  • Al Schnier on the Kelberman Center:[5]

On April 11, 2006, the band donated $38,000 to the Kelberman Center as part of The Face of Autism telethon.[6]

On January 22, 2010, moe. held a benefit concert again at Roseland Ballroom in New York. This time the funds being raised for WHY (World Hunger Year). This show was also their first of 2010 (and the tour). Guests included: Danny Barnes (Banjo), Marco Benevento (Keyboards), Jeff Austin (Mandolin), Butch Trucks (Drums), and David Sanborn (saxophone).

Festivals[edit]

moe.lennium[edit]

moe. rang in the new millennium with three nights at The Chance in Poughkeepsie, NY, December 29–31, 1999.

moe.down[edit]

moe. hosts the annual festival moe.down at Snow Ridge Ski Area in Turin, NY. Started in 2000, festival runs for three days and occurs every Labor Day weekend. The festival has attracted a wide variety of musical talent. Acts range from newer bands just emerging onto the scene (such as Tea Leaf Green, Nellie McKay and Raq) to big name acts and jam rock staples, such as Les Claypool, Blues Traveler, and Mike Gordon (of Phish fame), to pop rock icons, such as Leo Kottke, The Flaming Lips, The Violent Femmes, and most recently, Perry Farrell. Each year, the amount of moe.down attendees has steadily increased: moe.down I attracted around 3,000 people while moe.down VI in 2005 had attracted close to 7,000, and 12,000 at moe.down 9. After ten years in Turin, moe.down moved to the Gelston Castle Estate in Mohawk, NY for two years. In 2012 the event moved back to Turin, with the dates changing to August 10–12.

snoe.down[edit]

Al Schnier playing guitar at snoe.down 2010

moe. hosted Snoe.down II March 17, 2006 through March 19, 2006. This event, which kicked off the week long Adirondack Almost Springfest celebration, took place at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, New York, home of the 1932 Winter Olympics and 1980 Winter Olympics, and at nearby Whiteface. During the concerts (not moe.'s sets) fans even had the option of ice skating while listening to the show. Bands included Soulive, Everyone Orchestra, Assembly of Dust, Tea Leaf Green, and others.[7]

  • Chuck on snoe.down II:[8]

Our set outdoors (that's right, outdoors on a ski slope in 10 - 15 degree weather) was brisk and inspired by hot coffee and a touch of whiskey. The gloves that I cut up to "protect" my hands from the cold ended up looking like something from Pat Benatar's 1980s video wardrobe when I was done making field alterations onstage to accommodate playing with my slide........hmmmmm. A bad sign, usually, but a crowd of 2,000+ made it their business not to budge the whole time. Kudos all around! Completely worth it - especially if you get to ski right up to your workplace!!

Summer Camp Music Festival[edit]

The first Summer Camp Music Festival was held in 2001 at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, IL. About 1,000 attended the festival that year, and enjoyed over 20 bands on 2 stages over the course of 2 days. Since then, Summer Camp Music Festival has grown to more than 15,000 attendees, hosting more than 100 bands on 7 stages over 3 days. And while our numbers have grown, Summer Camp still maintains the same energy and family feel we had when we started over a decade ago. As one fan put it, “Coming to Summer Camp is like coming home.”You’ll run into old friends, meet a ton of great new ones, and have the time of your life.Almost tripling the population of Chillicothe for the weekend, Summer Camp creates a city within a city, and greatly impacts the local business economy.Artists that have performed at the Summer Camp Music Festival in past years include: moe., Umphrey’s McGee, The Flaming Lips, Willie Nelson, Bassnectar, Widespread Panic, Les Claypool, Keller Williams, Pretty Lights, Skrillex, The Roots, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Medeski Martin & Wood, Family Groove Company and many, many more!

moe. Cruise[edit]

From March 7, 2004 until March 14, 2004, moe. embarked on their first musical cruise aboard the Norwegian Sun through Les and Lynn Berger of Rhythms at Sea Cruises (formerly Rock the Boat Cruises). Setting out from Miami, FL, the Norwegian Sun visited Jamaica, The Cayman Islands, Costa Maya, and Cozumel before returning to Florida. The band performed each day except for the 12th on the pool deck, Stardust Lounge, and the Observation Lounge. The shows on the 10th in the Observation were acoustic sets and featured questions and answers with the band.

In January 2007, the band returned for its second cruise, again through Les and Lynn Berger of Rhythms at Sea Cruises. The cruise took place January 7, 2007 through January 14, 2007 on the Norwegian Jewel. Fans were treated to a different itinerary this time: the ship headed east out of Miami and hit the ports of San Juan (Puerto Rico), St. John's (Antigua), and St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands). Unfortunately due to rough seas, the ship did not port at Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas).

Other festivals[edit]

moe. has also played at a number of already established festivals, including;

They received a Jammy for their Bonnaroo performance on June 23, 2002.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]

Promotional Releases[edit]

  • 1996: meat. - 550 Music
    • Out of print. 10,000 made. The song clocks in at a little over 45 minutes. The liner notes said, "Lyric by Al Schnier."
  • 1998: moe. Sells Out - 550 Music
  • 2007: High And Congress - Fatboy Records

Limited Edition Releases[edit]

  • 1991: Codename: Weasleshark - independent cassette release.
  • 1991: Spine Of A Dog - independent cassette release.
  • 1991: Real Live, Nearly Free - independent cassette release.
  • 1996: Loaf - Fatboy Records

Video and DVD releases[edit]

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Rob Derhak – bass, vocals (October 1989 - present)
  • Chuck Garvey – guitar, vocals (October 1989 - Summer 1993; Summer 1993 - present)
  • Al Schnier – guitar, keyboards, vocals, mandolin (1991 (guest); January 1992 - present)
  • Vinny Amico – drums (November 21, 1996 - present)
  • Jim Loughlin – percussion, MalletKat, flute, acoustic guitar, drums, piccolo bass, washboard, etc. (January 23, 1999 - present)

Former members[edit]

  • Ray Schwartz – drums (October 1989 - Summer 1992)
  • Dave Kessler – guitar (Winter 1990 - Spring 1992)
  • Steve Hunter – saxophone, vocals (Winter 1990 - Fall 1990)
  • Jim Loughlin – drums (September 1992 - July 15, 1995)
  • Mike Strazza – drums (July 22, 1995 - December 9, 1995)
  • Chris Mazur – drums (December 29, 1995 - November 17, 1996)

Audio[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]