BRET MOSLEY smiles off to the side, “I first picked up my father’s Stella Harmony guitar when I was six. A few years later—a good while before turntables became musical instruments—I turned a Chet Atkins record by hand to learn Yakety Axe note-by-note. I still have the guitar, even though some dear soul at UPS drove a forklift through it several years ago…the culmination to an extremely uphill stint in L.A. It was that experience, though, that helped wring out my first song, Lord, Girl…I still need to record that one.”
Rarely could an artist be said to transcend, yet include, the most raw and real elements of hill country blues, roots rock, folk, soul and rap. Nevertheless—with bone-deep authenticity—that’s exactly what Bret Mosley does, wrestling deftly with longing, belonging, and world-weariness...on the way home to hope & grace.
Mosley’s critically-acclaimed debut album Light & Blood was released in December 2007 on Woodstock MusicWorks, and hailed as “a heart-felt masterpiece” by NeuFutur Magazine. The album’s thirteen tracks were recorded over a two-day span in March 2007 by Pete Caigan (Bad Brains, Tony Levin) at Flymax Studio in Woodstock, NY. The record was mixed by Grammy-nominated engineer Roman Klun (Sarah McLachlan, Joan Osborne, Spin Doctors). Every track was performed live with no overdubs or punch-ins. The result is at once lean and lush...a smoldering confessional work...soulful Americana laced with a driving groove.
Mosley toured tirelessly across the U.S.—200+ dates per year—following the album’s release and enthusiastic reception. With signature idiosyncratic intensity, his unreservedly original, deeply authentic sound has garnered an audience ranging from cowhands to bankers, from rastas to cops.
And a few thousand self-distributed copies later, an Australian reissue of Light & Blood drops in November 2015.
“My music career is the culmination of a fairly common path,” he jokes, “before making that first record, I did the usual things: ranch hand, linebacker, fur trapper, ballet dancer, stockbroker, actor, computer programmer, Pilates instructor & art handler…in that order. But, I’ve been touring for the past 10 years, and most of the time it somehow seems like the only thing I’ve ever done…gratefully.”
Just after the release of Light & Blood, the venerated, archetypal musician’s musician Jerry Joseph attended a downtown NYC show of Bret’s. That changed the whole game for Mosley.
“Jerry has invited me to tour and record with him off and on ever since. He opened up the entire U.S. to me as a touring artist.” In 2008, Bret released the EP Charge with Jerry Joseph and drummer Steve Drizos on Joseph’s Cosmo Sex School label.
He has opened for George Porter, Jr., Trombone Shorty, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, the Subdudes, Patterson Hood, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Jackie Greene, Good Enough For Good Times, Junior Brown, Donavon Frankenreiter, Jackie Greene, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Kaki King, Kelly Joe Phelps, et al—comparisons have included Chris Whitley, John Butler, Xavier Rudd, Richie Havens, Van Morrison, Ben Harper and Taj Mahal.
Mosley's latest studio effort, X-ING, was released October 29, 2013 on his own Out Of The Park Records. He has begun production on his next record at Quarter After Blue Studios in Tupelo, Mississippi. The project will feature guest appearances by several prominent Mississippi artists.
Living in Perth since late 2014, Bret is building touring momentum in Australia—having shared the stage recently with Ian Moss, Morgan Bain, Blue Shaddy, Tex Perkins and John Meyer.