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PROXY MOON's music is rooted in folk, jazz, blues, country - fundamentally American music - with an emphasis on original songs with strong, interesting lyrics and melodies delivered with spirited musicianship. They’ve been described by turns as esoteric, poetic, and irreverent, with a bit of a burlesque thrown for good measure.
Comprised of a core group of four multi-instrumentalist musicians with diverse backgrounds, the band is at home in virtually any genre, and delivers it with a bit of an edge, utilizing both traditional and non-traditional instruments, including one made up of a ball-peen hammer and heavy iron coupler, popularly known as “the junk.”. The term is catching on.
Aaron Davis of the Sacramento Bee captured a certain sense of the band this way:
“Yes, ‘junk’ is a genre. Proxy Moon, a five-piece local outfit, has a jazz-rooted sound that is sweet and smoky, with the perfect amount of rustic wear. It’s as if the quintet refused to vacate a Chicago martini lounge when the wrecking ball tore through it, staying with the rubble all the way to the scrapyard and not skipping a beat under a desolate moonlit sky.”
Sacramento Bee, March 18, 2015
The band has been compared to such artists as Tom Waits, Joe Henry, Jolie Holland, and Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks.
Current members include Patrick Grizzell, songwriting, guitar and vocals; Steve Bird, upright bass; Ann Wherry, vocals and various instruments; and Ingrid Peters, violin, accordion, and saw.
Patrick Grizzell is a poet and songwriter who sings and plays guitar, piano and harmonica. He's been in a number of bands, including Junkyard Burlesque, and has been fortunate to have shared the stage with a few musical and literary giants.
Steve Bird is an accomplished jazz pianist and bassist whose previous bands included Heavy Wood, a progressive ensemble, Junkyard Burlesque, and the 13 piece funk band Sage and the Future Generation.
Ann Wherry is a vocalist who also plays guitar, accordion, cello, melodica, glockenspiel, and percussion. She received classical training in New York City, and has, at one time or another, participated in performances in genres ranging from Opera to Circus.
Ingrid Peters is a classical violinist who also performs with her Sacramento Philharmonic Jazz Trio, as well as the jazz group “Veranda Swing” and the Celtic band "Cahersiveen". She has recorded with artists of all genres, and is a highly sought after session artist.
Dave Tavel is a monster Bay Area jazz drummer who's played with Fat Opie and everyone else.
Our dear original founding member Morgen Prestel is an aficionado of many types of music and has been exploring Celtic music and other forms. She was previously a violinist with the Auburn Symphony. She still joins us here and there.
The band is sometimes joined in performance by violinist and sawyer, Katy Coke, and drummer Joey Ventitelli.
What a few people have said about this music:
"Great music. Great voice. Great lyrics. Great tone. Great melodies. Great arrangements. Cool shades."
Jim Hensley, artist
Emily Wright, poet
"Just had a great night listening to Proxy Moon at Luna's. Laura and I had a great time (she loved the songs in French!). If you weren't there you missed out. These guys/gals are the real deal."
Tim Streeper, songwriter
"Had a great time hearing your music! What a fantastic new sound. I want to purchase a CD when ready."
Suzette Riddle, founder of California Lectures
"What a wonderful evening with you and your band last night, Patrick. I loved it to shreds. Well, to pieces. Well, to torn and flittering glitters. I think this band has something uniquely different about it, what you play, how you sing, the hammer, (love that hammer) you guys have something going and of course, that fabulous singer (Ann)! Standing bass. Violinist. Great guitar and keyboard guy (heh heh). And the Fabulous You! Thanks for a great evening! "
Annie Menebroker, poet
"I'm so glad I caught the show. I'm amazed without being amazed and grateful to be reminded that if you dig and keep digging...and keep digging... there it is laid bare: art. The real stuff. Not that other real stuff that is closer to the surface, but the deeper, real, rainy, rich and relentless stuff. True thanks. Beautiful."
Laura Hohlwein, artist and poet
"What a great show! Put me on your mailing list..."
Mark Halverson, musician
"Man, I really liked that, Pat. Good vocals. Loved the blanket of the bass & accordion underneath. It's one of those grabs ya sounds. Good stuff!!!"
Lee Cunningham, musician
"Proxy Moon is ear sex."
Jess Ruzlyo, traveler
"Pat, talk to me about songwriting."
Bill Yates, musician & luthier