Moon Hooch: A Moment of Cave Jazz

by on August 4, 2015

   Every once and in awhile you come across a band that stands out and you have a “moment.” You may have that moment on YouTube or in a back alley pub, but no matter where you have this moment you think: “I’m never going to forget this band.”

  A couple months ago, I had a moment with Moon Hooch. I was attending TEDx Atlanta and Moon Hooch was the featured band for the talks. I was immediately impressed by their uniquely gritty house-infused jazz.

  The trio first honed their sound on the subway platforms of New York City. According to the band’s site, the talented saxophone duo, Mike Wilbur and Wenzl McGowen, owe their innovative sound to “utilizing unique tonguing methods, or adding objects — cardboard or PVC tubes, traffic cones, whatever’s handy — to the bells of their horns to alter their sound.” But it can’t go unsaid that the surging rhythmic pulse provided by their skillful drummer, James Muschler, is the glue that holds their sound together.

  In a city known for its street performers,  Moon Hooch quickly gained a reputation for their raw sound and amassed large crowds of followers at subway stations throughout New York, especially the Bedford Ave station in Brooklyn. The band’s spontaneous “subway raves” soon got them banned from playing in the Bedford station by the NYPD.

   Being banned from one of their favorite venues hasn’t stopped Moon Hooch from carving out their own place in the New York City music scene. The band took their performances to the stage and toured with They Might Be Giants and Galactic, which culminated in the release of their first album, This is Cave Music, in the fall of 2014.

   Experience Moon Hooch’s originative sound on their next US tour starting on September 17, 2015. I’ll definitely be having another moment with them soon.

Featured Images by Roberta (CC)