While life on the road is beginning to lose its appeal to many young musicians, for those in jam bands, it remains the best way to connect with audiences around the country. A video representation works well for many music forms, but with a jam band, taking in the experience personally is part of the point. Such is the case with the Moves Collective, an OB based quartet who have been taking their mix of Americana and psychedelic sounds, or as they call it, “Ameradelic,” on the road to great acclaim.
Formed in 2015, the band has toured extensively, with three SDMA nominations and one win for “Best Americana” (2017) under their belt. They released their latest album, Beauty of the Road, earlier this year. On November 7, Moves Collective, which includes Tim Norton (guitar / vocals), Josh Nathan (drums), Isaac Lopez (bass), and Paul Chuey (reeds / slide guitar), will close their latest West Coast tour with a performance at The Holding Company.
“Half of our current members live in OB, including myself, while one is currently in LA and another resides in Texas,” Norton said. “We're currently on the lookout for a home-base Moves house that we can all share and create in, on our off time from the road, but as of now, we meet to rehearse and then head out for 4-6 week tours.” Norton is particularly pleased to be playing back in his hometown. “I fell in love with OB five years ago when I moved to San Diego,” he said. “To have the opportunity to perform my original music, in front of one of the most beautiful communities I've known and loved, is truly a privilege that I'm grateful for.”
Norton is originally from Ashland, Massachusetts and attended the Berklee College of Music. “I drove across the country in 2013 with my partner, Rae Irelan and we 'settled' on SD, where her family resides,” he said. “I had been in the North East all my life and wanted to try something new and switch up my surroundings.” Making music was always part of the equation. “Upon moving to SD, I wanted to perform live and start my dream of creating an original touring jam band,” Norton recalled.
“While cutting our teeth performing as an acoustic duo with Rae, we started gathering players in SD for our bigger project. Numerous players have since passed through the band’s ranks, including bassist Aquilino Soriano of the Shakedown String Band and sixties era garage rockers Conspiracy and drummer Matt Bozzone later of acclaimed world music combo, Todo Mundo. “Can you see where I got the 'Collective' part of our name?,” Norton joked.
“We had basically a rotating cast of skilled musicians that helped the music come to life, stay fresh and keep evolving. Now that we're performing around 100 shows a year, on the road - we've got a talented core group. He notes that both Nathan and Lopez on bass attended Berklee with him. Meanwhile, Irelan no longer performs with the band, recently releasing a solo album, Daring Darling. “She has been with the group since the start, but come 2018 she was compelled to share her creative wisdom with people around the globe,” Norton said. “She stepped away from touring with us. We all love her spirit and what she's currently bringing to the world and our fans and supporters agree - she has been a beautiful part of the soul of this band, since our humble beginnings.”
Norton considers his bands music to be expansive, with no real limits. “Our sound is rooted in the jam band world,” Norton said. “We bridge the gap between timeless Americana songwriting and groovy funk jaunts, slapped in the face with some bluegrass and then filtered through some sort of futuristic alien megaphone. We love to improvise and create new musical moments out of each song, each night, each setlist.”
2020 will bring more touring and work on a new album. Norton remains as driven to make music. “I've always had a desire to explore the world around me, in every way imaginable,” he said. “Music taps into this beautiful timeless place where we can create without limits, sort of bouncing ideas off each other, the performer and the audience - the artist and the observer. It's difficult to put to words, but that feeling of connectedness definitely drives my musical obsession and urge to share my stories,” he said.
Moves Collective: Thursday Nov. 7 at The Holding Company, 5046 Newport Ave. 9 p.m. 21 and up. www.thcob.com